Second police spy revealed - Climate Camp responds: We demand answers
January 13, 2011
A network of police agents undercover in the climate movement is today being dismantled after constabularies across Britain began an operation to pull out their spies. The revelation comes as the existence of a second spy is revealed – demonstrating that the practice of placing undercover agents in activist circles was systematic, and proving that senior UK police officers lied to parliament about the tactic.
Leslie Marshall from the Camp for Climate Action today said:
“We welcome the collapse of the police spy network that for years has been targeting our movement and demand they stay out. These extraordinary revelations pose a number of profound questions that now need to be answered. So far the only inquiry that’s been announced will see the police investigating themselves, which is unacceptable given the indisputable evidence that officers have misled MPs and the public about the nature of their spying operation.”
“The first step must be that Paul Stephenson and Commander Bob Broadhurst stop stonewalling and give some answers for the conduct of operations they oversee. And they must be straight with us, not like parliament, when they stated that there were no agents in the climate movement. In the longer term we need to ensure that the police are no longer taking political decisions to spend millions of pounds undermining a legitimate social movement taking action against the threat that climate change poses to us all.”
Keith Vaz, the chairman of the Commons home affairs select committee, has written to the Met commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson, saying it appears the commissioner and one of his commanders, Bob Broadhurst, failed to disclose “the full facts” about the infiltration of protests when giving parliamentary evidence in 2009. “During our inquiry into the G20 protests, [MPs] explicitly asked Sir Paul Stephenson and commander Bob Broadhurst about the deployment of undercover officers,” said Vaz. “I am disappointed they appear not to have given us the full facts.”
Policing of the climate movement has been severely criticized on numerous occasions since the first Climate Camp at Drax power station in 2006. In 2009 a report launched by the Liberal Democrat party found that police deliberately intimidated protesters and obstructed legal observers during protests at Kingsnorth coal plant. The activists were subjected to sleep deprivation and psychological pressure tactics involving frequent dawn raids, low flying helicopters at night, and repeated false alarm massing of police officers and vans, according to findings based on two separate reports submitted by the authors to the Joint Committee on Human Rights. The report highlighted that no Climate Camp protester has ever been convicted of any violent offence. However a separate IPCC investigation was, according to The Telegraph, ‘largely positive’ about the Kingsnorth police operation.
Charlie Horner added:
“Serious issues, both moral and legal, are raised by Kennedy’s conduct over several years but we cannot allow the IPCC to conduct yet another whitewash. We need to know who in the Met knew what Kennedy was doing and when they knew it, why Kennedy was used to entrap so many activists at Ratcliffe, most of whom were never charged and six of whom he offered to support in court, and whether his wider conduct was sanctioned. The police can’t be held to a lower standard than everyone else in society. It’s time they were held to account.”