Despite the colossal array of corrupt misdeeds committed by Bob Lambert and his disgraced political secret police unit the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS), his professional associate Stefano Bonino has been moved to write in his defence in Times Higher Education.
Somewhat melodramatically it starts with a reminder of the recent politically motivated killings in France and then says
the SDS maintained a central and defining focus on political violence – most notably street violence conducted by and between far-Left and far-Right groups – and helped to save lives
A central and defining focus should leave plenty of evidence behind it. Yet among the exposed spycops is a central focus on groups who presented little or no threat to life. Continue reading
Don’t let the police self-investigations like Operation Herne fool you with their focus on the disbanded Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) – this is not a historic problem. The political secret police are still with us.
The shift from different units leaves us whirling in acronyms. Here, as far as I’m able to tell, is what’s what (corrections welcome!). It’s an alphabet soup of acronyms that swirl before the eyes, so thanks to Jane Lawson for designing a diagram to make it easier to grasp (click to enlarge; right click and open in new tab to have it alongside as you read the post).
Also see the UndercoverResearch page on the Political Secret Police Units
Mark Jenner, alias Mark Cassidy, was an undercover officer who was deployed against left wing groups in North London from 1995-2000, though was most active in the period 1995-99. He worked as part of the Metropolitan Police’s Special Demonstration Squad and much of his infiltration would have served under the supervision of its then head of operations Bob Lambert. His targets were a number of groups based around the Colin Roach Centre, particularly union organising and anti-fascism. It is also believed that some of his work was to monitor groups and individuals who had potential sympathies with Irish republicanism.
He was publicly outed in 2011, and this reached national interest in 2013 when his former partner “Alison” testified before a Home Affairs Select Committee accompanied by an expose in the Guardian.The Metropolitan Police have maintained the position of neither confirming or denying that he was deployed by them.
N.B. Part of the story of Mark Jenner’s deployment – his work with Red Action – is missing. If you are able to help us, even if it is filling in background material from the time, we are keen to hear from you. Likewise, if encountered Jenner as Mark Cassidy and have recollections of him and his activities, we are also interested in hearing from you.
This is just a preview, without references!
Continue to the Mark Jenner profile
The Undercover Research Project aims to create an one-stop resource on political policing and undercover surveillance. This blog discusses the undermining of protest and dissent, to support others holding those responsible to account.
The actual profiles can be found at the Undercover Research Portal.
The National Domestic Extremism Unit refers to specialist police organisation that began life as the National Coordinator for Domestic Extremism (NCDE) and was subsequently renamed the National Domestic Extremism Unit (NDEU) and more recently the National Domestic Extremism and Disorder Intelligence Unit (NDEDIU). For much of its history it was controlled by the Association of Chief Police Officers Terrorism and Allied Matters Committee, before being transferred to the the Metropolitan Police Service’s Counter Terrorism Command in the wake of the Mark Kennedy undercover scandal.
During its time under the control of ACPO, the NDEU consisted of a group of police units, several of which have gained national attention for their role in the policing of protests and deployment of undercover police into political and activist movements. These units were the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU), National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit (NETCU), National Domestic Extremism Team (NDET). Many began as separate units, or created out of the merger of smaller units around the UK. It was a sub-unit of the NPOIU, the Confidential Intelligence Unit, which ran a number of infiltrators that targeted protest movements. Continue reading
Domestic Extremism is a police term which seeks to categorise a particular kind of political activity. The term is often used to distinguish so-called single issue campaigns or political groups with a militant edge from terrorist groups. Animal rights, ecological defence, anti-arms trade, the radical left and the far right have been labelled domestic extremists, as have individual actors such as the letter-bomber Miles Cooper.
The Government has no formal legal definition for Domestic Extremism (while it has one for terrorism for instance). The use of the label has come under criticism for mission creep, for political policing and for using it as a way to treat protest as a form of crime: a number of people who had no criminal record were nevertheless added to the National Domestic Extremism Database. Continue reading