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Officer A

quiteliketheguardianactually | 13.01.2011 09:32 | History | Repression | Sheffield | World

Last night's guardian article about another undercover officer below - sorry to repost but this seems like useful information to me. So are we keeping to the guardian's 'gentlemen's agreement' with the police not to be open about who this officer A is? Is it just for those that 'need to know'? Please just post her name and face someone.

Second police officer to infiltrate environmental activists unmasked

'Officer A', who played key role in climate camp, has been accused of betraying friends worried by her disappearance

* Paul Lewis, Rob Evans and Martin Wainwright
*, Wednesday 12 January 2011 23.12 GMT
* Article history

Drax power station Mark Kennedy and 'Officer A' reportedly encountered each other while planning the first Climate Camp, an attempt to close the Drax power station. Photograph: John Giles/PA

She lived in a house in the student quarter of Leeds, showed a keen interest in protest and had an anarchist poster of the Queen Mother with punk hair on her wall. But in fact, unbeknown to her friends, she was an undercover police officer.

Yesterday the woman's double-life began to unravel as she became the second police spy to have infiltrated the environmental protest movement to be unmasked by the Guardian.

Toinght senior police sources confirmed that the woman, who was active in the movement for four years, was in fact an officer from a police force in the south-east seconded to the National Public Order Intelligence Unit.

It is the same unit – belonging to the Association of Chief Police Officers – that PC Mark Kennedy, a Met officer, was seconded to before he quit the operation, telling friends that what he had done was "wrong".

It was Kennedy who – in a serious breach of protocol – named Officer A to friends as a fellow police officer three months ago.

At the request of intelligence officials, the Guardian has agreed to withhold identifying details about the woman, who is still a serving officer, and will refer to her only as "Officer A".

The woman disappeared from Leeds in early 2008, citing personal reasons. Although she had a leaving party with close friends, she has not been seen by them since. It is believed that she has since had a role in other police operations unrelated to the protest.

Last night a Leeds University lecturer Paul Chatterton, 37, a close friend of the woman, said she had "abused the trust" of activists and that her infiltration had been immoral. "She appeared in 2004 in Leeds and wanted to get involved in various protest movements in the city," he said. "She said, 'What are you guys doing? I'd like to get involved.'"

Chatterton was among a number of activists in the city who came to know the woman well, and now feel betrayed.

He said he saw Officer A around twice a week, and he regularly joined her in the pub or went running with her in the local park. "I considered her quite a close friend," he said.

In retrospect, however, he said he was suspicious about some aspects of her life, such as poster in her living room by the anarchist group Class War. "I always found it quite weird," he said. "It was almost like she wanted to prove herself by having political propaganda on her wall."

Sam Harris, 26, another friend, said people were now "gutted and upset".

Details of her operation will add to mounting concern over a national police operation to infiltrate a peaceful protest movement. On Monday, the Guardian revealed that PC Mark Kennedy had lived for seven years in the protest movement.

Officer A, in her undercover guise, first emerged in Leeds about six years ago, expressing an interest in green activism. Like Kennedy, she then spent years living a double-life as an environmental activist.

She left in 2008 after telling friends she had to leave urgently, for personal reasons, to live in another city.

Senior police sources confirmed tonight that the length of time these two officers – and perhaps more – lived undercover in the protest movement was highly unusual.

Other agents, such as those disrupting serious organised crime, spend considerably less time undercover, but an exception is made for those who need to gain the trust of environmental activists.

Crucially, the woman knew Kennedy, who some suspect of using sexual relationships with activists as a "tactic" to obtain information. According to people who knew both Kennedy and Officer A, they encountered each other during the planning for the first Climate Camp, the event that was used to attempt to close down the Drax coal-fired power station, in North Yorkshire in 2006 and is now an annual fixture.

"Mark and [Officer A] knew each other very well," said one activist. "They hung out. They were both involved in the first climate camp and both had roles driving people to the site at Drax. He was openly sleeping with people – [Officer A] must have known that."

Her role during the Drax operation was key. "She was a driver, did some reccies for actions and of course involved herself in the social aspect of the camp," said Kate Anderson, 29, another friend. "She was present at Drax and Heathrow climate camp actions, against Coryton oil refinery and various anti-capitalist gatherings and protests," she added.

Officer A remains well-remembered at the Common Place, a former pork pie factory in Leeds which has given space and resources to radical groups for six years.

She was one of a group who rented the redbrick premises in Wharf Street as a local contribution to preparations for protests against the Gleneagles G8 summit in 2005. Volunteers at the centre said that she had "certainly been at the core" of the group, and was also involved in the practical side of running a cafe at the centre and the day-to-day finances.

