Daily Blog 10/21/2011

  • At the centre of the latest controversy is a set of documents, obtained by the Guardian and the BBC’s Newsnight, indicating that another police spy, Jim Boyling, who lived undercover among the environmental group Reclaim the Streets, concealed his identity in a criminal trial, giving false evidence under oath about his real name.

    The accusation that police deliberately subverted the judicial process, and at worst sanctioned perjury, prompted outrage among lawyers and parts of the judiciary and led to the last-minute postponement of a major report into undercover policing of protests by the newly appointed commissioner of the Metropolitan police, Bernard Hogan-Howe.

    tags: police

  • He turned up with long hair, tattoos and an insatiable appetite for climbing trees. Few people suspected anything odd of the man who introduced himself as Mark Stone on a dairy farm turned spiritual sanctuary in North Yorkshire.

    He had come alone on 12 August 2003, in the middle of a heatwave, for a gathering of environmental activists known as Earth First.

    Apart from the fact that “Stone” was apparently well-paid and ate meat, he appeared no different from the hundreds of other activists who gathered under marquees to smoke weed, play guitars and plan protests.

    What no one could have known was that, despite appearances, the 33-year-old “freelance climber” was actually PC Mark Kennedy, an undercover police officer beginning an audacious operation to live deep undercover among environmental activists.

    tags: police

  • ‘In 1978, the US government waged a war against organised crime. One man was left behind enemy lines.” That is the tagline for the movie Donnie Brasco, the story of an undercover FBI agent who infiltrated the mafia. How do you think the trailer for the movie of the Metropolitan police’s calamitous undercover spying operation would run? “For decades, Scotland Yard waged a war against pro-cycling campaigners and people worried about where some bats would go if a wood was reduced in size. Several were left behind enemy lines. But what they didn’t bargain on was falling in love!”

    tags: police

  • Some places that used to be mighty once lose their importance with time. ZIL factory in Moscow is a bright example of it.

    tags: russia

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