Breakthrough ruling: #spycops defence down the drain!

Eveline Lubbers / Undercover Research Group
26 March 2015
A breakthrough ruling in the Marco Jacobs case: The police will not contest that Jacobs was an undercover officer, nor require the claimants to prove he was. If the claimants are awarded damages then the Met, South Wales Police & the Association of Chief Police Officers will be liable.

The ruling was made on 25 March 2015 in the High Court case of Welsh activists who were spied on by Jacobs to get the Met’s obstructive ‘Neither Confirm Nor Deny’ tactic struck out. Here’s the full order from the hearing (stretching the English language to it’s limits, as @tombfowler said). Text agreed by both sides.

, the lawyer of the Welsh activists tweeted his comments:

After today’s order is less easy for to rely on as a “defence’ to legal challenges.

It seems clear after today that there is yet another way around what police maintain is an inviolable policy!

Jacobs was named with a photo in the mainsteam media more than four years ago. Everyone knows he was a police officer. The ruling shows that the use of NCND is simply the Met trying to avoid accountability using any tactic they can.

For more background, read our Marco Jacobs profile including a timeline of Jacobs’ five years undercover.


Marco Jacobs profile added

Marco JacobsMarco Jacobs was the assumed identity of an undercover police officer who infiltrated activist groups between 2004 and 2009, first in the Brighton area of southern England and then in Cardiff, south Wales.

However, both South Wales and Metropolitan police have maintained a ‘Neither Confirm Nor Deny’ defence of all aspects of Jacobs’ deployment. On Wednesday 25th March 2015 activists spied upon by Jacobs are in the Royal Courts of Justice in London attempting to strike out these NCND defence. (Picket 9am)

Continue to the Marco Jacobs profile

‘Lily’, the tracking device and her fight against surveillance

Eveline Lubbers / Undercover Research Group
23 March 2015
tracking device

Recently a GPS tracking device was found under the car of an activist in Valencia. The activist was ‘Lily’, who is part of the group of women suing the Metropolitan Police; she was deceived into a two-year relationship with undercover police officer Mark Kennedy.

The progressive German daily newspaper die taz broke the story initially in Der Track des Lebens, followed up by Directa, a Catalan magazine. Jesús Rodríguez/Albert Martínez wrote two articles based on interviews with Lily, one on her fight against surveillance and another on the activities of Mark Kennedy in Spain and Cataluña (thanks to the author for permission to use the material).

In this article we provide the bits so far not covered in the English speaking press, in a translation approved by Lily herself. Continue reading

Blacklisting, the Catt case and ongoing collusion in corporate and police spying

Peter Salmon / Undercover Research Group
21 March 2015

blacklisted pic
Blacklisting can be a life-destroying tactic. Names of trade union and political activists are added to a secretive list which is then used to ensure those named have difficulty ever working again. Though such activities are illegal, blacklisting is still alive and not just confined to corporations. Continue reading

Blog: Blacklisted, the book is out now

blacklisted cover

The book Blacklisted, the secret war between big business and union activists finally hit the shelves this week. Authored by Dave Smith and Phil Chamberlain, Blacklisted tells the controversial story of the illegal strategies that transnational construction companies used to keep union activists away from work. We have the honour to publish an extract, and we selected something from chapter 9, Under constant watch. Dealing with spying on activists it ties in with the work of the Undercover Research Group.

This particular piece shows how the authors found out that information gathered by undercover officers ended up in the files of the Consultancy Association, the secret blacklisting service set up by the large building companies. It was a matter of meticulously going through files, after campaigning to get access to the material seized by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), who in turn had acted upon an article in the Guardian written by Phil Chamberlain. Interviews with those blacklisted, with whistle blowers and people professionally involved in blacklisting added a further layer of understanding.

The story published here adds some interesting detail to our profile of Mark Jenner spying on the Colin Roach Centre in Stoke Newington, London, in the mid 1990s, the same time as his former colleague and now whistleblower Peter Francis was also infiltrating left wing and anti-racism groups in London.

Continue reading