Officer A's credentials were not checked in at the Common Place, which has always been open-minded and welcoming. Apart from hosting groups acting for social change, environmental concern and autonomous movements, it runs English classes for asylum seekers, bike maintenance and repair workshops and social events. "If she was an undercover officer, I imagine she would have found us useful as a way of getting contacts more than anything else," said one of the volunteers, who preferred not to be named. "She was certainly very involved and made some close friendships."

Other activists remembered hearing that Officer A had been involved in a proposal to blockade Drax by hiring cars and locking them down on the only approach road. Although discussed, this plan was never carried out.

Officer A's abrupt disappearance in 2008 caused concern about her welfare rather than suspicion of her role. Workers at Common Place – many of whom have day jobs in the public sector – were reluctant to believe she was an undercover police officer. "People were worried, though, when they tried to find out where she might have gone, and discovered that addresses and people she had mentioned did not exist," said one volunteer.



her name is/was:

13.01.2011 10:21


Lynn Watson

mister sunshine

photo of Lyn Watson as a clown?

13.01.2011 18:10

Police snoop Lyn Watson?
Police snoop Lyn Watson?

This is the picture mentioned in a previous comment - good to have in explicitly included here. I never knew her so I can't confirm if it really is her though. Difficult to compare to the other photo with all the clown makeup on.



Hide the following 38 comments

Hold on ...

13.01.2011 09:54

It says she disappeared in 2008, but someone is quoted saying "she was present at Drax and Heathrow climate camp actions, against Coryton oil refinery and various anti-capitalist gatherings and protests" ... but the Coryton blockade was last year. Or was there some other Coryton action I wasn't aware of?

Shame the Guardian took representations from the cops and no one else. They've even decided against a comments section - maybe in case someone decided to put her name up.

I might be missing some key piece of info or argument here, but I really think people have GOT to post her identity up here - people will want to know what info the state now definitely has on them etc.


Her activist name was...

13.01.2011 10:12

Lyn Watson. Haven't got a photo though.


there was a earlier coryton blockade

13.01.2011 10:26

,,, on fossil fools day. yeah, i don't see a problem in posting her (false) name... though in general i'm not sure what feeding this story is doing for our movement... though i am perfectly aware their is a wider public interest at stake...but it may cost us dear.

old timer

Media Whores

13.01.2011 11:43

Knew it was only a time before Dr Chatterton got his name in print. Seems to be one rule for the oi polloi and one for the careerists.


No news here

13.01.2011 12:04

She came under suspicion long before Flash Mark did. When he was confronted, hers was the name put to him and he, apparently, said she was part of the "same unit" as he was, but was otherwise not forthcoming. She was long gone by then.


She may not have put it about like Shagger Stone...

13.01.2011 12:09

But Lynn certainly wasn't averse to a roll in the hay.


To say or not to say

13.01.2011 13:07

I can see both sides of the argument about how much to say about these spies.

On the one hand saying what has been going on will get some sympathy. On the other it reveals the spies who have been spotted, which tells the enemy which spies have not been spotted.

I come down slightly on the side of exposing them to the light of day. Circulate their photograph and brief details widely, together with what they were up to. This will allow those involved with them to realise who they are, even if they used a different name. The police and other forces of darkness will suffer more from the truth than we will.

A N Other

Thanks for the pic

13.01.2011 13:52

Many thanks for putting a pic up. Does anyone have a better one though. I've been told that I definitely know this woman, but can't think who she is/was.

Leeds activist


13.01.2011 14:21

Am I correct in thinking she was involved in our medic collective?


Guardian website

13.01.2011 15:12

I have been keeping an eye on the Guardian web site to see what people had to say.

They opened up coments then suddenly stopped them, including not just saying that some comments had been removed by a moderator but deleting them entirely as if they never were. The entirely deleted comments are the ones that point to Indymedia and this thread in particular.

Possibly after "Officer A" was withdrawn from her unethical activities against campaigners she was pointed towards groups she should have been working against all the time, criminals. Unlike campaigners criminals may not be too kind to her.

If that is the case I have limited sympathy for her. Injury or death is not right, even for a maggot like her, though she deserves any verbal attack she gets for spying on campaigners. Her bosses got her into whatever situation she is now in, they should get her out of it.

Time to make sure information about her is spread widely, so the police can't attack a single point like Indymedia and suppress the information.

A N Other

Office A has been re-deployed in non-activist circles

13.01.2011 15:19

The reason the cops wanted the photo censored is because she is still an undercover cop working in another operation.


Perhaps the truth is dawning

13.01.2011 16:15

Let's get a possible minimum timeline.

The Guardian article appeared yesterday evening. "It was first published at 21.30 GMT on Wednesday 12 January 2011." according to the article history. Another article was published at the same time.

