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Mar 19, 2021

Ep 93: #SpyCops - the Undercover Policing scandal, with Tom Fowler

Back in January, we got in touch with a member of the Cardiff Anarchist Network named Tom Fowler, who was spied upon by an undercover police officer back in the early 2000s. For decades, individuals across the UK have been targeted by secret police due to their involvement in political activism and community organising. Citizens have been spied on, manipulated, and abused in order to undermine democratic participation in politics. Sustained pressure from activists networks campaigning on these issues led to the calling of a public inquiry into Undercover Policing.

Police Spies Out Of Lives is a support group for women affected by relationships with undercover cops. Here is what they have to say about #SpyCops:

“We now know that officers adopted the identities of dead children and lied their way into the heart of protest groups. They spied on anyone and everyone who was involved in political dissent or who posed a threat to the reputation of the police; they spied on the families of those people; they formed intimate, sexual relationships and lived with women for years, even proposing marriage or fathering children before disappearing; they provided intelligence in secret that led to hundreds of people being wrongfully convicted; and they worked with private companies to create illegal blacklists, ensuring political activists could not find work.”

Tom speaks to us about the history of #SpyCops in the UK, the recent #SpyCops Enquiry, and the controversial ‘#SpyCops Bill’. We talk about the policing of protest, overt and covert policing, and the criminalisation of dissent.

We’re glad to be able to put some small focus on this heinous abuse of police power. Please note that this episode discusses sexual coercion and makes for heavy listening at times.