The Undercover Research Group aims to dedicate the next two years to the Pitchford Project, to make the most of the current independent Undercover Policing Inquiry.
The Inquiry was called by Home Secretary (now PM) Theresa May to investigate uncover policing in England and Wales since 1968, and is chaired by Lord Justice Christopher Pitchford. Over 150 political activists and social justice groups overcame their scepticism and are now involved as ‘core participants’; more will be called as a witness.
The Pitchford Inquiry offers a narrow window of opportunity to get insight into decades of political policing and the associated human right abuses, and the Undercover Research Group wants to make the most of it. For those targeted by the spying truth finding is essential, and our Project is set up to maximise the options for disclosure under the 2005 Inquiry Act.
The hearings will start mid-2017 and will last for at least a year. The stakes are high as the police prefer the Inquiry to be held behind closed doors and have already been obstructing the procedures where they can. Now, ongoing pressure is required keep the issue in the public eye.
The Pitchford Project wants to create a one-stop place for well-sourced information on undercover policing, building on our unique knowledge base assembled over the past few years. The goal of the Project, however, is more than just supporting those affected by spycop abuses. We want to provide a clear understanding of who held the power and who made the decisions on targeting certain groups with undercover policing, and thus who should be held to account.
In general this means closely monitoring the Inquiry to stay on top of important moments that require active interventions. Furthermore the Pitchford Project will analyse the information released by the Inquiry making sure those affected are fully informed (without being overwhelmed) and can be empowered to act. Our findings will also provide source material for stories in the press, and we will work with the campaigns and our contacts in the media to get those stories out.
However, we cannot do this alone. With your help, taking up The Pitchford Project, we will:
- Scrutinise the hearings and other evidence coming out of the Inquiry;
- Follow up on material released by Pitchford with interviews and further research;
- Deliver reconstructions of the activities of the infiltrators and their supervisors to test the Inquiry’s framework for discovery;
- Offer the necessary background to understand the context of spying on activists to challenge statements by the police;
- Provide pertinent facts to allow speaking truth to power;
- Anticipate further spycops coming out: support those affected with our knowledge and experience, and
- Make a case for more people spied upon to be accepted by the Pitchford Inquiry and to take legal steps (to appeal wrongful convictions or claim damages).
How to support us today.
Even if money is tight, a regular contribution as small as £2.50 a month will add up and help us get the resources we need. A larger donation if you can miss it would of course make us very happy as well.
Click the button if you want to make a regular donation. We also offer a paypal option if you prefer.
We even have our own bank account now:
Undercover Research Group
Sort Code: 089299
Account Number: 65808580