How to deal with the police spies and their state machine

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ACCORDING to an internal review conducted by the chief constable of Derbyshire, Mick Creedon, the London Metropolitan Police spying activities on the family of Stephen Lawrence, were guilty of nothing more than ‘flouting the rules’ and amassing information on groups that ‘served no purpose in preventing crime’.

What this review specifically denies is that groups supporting the fight by the Lawrence family to obtain justice for their son, murdered by a racist gang in 1993, had been infiltrated by officers of the Metropolitan police Special Demonstration Squad (SDS).

The SDS has gained public awareness recently with the revelation that its agents have for years been going undercover to infiltrate any group or organisation that the state considers a threat, acting as spies and provocateurs.

In 2013 a former SDS policeman, Peter Francis, who had worked undercover in groups supporting the Lawrence family revealed in an interview in the Guardian that he had been pressurised by his bosses to find ways to ‘smear’ and discredit the family.

What is piling up is increasing evidence that smearing families fighting for justice is not confined to the Lawrence case.

It has now emerged that a number of grieving families were targeted by the spies of Britain’s undercover police force.

These families include those of Jean Charles de Menezes, the young Brazilian shot seven times in the head while sitting on a stationary tube train by police who ‘mistook’ him for a terrorist, along with the families of Cherry Groce – shot and paralysed by police in a bungled raid on her home in 1985, and those of Ricky Reel a 20-year-old student found dead in the river Thames after a run in with a group of racists, a death that the police have dismissed as accidental but which his family have been campaigning for them to re-open.

According to a Channel 4 News report, 12 families in all have been contacted by the police to say they appear in reports and notes and to discuss with them the ‘inappropriate surveillance’ they were subjected to.

All this talk that the police were only guilty of inappropriate behaviour and amassing and keeping information on groups and families fighting for justice begs the question what exactly were these undercover spies doing in the first place if not to smear and discredit them.

By challenging the police and the courts these families became ‘enemies of the state’ and fair game for all the smears and dirty tricks aimed at protecting the police.

If this is the treatment dished out to them it does not take a great leap of imagination to see what the capitalist state has in store for its real enemy, the working class and its trade unions.

Earlier this month, in just three days, the Tory-led coalition in alliance with the Labour Party rushed through the House of Commons and Lords the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill, an emergency law that permits them to carry on spying on every telephone and internet communication made by everyone in the UK.

At the same time that the Tories are boasting that they will make strikes illegal, bankrupt British capitalism is gearing the state up at all levels to meet the threat posed by millions of workers who will not accept that they must pay the price of the economic crisis of capitalism.

All these revelations about police spies, along with the laws giving free rein to the spooks carrying out mass surveillance on every person in the country and the stated intention to make strikes illegal, show the true nature of the capitalist state.

As the acute crisis of capitalism intensifies the class struggle, the facade of a ‘democratic’ state is being ripped away, as the capitalist class prepares for all-out war to impose the entire burden of the crisis on the backs of workers.

The answer to this threat is to build up the revolutionary leadership of the working class through leading the campaign for the TUC trade unions to call a general strike to bring down the government and go forward to a workers government and socialism via the smashing up of the entire capitalist state apparatus!