Blacklist Support Group update and statement
The public inquiry into undercover policing held hearings this week at the end of Tranche 1, and involved a number of lawyers making closing statements based on the evidence so far.
The most important statement was from the Counsel to the Inquiry – which was effectively a summary of what Sir John Mitting (the judge overseeing the inquiry) is thinking right now. It is damning of the police.
The non-state non-police Core Participants statement is also significant. Blacklist Support Group are core participants in the public inquiry, so this is our collective response. There is an index at the start.
Blacklist Support Group statement:
” A few years ago, we were slated as conspiracy theorists for suggesting that undercover police infiltrated trade unions and blacklisted activists. This week, the spycops public inquiry has acknowledged that it did happen. It is a massive admission by the state, brought about by our collective struggle. Massive ‘thank you’ to everyone who has stood with us. Solidarity with our sister campaigners.
“Blacklist Support Group (BSG) are core-participants in the public inquiry. Blacklisted workers recognise the importance of the statement made by the counsel to the inquiry. In many ways Barr’s closing statement provides vindication for our fight. We have only got to this point because by the work of activists, investigative journalists, lawyers, unions and a small number of politicians, in waging campaign to uncover the truth about the nature of political policing in the UK. It is no thanks to the Metropolitan Police, the Home Office or the multiple arms of the state apparatus who have sought at every opportunity to cover up their wrong doing and delay the process.
“BSG applaud our fellow non-state non-police core participants, our legal teams and sister campaigns: Police Spies Out of Lives, Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance, The Monitoring Group, Undercover Research Group, Unite the Union, FBU and NUM who have stood shoulder to shoulder for over a decade in this fight for justice.
“Counsel to the Inquiry’s closing statement admits that the SDS political policing was unjustified and that undercover police officers joined trade unions to spy on internal union meetings: ‘trade unions and trade unionists are both mentioned in SDS reporting. Specific justice campaigns often feature in SDS reporting… for example the reporting on the Shrewsbury Two Action Committee’.
“Yet counsel to the inquiry also claims that trade unions were not ‘specific SDS targets or that individual trade unionists were reported upon solely because of their trade union activities’. This is a legalistic tautology. Information about what trade unionists said at union meetings was gathered by undercover police officers claiming to be union members. This intelligence was sent back to Special Branch. This is spying on trade union activities: plain and simple.
“Counsel to the inquiry also accepts that intelligence was shared with employers to blacklist British citizens because of their perfectly lawful political and trade union activities. This is state sponsored blacklisting: plain and simple”.
Keep the faith.
All the closing statements made this week.
Video of 22 February 2023 closing statements.
Press reportage (not a single word on BBC, ITV, C4, Sky News or radio).
The Guardian and related article.
Morning Star and related article.
Spies at work.
Blacklist Support Group