Have you had an encounter with an undercover copper as part of your political activism? The Pitchford Inquiry is an opportunity for that story to be heard as part of a wider investigation into the targeting of protest by undercover police. We explain the practicalities of what this means and of how you can get involved.
Whatever you think of the likelihood of a state-organised Inquiry exposing whole truth about undercover police operations targeted against campaigners, the Pitchford Inquiry is the best opportunity so far to find out more about the undercover spying operations and political policing over the past 40 years in the UK. If nothing else, it is a way to keep the pressure on and to increase public awareness of the unaccountable, unregulated and unscrupulous activities of Britain’s undercover police spies.
Remember that the only reason undercovers have been exposed was because of activist research, and that the only reason there is an inquiry now is because of the pressure that we have managed to build up.
There are two ways of being involved in the Inquiry. The simpler, smaller one is as being a witness. In this, you merely present an account of your experience with undercover police and the Inquiry may ask you further questions or actually to appear in person. The second, bigger one is as a ‘core participant’ as an interested person. This will be more suited to those who have multiple or very significant interactions with an undercover – relationships, actions and activities, or a key part of your group, etc. It can be done as an individual or a group.
Alternatively, the Undercover Research Group is applying for core participancy to be able to represent those who do not want to be involved personally.
So, what do you need to know, and what do you need to think about. Continue reading