Wide screen devices may view this page better by clicking here




spotArguments for socialism




spotAround the UK

All keywords

All Campaigns subcategories:






Black and Asian



Corporate crime



Election campaigns





Gender Recognition Act

Health and safety

Health and welfare


Human Rights

LGBT Pride

Local government

Local services

Low pay



New workers party



Post Office



Public Services




Stop the slaughter of Tamils


The state



Welfare rights

* Women

Workplace and TU campaigns



Highlight keywords  |Print this articlePrint this article
From: The Socialist issue 1110, 18 November 2020: Tories in turmoil... ‘Reset’ the whole system! Fight for socialism

Search site for keywords: Police - State - Women - Socialist - COPS

#SpyCops inquiry - Revealing police violence against Socialists

Police surveillance, photo Paul Mattsson

Police surveillance, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Lois Austin, non-state core participant

Six years since it was first announced, the Undercover Policing inquiry finally started taking evidence from witnesses last week. This phase of the inquiry concerned the earliest days of the Metropolitan Police's spy cops unit, the Special Operations Squad, later called the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS), for the years 1968-72.

It is clear from the evidence so far that the SDS was set up to spy on the revolutionary socialist left by the secret services. They were scared that British workers would be inspired by the revolutionary events in France 1968. While some of the intelligence reports disclosed to the inquiry exaggerate the role of SDS officers in subverting the left, it is clear that the state was genuinely worried about how the idea of socialist change could win wide support.

The most harrowing parts of the inquiry so far are the stories of women deceived into intimate sexual relationships. The lawyer representing 30 women told of how 'Rosa', as she is known to the inquiry, escaped an abusive relationship with an undercover police officer and started a new life, only for him to turn up at the bookshop she was working in to plead with her to get back with him. She told of how, once Rosa found out that her partner was a spy, SDS officers made a 'welfare' visit to her home telling her that she couldn't tell anyone, and if she did the full might of Special Branch would be used against her.

One undercover officer unwittingly gave the game away, saying the two leading figures he targeted were not planning violent disorder. "They were very nice people, very intelligent", he said. He was also asked how he came to be whacked over the head by a police truncheon on an anti-Vietnam demo, he said: "Because I looked like a protester, long hair and scruffy and the police wanted to hit the protesters." So there you have it; an admission of a police riot and brutality.

There are big problems with this inquiry. Lawyers representing non-state core participants are prevented from questioning undercover officers. Rajiv Menon QC was told by the head of the inquiry Mitting, that "he will be silenced" after he attempted to ask questions aimed at probing the evidence.

There is also no live stream of the inquiry so we have a public inquiry held in secret. We are still campaigning for live streaming, the right to ask police witnesses questions, full disclosure of cover names and the names of organisations spied on.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.

We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to click here to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation £


Your message: 


Women keywords:

1967 Abortion Act (9)

Abortion (113)

Babies (13)

Beauty industry (1)

Childcare (84)

Discrimination (94)

Domestic violence (91)

Dress (8)

Equal pay (42)

Family (132)

Feminism (31)

IVF (2)

International Womens day (8)

Lap-dancing (3)

Lone parents (5)

Maternity (44)

Midwifery (3)

Midwives (18)

Muslim women (7)

Pregnancy (20)

Pro-life (6)

Prostitutes (7)

Prostitution (10)

Rape (70)

Right to choose (31)

Sex (42)

Sexism (93)

Sexual harassment (14)

Socialist women (13)

Veil (4)

Violence against women (34)

Women (652)

womens rights (1)

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Article dated 18 November 2020

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party


Pay in Fighting Fund

Pay in paper and book sales


Bulk book orders

New member submission


triangle2 Mar Bristol North Socialist Party: The National Question - Scotland, Wales & N Ireland

triangle2 Mar Caerphilly & RCT Socialist Party: How can peace be achieved in Israel/Palestine?

triangle3 Mar Hackney & Islington Socialist Party: Financing the Socialist Party


The Socialist, weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party


What we think


Lessons from history

Workplace news


Campaigns news

LGBT+ history month

International news

Readers' opinion

Subscribespacer|spacerebook / Kindlespacer|spacerPDF versionspacer|spacerText / Printspacer|spacer1122 onlinespacer|spacerBack issuesspacer|spacer Audio files

Leicester picket on the 21st strike day (22nd Feb) of around 7,000 British Gas engineers.  They are fighting against

Leicester picket on the 21st strike day (22nd Feb) of around 7,000 British Gas engineers. They are fighting against 'fire and rehire' - designed to worsen terms and conditions. Photo by Steve Score, Leicester Socialist Party

What We Stand For
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Platform setting: =

Desktop version