Police Spies Out Of Lives and Lush join forces to launch national undercover policing campaign and urge new Home Secretary to listen to the victims
From Thursday 31st May to Monday 18th June 2018,
we are collaborating with Lush to highlight the ongoing #spycops scandal.
The campaign is now ‘live’, with displays in the windows of over 100 Lush stores across the UK, and supporting material online. Read Lush’s own press release here.
This campaign seeks to inform the public about the ways in which officers from some controversial, and extremely secretive, police units (e.g. the Special Demonstration Squad, or SDS) ‘crossed the line’ during their undercover deployments.
A powerful but short (90-second) campaign film was also released today, illustrating just one of the ways in which these officers abused their positions – initiating long-term, sexual relationships with people they’d been sent to spy on.
The Metropolitan Police apologised to some of the women targeted in this way in November 2015, and more recently admitted that these relationships were an abuse of their human rights
(including Article 3: ‘No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment’).
One of the women who was deceived in this way, ‘Jessica’, said today:
“We need to know the truth about these secret units and what they did.
How many women and men were deceived into sexual relationships with married, manipulative, liars who were only there to spy on them, their friends and family?
How many more miscarriages of justice did they commit?
How many more grieving families did they spy on during the worst moments of their lives?
How many workers’ lives were damaged by illegal blacklisting, with the collusion of these units?
How many dead babies’ identities did they steal?
It’s fantastic to have Lush backing the campaign for justice for the victims.”
Spycops Inquiry: Truth or Cover Up?
We successfully campaigned for the #spycops scandal to be properly investigated, by a Public Inquiry. The Undercover Policing Inquiry was set up in 2015 but is now years behind schedule and in a state of crisis. We have been sorely disappointed by the direction taken by its current Chair, Sir John Mitting.
As Rebecca Lush – ‘Charitable Giving Coordinator’ at Lush and an environmental campaigner herself – said:
“When Theresa May launched this public inquiry we all hoped that the truth about this scandal would finally be exposed and that the disgraceful police tactics would be examined.
Instead, the Chair is making this Inquiry more secretive, and is granting the police anonymity in secret hearings.
It is time the Home Secretary listened to the victims and appointed a diverse panel to hear the full evidence”.
“We are delighted that Lush are supporting us with this national campaign,
which will help to raise awareness of our story. As victims of abusive undercover policing we are dismayed by the current situation with the inquiry. So far, £10.5 million of public money has been spent on what seems like a vastly expensive cover up” said ‘Andrea’, another of the women deceived into a relationship by one of these officers.
“We have lost years of lives due to the harm caused by these undercover police officers.
We want to know which groups were spied on, the names of the officers who infiltrated our lives and we want to access those secret files which are held on us.
There can be no healing without truth.”
This campaign provides an opportunity for members of the public to learn more about the campaign, and lend their support to the victims of this intrusive, abusive, political policing.
What can supporters do?
We are calling for people to visit their nearest Lush shop, find out more, and sign a postcard addressed to the new Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, urging him to:
INSTRUCT a panel of experts to assist the Chair
EXTEND the inquiry (to include Scotland and Northern Ireland)
DISCLOSE the cover names of the officers, the names of the groups they spied on, and RELEASE the personal files of the victims.
There is an accompanying online petition, here, set up by the Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance.
What can Sajid Javid do to get the Inquiry back on-track?
The ‘Non-State Core Participants’ have written to Javid several times since he took office a month ago, just like we wrote to the previous Home Secretary before she resigned, asking for an urgent meeting to address our concerns.
As ‘Jessica’ said:
“ We need the Home Secretary to save this so called “public” inquiry from failing abysmally, like the previous 18 inquiries tasked to look at the actions of the undercover police.
We are asking for a diverse panel to sit with the existing chair to help advise on serious issues like racism and sexism, where he has shown his experience is limited.
Many of these officers committed crimes, we know this, and yet the Inquiry Chair seeks to grant them anonymity at every opportunity.
How can we give evidence about what they did when we aren’t told who they were?
As police officers they were meant to uphold the law, but they should not be above it.”
“I hope that Sajid Javid will respond in a timely fashion to our recent letter. I hope he will see sense and instruct a panel. I hope that he will see the futility of a public inquiry which is shrouded in secrecy and I urge him to meet with affected people, hear their voices and save this inquiry from its current trajectory of failure.”
Listen to another podcast about the campaign, featuring Jenny Jones, Green Party peer.
Watch the 90-second film here.
and please remember to sign the petition and spread the word!