The Undercover Policing Inquiry returns today, after a nice long 4 month break! Better known as the #SpyCopsInquiry – because these Undercover Cops are indeed Spies, spying on campaigners across many issues, as well as the labour movement and others – this is just the second series of Hearings involving Witenesses, at a Public Inquiry that was announced in 2014 by former PM May, and was supposed to start in 2015! The term farce doesn’t begin to do justice to this mess.
But it’s a Public Inquiry you may cry! But it isn’t. It’s a stitch up. Cops Campaign sets the scene well here:
At these hearings, the Inquiry will hear from undercover officers and non-state witnesses about the Special Demonstration Squad between 1973 and 1982.
The first three days (21-23 April) will hear prepared opening statements from involved parties. These will be livestreamed on the Inquiry’s YouTube channel.
After this, from 26 April the Inquiry will be hearing evidence from witnesses. These hearings will not be livestreamed, but there will be a live transcript with a ten minute delay.
HOW CAN I FOLLOW THE SPYCOPS INQUIRY HEARINGS?
You can follow the evidence hearings in three different ways:
- Through a rolling transcript with a 10-minute delay on YouTube
- Through an audio stream with a 10-minute delay on Zoom (this is likely to be restricted to England & Wales)
- Through a real-time audio-visual stream screened at the Amba Hotel in central London (AltBristol note – limited numbers, you must have pre-booked. Not public!)
This second round of hearings (Tranche 1, Phase 2) will run between 21 April and 14 May 2021. But this is just the 1st Tranche of 6 Tranches, and at this rate it’ll be many years before the hearings even finish, never mind actually getting the (redacted, of course) Inquiry Report. 2026 for that…maybe?
Tranche 1, Phase 3 of the Hearings were due to be held in October 2021. Not any more they’re not, they’ve been delayed! Here’s Cops Campaign on the ‘delay’ announcement from the SpyCops Inquiry yesterday:
Today, the Undercover Policing Inquiry announced that the third set of evidence hearings will be postponed for many months.
These hearings, looking at the managers of the spycops units from 1968-1982, were due to take place in October 2021.
The only reason provided for the change is that is that a single new core participant in the Inquiry is going to require too much additional work. The new date given is ‘the first half of 2022’.
This is the British State, the Tories, and the Police’s High Command…taking the piss. Justice & democracy, accountability and the law? They’re having a laugh.
Remember that when we talk about SpyCops, we’re talking about undercover cops who’ve assumed the names/ID of dead kids (without families knowing); who’ve coerced (mainly women) activists into long term relationships (rape in our book!); who’ve acted as agent provocateurs, and blatantly broken the Laws they are supposed to be enforcing. Then to top it all, when the SpyCops Inquiry hearings were barely starting, the Tories introduced the Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill, which became an Act in early March 2021. This Act in effect legalises all the malpractices that led to the Public Inquiry being set up in the first place. As the Police Spies Out Of Lives campaign states:
The government’s new Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Act will enshrine in law the very wrongdoing and criminality we have been fighting to legislate against….
With this act, state operatives will become officially above the law. The abuses they have perpetrated against women like us will continue to be sanctioned and authorised. A society that allows for authorised murder, sexual violence and torture is one that is brutalised and desensitised to violence. This act fundamentally undermines human rights and must be challenged.
Worried? Or maybe you’ve not been paying attention, and wonder what all the fuss is about…? So start here, with this Cops Campaign Explainer, or FAQ all about the SpyCops Inquiry.
Thinks it’s just a recent problem, an error by our otherwise principled & law abiding State & politicians? Think again! Check out this blogpost about the recently published BRHG pamphlet – State Snooping: Spooks, Cops and Double Agents. Read that and you’ll see that the British State, in it’s various guises, has been spying on it’s citizens – that’s you – since at least the reign of Elizabeth 1st in the mid-16th century!
If you think the Police, Crime, Sentencing & Courts Bill is an outrage, just wait until you suss out what’s really going on!
#KillTheBill? We need to do much more than that!