Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Police spies

I saw at Indymedia, via History is Made at Night's Twitter, that Bob Lambert was a police undercover agent in the green and anti-capitalist movement.
Former Detective Inspector Bob Lambert MBE had just spoken at a “One Society, Many Cultures” anti-racist conference attended by 300 delegates at the Trades Union Congress HQ in Central London. He was then challenged by 5 members of London Greenpeace who called on him to apologise for the undercover police infiltration of London Greenpeace, Reclaim The Streets and other campaign groups – an operation he took part in or supervised over two decades...

Bob Robinson (as Bob Lambert called himself at the time) was a spy in London Greenpeace from 1984 to 1988, and he went on to supervise others agents who continued with infiltration of groups such as London Greenpeace and Reclaim the Streets, along with anti fascist protests, and actions against genetically modified crops. These agents used pseudonyms, and engaged in fraudulent and deceitful long-term intimate relationships with people in the groups before disappearing without trace – a stasi-like tactic involving a gross abuse of trust which has caused great emotional damage to a number of people involved.
The leaflet given out at the event said:
Bob also went on to supervise others agents who continued with infiltration of groups such as London Greenpeace and Reclaim the Streets, along with anti fascist protests and actions against genetically modified crops.  It is clear that these were not ‘anti terrorist’ operations, but were in fact state intervention aimed at disrupting and weakening the growing opposition to the domination of our society by the interests of multinational corporations and their pursuit of profits.
This is just the latest in a whole series of revelations about police infiltration of radical groups in this period, including Jim Sutton/Boyling, who married an activist he met while undercover and then went on to have children with her; Mark Kennedy, who infiltrated various eco-warrior groups and also had sex with lots of protestors along the way; as well as Officer A, who infiltrated ant-fascist groups and provoked riots.

What makes it more interesting is that Lambert now poses as some kind of lefty, as shown by his attendance at the “One Society, Many Cultures” shindig organised by the coalition of Trot and Stalinist groups that Ken Livingstone cultivates, and his close association with various UK Islamist groups with close links to Jamaat, the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. In fact, the Guardian article was rather laughably headlined "Progressive academic Bob Lambert is former police spy".

Lucy Lips asks if Lambert "went native" or if he continuing to act as a nark on the Islamist groups he promotes.

The MCB's Daud Abdullah, a supporter of Hamas, responds at CiF with an alternative conspiracy theory:

The “exposure” of the former special branch officer Bob Lambertcomes at a convenient time: it can serve as a distraction from the scandals that have engulfed the neocon tendency in the government. Lambert has been a staunch critic of the government’s Islamophobic rhetoric and exclusivist policies. This, to a large extent, explains the excitement that has greeted disclosure of information about Lambert’s past career among certain people.
Lucy Lips replies:
Nice try mate. A small anarchist group is part of the World Wide Neocon Conspiracy? Of course it is.
ADDED: Martyn Lowe on deep cover and police lies (h/t HiM@N)

Soundtrack: A Different Bob by the Colorblind James Experience, ca.1987

Previously: Policing the G20 protests; Police spies in the anti-fascist movement; Policing the Miners' Strike; G8 and the Black Bloc.


jams o donnell said...

I'll be interested to see what HM Inspectorate of Constabulary have to say about it

jams o donnell said...

Watching Newsnight. Looks like we'll have to wait for the report...

The revelations on Newsnight are disturbing to say the least