Recently Yodet Gherez of The Circled A radio program had a conversation with Guardian journalist Rob Evans whose recent book explores how U.K. police have been able to infiltrate and in some cases totally disrupt protest groups. In the book Undercover: The True Story of Britain’s Secret Police, Evan and his co-author Paul Lewis profile the some of the recently uncovered cases of police officers who had been exposed after infiltrating activists.
It’s wonderful to see The Circle A, again taking on the issue of undercover police surveillance of radical movements. A previous episode which aired in July featured an interview with long time activist Ellenor Hutson who had encountered and even unkowingly worked with three of the individuals who have since been exposed as police officers including Jim Boyling who went by the name “Jim Sutton”, Mark Kennedy who went by the name “Flash” or “Mark Stone”, and the Nottingham based “Rod Richardson“. Boyling infiltrated Reclaim the Streets and manipulated and spied on a younger female activist, who he then convinced to change her name and sever ties with friends in the movement. The two later married and had two children, but are now divorced.
Ellenor is still active and encourages others to continue organizing and not to be discouraged by fears of police spying: “Don’t be put off by this nonsense infiltration, the vast majority of problems that you’ll come across as an activist are caused by egos, people falling out with each other, bad planning; very normal mundane things”
Last year’s interview with Austin based anarchist and Common Ground Collective co-founder Scott Crow also discussed the issue of informants specifically Brandon Darby. Darby was one of many who spied on Scott.
All previously aired episodes of The Circled A radio program can be streamed freely from their website.