Dispatches Documentary

Last night’s Dispatches documentary, entitled The Police’s Dirty Secret is now available on 4oD (Channel 4 on Demand). UPDATE: The documentary is no longer available to view on 4oD. An introduction may be found here and a clip may be viewed here.

In the documentary, Helen and Belinda speak openly for the first time about their experiences, in the hope of increasing public understanding of the nature and effects of the police abuse. Alongside six other women taking legal action against the police, they seek to highlight and prevent the continuation of psychological, emotional and sexual abuse of campaigners and others by undercover police officers.

On Friday they and their fellow claimants issued a statement – Where We Stand – calling for, among other things, “the past to be thoroughly and openly investigated, so that the damage may be acknowledged, those responsible may be held to account, and that as a society we may come to terms with what has happened, heal the wounds that have been inflicted and be confident that the practice has ceased.”

Amid further revelations arising from investigations into undercover policing, the claimants and their support group “extend our solidarity and sympathy to all those affected, and to all those coming to terms with systematic abuse by the police.”

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Where We Stand – plus McDonalds, Dispatches doc, and appeal against Secret Tribunal

We have published a statement by the women and the support group: Where We Stand. Not only is this a clear stance on the issues which have been raised by this legal action but it’s also a call for solidarity: we’re inviting individuals and groups to sign up to the statement, and to spread the word.

You’ll notice that there’s a lot of new content on the website, including Act Now, a call to action.

Please share these pages as prolifically as you can; we are very grateful for your help.

There are some shocking new revelations coming out about the role of undercover police in the McLibel case – see here, and on Monday a new documentary is being broadcast –  Dispatches, Channel 4, Monday 8pm.

This week the government announced new proposals for the monitoring of undercover policing (see here), which didn’t even mention the issue of relationships. Wow. For more info see this blog post by Bristling Badger.

A few weeks ago the Court of Appeal gave the legal team leave to appeal the decision over a secret tribunal which affects three of the eight women. The appeal is currently being prepared.

Also on the website you will find improved links and transcripts of the women’s own words about their experiences: “Their stories are shared here not to elicit just your sympathy, but to increase your understanding; not to provoke interest in their personal details, but to request your solidarity. They have described what happened to them not to suggest that they are the only victims, but to ensure there are no more victims.”

Thank you for your continued interest and support. It’s a busy summer solstice…

where we stand
“We come from different backgrounds and have a range of political beliefs and interests, and we are united in believing that every woman, and every person, has a right to participate in the struggle for social and environmental justice, without fear of persecution, objectification, or interference in their lives. We welcome allies who wish to engage with the issues in this spirit of democratic empowerment.” – Where We Stand

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Inquiries – pages under construction

We are currently working on this section of the website to include an accurate picture of inquiries that are ongoing.
To date there have been many inquiries into undercover policing. Some of these have not covered the issue of relationships at all. None have covered the issue adequately.
There are no circumstances in which it would be acceptable for an  undercover police officer to engage in intimate relationships with either targets or members of the public under the guise of their undercover identity.
We call for:
– the past to be  thoroughly and openly investigated, so that the damage may be  acknowledged, those responsible may be held to account, and that as a  society we may come to terms with what has happened, heal the wounds  that have been inflicted and be confident that the practice has ceased.
We have no reason to believe that these abhorrent  abuses have stopped, or that the police acknowledge their actions are  wrong, and that they must change.
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