Most unromantic thing anyone ever said to me on a date: “You’re not a police spy are you?” He meant it too, and he was totally justified in asking*. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the “Oh, shit” look in his eyes.
There isn’t anything I can add to the coverage in the Guardian, Channel Four documentary or new book from Paul Lewis and Rob Evans other than repeat this quote below from former undercover officer Peter Francis, referred to in the most recent Guardian peice.
The lowest point I reached morally was when I was standing outside Kennington police station for the Brian Douglas justice campaign in May 1995. It was a candlelit vigil and his relatives were all there […] By me passing on all the campaign information – everything that the family was planning and organising through Youth Against Racism in Europe – I felt I was virtually reducing their chances of ever receiving any form of justice to zero. To this day, I personally feel that family has never had the justice they deserved.
I can also direct people toward the donate page on the Police Spies Out of Lives site. Because there are people behind these stories. People who are brave and bold and try and change things for the better and even if you disagree with their various causes you might support their right to act so.
The LRB review of Eveline Lubbers’ book about corporate and police spying on activists ends by arguing that the state exists to protect capital and promote order, so any radical group that threatens the state’s monopoly on violence can’t be surprised if the state tries to infiltrate it. Maybe. But I don’t think they expect this sort of state-sanctioned rape. Or the degrees of protectionism of institutionalised racism we seen in the recent revelations. Or that they had a file on human rights lawyers Bindmans for you know, checking the police obey the law. I don’t think anyone expects that. And I don’t think anyone wants to live in a country where that takes place. It’s wrong. Simply wrong.
*I’m not. Promise.