The British courts are attempting to limit what the public can learn about police efforts to infiltrate and spy on The Cardiff Anarchist Network. The network is perusing legal action against the police who used undercover officers, including the now well known Mark Kennedy, who last we heard of was offering his expertise to private security companies in the U.S., to infiltrate activist communities. Many of these hearings it appears will now be conducted behind closed doors.
Kennedy was not the only police officer flushed out in recent years. Another officer posed as a truck driver from Northampton and gained the trust of activists by first gaining the trust of women who he slept with. An organizer with The Cardiff Anarchist Network, Tom Fowler told a Welsh BBC radio program:
“We weren’t necessarily looking for police officers in the ranks. He was quite natural. There were other people just like him who I knew, and still know, who are real people.”
“A key part of his infiltration technique was to be chasing after women. By being in relationships with these women they gained a level of trust within the wider group, because of those people being trusted.”
While much of the legal aftermath of this involving the Human Rights Act will play out behind closed doors, the case calling for financial compensation for the women and others who feel traumatized by their deception will be heard in open court. That case will proceed in January.