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Undercover Policing & Trade Unions Conference, London

Saturday 16th November @ 10:00 - 17:00

We’re pleased to announce our Trade Union Conference on Saturday November 16th in London.

The one-day event will increase understanding of the impact of political policing on trade unions and movements for social change since 1968.

Over three thousand workers were blacklisted, over one thousand organisations were spied on by undercover police, and tens of thousands of citizens have files held on them by Special Branch.

Bringing together trade unionists, activists and other campaigners, this conference will strengthen our campaign to ensure the forthcoming public inquiry is not a cover-up but exposes the truth of Britain’s political secret police. It will strengthen our struggle for justice and the protection of human rights.

CONSOLIDATING KNOWLEDGE

The conference will be jointly hosted by:

  • Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance (COPS), an umbrella organisation campaigning on behalf of many of those spied upon by Britain’s political secret police.
  • Police Spies Out of Lives (PSOOL) a campaign and support group for women affected by abusive relationships with undercover police officers.
  • The Blacklist Support Group (BSG), a justice campaign and support network for anyone caught up in UK construction industry blacklisting scandal.

This conference will be an opportunity to consolidate knowledge and understanding about the political secret police units and the lessons learned for political and trade union activism today, as well as building support for the campaign opposing political policing and those still fighting for justice.

Due to ongoing delays and police obfuscation, the public inquiry into undercover policing is not due to report until at least 2023, and is realistically expected to be much later. We want the conference to lead to greater involvement by trade unions in applying pressure to make the public inquiry as open and democratic as possible.

INTERLOCKING IMPACTS

Another key element of this conference will be exploring the different and interlocking ways in which political policing and surveillance has adversely and disproportionately impacted on trade unions, women, and working class and diverse communities.

For example, several of the officers who deceived women into relationships and spied on anti-racist organisations are known to have infiltrated trade unions, and their intelligence reports were passed onto the companies involved in blacklisting.

The public inquiry into undercover policing will – hopefully – begin hearing evidence in June 2020, so our conference in November 2019 will offer an excellent opportunity for trade unionists to review its progress to date and become involved with campaigning on this issue.

This date also allows opportunities to highlight the anniversary of the apology received by the first seven women from the Metropolitan Police, and the conference is timed to link to the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (25th November).

By sharing and documenting these experiences and building on the recommendations from the ‘People’s Inquiry’ of July 2018, the conference will increase understanding of institutional sexism and racism in the police and call for action to support those still fighting for justice.

CONFERENCE DETAILS

WHEN: Saturday November 16th, 10:00 – 17:00

WHERE: University of Greenwich Stephen Lawrence Building, Old Naval College, 30 Park Row, London SE10 9LS

COST: The conference is free, and food will be provided.

REGISTRATION: If you wish to attend, please register here.

Spread the word with the Facebook event.

If your trade union branch or organisation wants to affiliate to COPS, you can find details and a form on our Affiliation page.

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