Repost of guest blog at PeaceNews, by our own Peter Salmon, 16 March 2015.
As Theresa May announced a public campaign into the scandals around undercover policing, campaigners against police racism and corruption, The Monitoring Group, have launched a petition to stop the gagging of undercover whistleblower Peter Francis.
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
Mike Chitty a.k.a. Mike Blake, was an undercover officer with the Special Demonstration Squad who infiltrated the animal rights movement in south London in the 1980s. Prior to that he had been with Special Branch in Bermuda. Almost all that is known of him comes from chapter 6 of Undercover, the expose of undercover policing by two Guardian journalists, Rob Evans and Paul Lewis.
Chitty is notable for having ‘gone native’: after his deployment finished, he returned to the group he had targeted, the South London Animal Movement. He continued socialising with them while remaining a police officer – including attempting to restart one relationship with a woman he had been seeing while undercover. His behaviour lead to a long investigation of him by fellow Special Branch and SDS officer Bob Lambert, and his eventual departure from the police. He has subsequently moved to South Africa.
This is just a preview without links& references!
Continue to the full profile on Mike Chitty