30th December 2017
The Public Inquiry into Undercover Policing is running years behind schedule, seemingly unable or unwilling to stand up to relentless police delaying tactics. Mood music from the chair is not always encouraging about the chances of transparency and a process that genuinely serves the public interest. Despite all this, the inquiry probably offers our strongest hope for disclosure of the names of undercover police officers, along with the truth about their activities, targets, and the information held by police on those spied upon.
Among the non-state core participants (those spied upon) to the public inquiry, are the women deceived into relationships by undercover police officers. They want answers to many questions. Who sanctioned those relationships? How were they were monitored and by whom? Who were the handlers and supervisors, and how far up the chain of command did knowledge and decision making go? What information is held on them, where and by whom?
Those affected demand the inquiry release the names of undercover officers. Without this disclosure, others cannot know whether they too have been targeted by undercovers for intimate relationships. Most of the undercover police officers unmasked so far have used sexual relationships with those they spied on. Yet those so far exposed represent only a fraction of the total number of officers deployed. Thus it must be assumed that many more people have been subject to this kind of abuse, but are as yet unaware. Therefore only way to even begin to deliver justice is for the names of all officers to be made public, so that it can be known whether, and what, further abuses have been perpetrated.
Those affected are fighting for justice in the public inquiry. They join all those who have suffered at the hands of undercover police in many other ways in calling for openness and the truth.
But the odds are stacked unfavourably. The police – those supposedly subject to investigation – hold most of the evidence about themselves (and are thought to have sent some of it to the shredder already). Police officers working on or attending the inquiry, meanwhile, are salaried to do so and have all of the resources of the force at their disposal. And all 8 barristers representing the police at the inquiry, and the ranks of lawyers who support them, are funded from the public purse.
No such luck for the non-state participants. The inquiry will fund only one single barrister to represent more than 200 of them. Other costs must be met by victims themselves. So participants must rely on mutual aid and solidarity to continue the fight. To participate in the inquiry process, participants need to be able to attend the inquiry hearings and other important meetings – including with their legal representatives and each other.
To help meet these costs and enable the fight justice and disclosure to continue, a crowdfunder has been launched. It has been initiated by the Spycops Communications Group, which helps coordinate non-state core participation in the inquiry. Money raised will help with participants’ travel costs for hearings and meetings, with legal support, and enable fortnightly updates on the inquiry’s complex developments to keep participants in the loop.
As we approach New Year the fund stands at around £6,000, and needs to reach its target figure of £10,000 by 7th January 2018.
Please consider supporting the appeal if you feel able. The core participants are fighting for truth, justice and freedom for us all, and for a future in which anyone engaging in political activity can do so without fear of these state abuses. Donate here: https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/help-victims-of-police-spying/
Wishing everyone a happy new year