Five of the eight women involved in this case have been granted anonymity by the courts, therefore five of the names shown below are pseudonyms. Three of the women have given their real names.
Each of these courageous women is attempting to rebuild her life after what has been described as “the gravest possible interferences” with her private life. 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. We ask you to treat their accounts with respect, and to honour these women’s bravery and dignity.
“The nature of the experience is particularly unusual in that it is deeply personal to all of us, and yet it is in both the public and the political domain. When it becomes your real-life story, it is a very difficult one to tell new friends, who often do not believe you, let alone to talk about it in the media or in a room like this.”
– oral testimony by Alison to the Home Affairs Select Committee
Alison was active in a community-based organisation exposing cases of police corruption, promoting trade unionism, and campaigning against racism and fascism.
> Alison’s story
Belinda was not politically active and didn’t know any activists until her partner introduced her to his wide circle of friends. She believes that he used her as a prop for his undercover identity.
> Belinda’s story
Helen was actively involved in campaigns opposing capitalism and for social justice and environmental sustainability.
> Helen’s story
Kate was involved in direct action for social and environmental justice, including migrant rights campaigning and anti-capitalist mobilisations.
> Kate’s story
Lisa was an active campaigner in many different social and environmental campaigns, including against the arms trade, natural resource exploitation,the nuclear industry and GM crops.
> Lisa’s story
Naomi was an active supporter of social justice movements, including LGBT and refugee rights, as well as direct action for environmental campaigns such as those against GM crops and fossil fuel exploitation.
> Naomi’s story
Rosa came from a background of animal rights, green, social justice and anti-racist campaigns, and was involved in local campaigns which put people, communities and the environment before profit.
> Rosa’s story
Ruth campaigned in her spare time for streets and community spaces that were accessible to everyone, rather than car-dominated.
> Ruth’s Story
“This abuse shows us that within the police forces in the UK there exists:
– institutional sexism – women have been used to shore up undercover identities, without regard for those women’s right to a private life
– institutional prejudice against members of the public who engage in social justice and environmental campaigning, including a disregard for their human rights.
Both these forms of institutional prejudice must be challenged and stopped; each has reinforced the other.”
– Where We Stand
If you quote any of the above accounts, for articles, blogs, or academic research, please let us know. Please respect that while these words appear in the public domain, they belong to people who have had their private lives profoundly abused. Thank you.
“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 above issues in this spirit of democratic empowerment.”
– Where We Stand
The claimants’ accounts were previously published by The Guardian newspaper, BBC Radio Four’s File on Four, the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee’s Interim Report on Undercover Policing, and one account was a written submission to the Home Affairs Select Committee. None of the accounts were provided in return for any fee.