------ Forwarded Message
> From: "dasg...@aol.com" <dasg...@aol.com>
> Date: Sun, 14 Mar 2010 23:53:36 EDT
> To: Robert Millegan <ramille...@aol.com>
> Cc: <ema...@aol.com>, <j...@aol.com>, <jim6...@cwnet.com>,
> <christian.r...@gmail.com>, <l...@legitgov.org>
> Subject: Why Protest Is Minimal in the UK -- They Still Have Their Own

> http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/mar/14/undercover-policeman-infiltrated-viol
> ent-activists
> "Officer A lived a secret life among anti-racist activists as they fought
> brutal battles with the police and the BNP. Here he tells of the terrifying
> life he led, the psychological burden it placed on him and his growing fears
> that the work of his unit could threaten legitimate protest"
> Undercover with Britain's violent Left: Amazing story of how Special Branch
> officer infiltrated anti-racist groups
> By Sophie Freeman
> <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/search.html?s=y&authornamef=Sophie+Freeman>
> 14th March 2010
> http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1257856/Undercover-Britains-violent-Le
> ft-Amazing-story-Special-Branch-officer-infiltrated-anti-racist-groups.html
> <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1257856/Undercover-Britains-violent-L
> eft-Amazing-story-Special-Branch-officer-infiltrated-anti-racist-groups.html>
> A Metropolitan Police officer has told how he routinely engaged in violence
> while working undercover among British anti-racist groups.
> The man, known only as Officer A, was a member of the Special Demonstration
> Squad, a secret unit within the Met's Special Branch with a remit to prevent
> violent public disorder on the streets of London.
> In order to maintain his cover, Officer A became involved in violence against
> members of the public and uniformed police officers.
> He also had sexual relations with at least two of his female targets as a way
> of getting hold of intelligence, he told The Observer.
> Protest: The National Front march through Bolton town centre in 1980. Special
> Demonstration Squad officers are believed to have infiltrated the party
> 'My role was to provide intelligence about protests and demonstrations,
> particularly those that had the potential to become violent,' he said.
> 'In doing so, the campaigns I was associated with lost much of their
> effectiveness, a factor that ultimately hastened their demise.
> 'By providing intelligence you rob these groups of the element of surprise.
> Once the SDS get into an organisation, it is effectively finished.'
> The Special Demonstration Squad was set up in the wake of violent anti-Vietnam
> war demonstrations in London in 1968.
> With their long hair and beards - which was very different to the usual
> appearance of a policeman - they were referred to as the 'hairies', and fitted
> into the role of Left wing intellectuals with ease.
> Officer A, with his pony tail and angry persona, was so convincing that he
> became branch secretary of a leading anti-racist organisation believed to be a
> front for Labour's Militant tendency.
> He was given a new identity and provided with a flat and a 'cover job' during
> his deployment between 1993 and 1997. He lived a double life six days a week,
> spending just one day a week with his wife and family.
> It was a period of heightened tension between orgnaisations such as the
> Anti-Nazi League and the National Front. The SDS is believed to have
> infiltrated all such Right and Left-wing groups.
> 'I had a really good time with my targets and enjoyed their company enormously
> - there was a genuine bond,' said Officer A. 'But I was never under any
> illusion about what I was there to do. They were not truly my friends.
> 'The one thing all these groups have in common, both on the Left and the Right
> is a total hatred of the police... You have no choice but to engage in acts of
> violence.'
> Getting information from a man was easy, he said - you simply became his best
> friend. But to get details from a woman was much harder.
> 'If someone started talking about getting good information from a female
> target, we all knew there was only one way that could have happened. They had
> been sleeping with them,' he said.
> He himself slept with two targets - for information, and to maintain his
> undercover role.
> 'You can't be in that world full-time for five years and never have a
> girlfriend,' he said. 'People would start to ask questions.'
> Officer A's role ended amid fears that his presence within groups protesting
> about black deaths in police custody and bungled investigations into racist
> murders would be revealed during the Macpherson inquiry into the death of
> teenager Stephen Lawrence, claims The Observer.
> Officer A has chosen to tell his story because he believes the public have a
> right to know - and subsequently make their own decisions - about these covert
> activities, given their potential to help end legitimate protest movements,
> said the newspaper.
> Members of the SDS do not have to gather evidence to prosecute their targets
> and are able to engage in activity outside the limits of a regular officer's
> job, without the fear of disciplinary action.
> 'If I were a regular police officer and I wanted to plant a bug in your house
> or your office, I would need to get all kinds of permissions,' said Officer A.
> 'But the SDS can put a person in your car, in your house, in you life 24 hours
> a day for five years and nobody outside the SDS will know anything about it.'
> But, by using this intelligence to pre-empt violent situations, the unit has
> been able to prevent bloodshed on many occasions.
> One of Officer A's successes came when he was deployed during a demonstration
> against a British National Party-run bookshop in south-east London.
> He became aware that the protest was going to be much larger than the Met
> realised and that one anti-racism faction was even planning to set fire to the
> shop.
> Officer A was able to inform his Met colleagues of the threat, police leave
> was cancelled for that weekend and 7,000 officers were deployed on the
> streets.
> Despite violent clashes, the police operation was deemed a success.

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