It is always dangerous to believe the claims of police officers, especially when they are trying to cover-up their wrongdoing of spying on environmental campaigners, but let's assume that the claim in the article ""This is serious stuff," the police chief said. "Lots of people are at risk - their lives are at risk."" is true for once. The Guardian will have done some research, looking here perhaps, and then put things to the police. They would have done that on Wednesday morning at the latest. So the police will have had all day and evening to get any infiltrators out of whatever situation they were in. If "their lives are at risk" this could be done in an overt way, at the expense of blowing the operation. The police probably had a lot longer.

The police can only blame themselves for anything which happens. They are the ones who sent agents provocateur into environmental campaigns.

A N Other

re fleabite

13.01.2011 16:17

Yes she was involved in Action medics.


another photo

13.01.2011 17:16

she was also one of the Leeds clowns (1st picture - the one looking at the camera) - probably the best paid clown in history ever

disappointed but not surprised

last nights fun

13.01.2011 17:44

I'm not clear why the original article put up yesterday has been hidden by Indymedia. Can anyone help me here, purely for informational poipoises?

Johann Neve

That is her

13.01.2011 18:46

I knew her pretty much from when she first showed up

disappointed but not surprised

one more

14.01.2011 00:23

rebecca. you know i know you are a cop.

go home.

not saying

fleabite and Lynn's from Leeds

14.01.2011 00:26

A young woman called Lynn from Leeds approached us at a Menwith Hill demo years ago, on her lonesome, said she was new to activism and wanted our contact details. She never got arrested, never kept in touch, and I can't identify her from those photos after all this time so I'll personally chalk that up as paranoia.

Fleabite, do you honestly believe this Lynn is the closest agent to you? You are not nearly paranoid enough.

The Scottish bloc

Scottish bloc

14.01.2011 10:24

She's certainly not the liability closest to me.



14.01.2011 10:50

I assume by that you mean Rebecca Todd who has been involved in the Climate Camp, Plane Stupid, Campaign Against the Arms Trade, London Rising Tide and other groups.

She may have been in the police but now works for C2i International and was listed as a member of the security industry federation ASIS.

C2i International’s was exposed after its incompetent agent Toby Kendall was caught infiltrating Plane Stupid.

The Chair of the UK chapter is Barrie Millett who is ‘head of business resilience’ (i.e. security) at E.ON and a mate of Justin King from C2i.

Small world!



14.01.2011 11:00

some of this post I put up on a previous thread but that may be dead, so I've posted it here too, hope that doesn't offend any IMC guidelines.

Speculation or vague accusations on indymodia are just not useful i think. It's not a sensible place, and speculation without proof about people still active is just that, till real proof comes up. Which comes to the heart of the matter - how do you tell a provocateur from a mouthy or even just enthusiastic rebel? How do you tell an infiltrator deliberately sowing discord from the genuine awkward sectarian? How do you tell the cop implanted to hold back actions from those with real doubts or political arguments?

Most times, you don't. Despite all the hindsight, most people we have suspicions about are never confirmed, and if they are it is usually afterwards, sometimes years later. The thing that has triggered most questions in recent years has been someone's sudden disappearance which has led to people looking back on previous behaviour. Even then - with 'Lyn' for example - confirmation of even strong suspicion has come later.
Mark of course is a slightly different case, the first undercover unmasked while in place in the UK at least for a while that I can think of. (Could be wrong tho). The way most come a cropper is their own incompetence or a silly mistake, which can come after many years of success as Mark shows; there's a slim chance that he and at least one other could have made mistakes either deliberately because they were getting cold feet and wanted it all to end ( ie be pulled out by their controllers), or sub-consciously because they really were starting to doubt their work. That is being charitable to them and I am not saying that in either case it is true.
But in some other situations where undercovers went in for much shorter, more immediate info or to prevent/provoke something, they tend to be in more of a hurry and make more mistakes. Eg 'Nigel and Mary' in the Huntley Street evictions in 1978, who were outed by some of the squatters, though sadly others refused to believe it (with the consequence that they helped the police to evict from the inside).
If they are properly trained and careful there may well be no way to spot them, regardless of how smart people think they are after the fact.

Someone said on another thread: "They always stay slightly under the radar during actions, and they have abnormally small dicks."

Not 'always'. though i can't comment on dick size. How does Mark on TV chained to gates or halfway up a pylon fit this? Kind of on the radar. Another police infiltrator's tactics included getting arrested wherever possible on actions/riots, and inventing another serious arrest, presumably to raise his activist credibility, though some other motives have also been considered. Other cops or informers working here and undercover in the past/recent past have sometimes been quite high profile, though sometimes the crucial position they are in is not to do with actions but with intelligence gathering, eg the cop who was second in command in the Anti-Apartheid Movement, the one in the Anti-Vietnam Committee... Even Mark was probably more useful for the names, addresses, contacts, who knows who etc, info he could supply both here and abroad. Open unproven speculation has also traditionally been one way for undercovers to shift suspicion to others, to discredit useful people, to spread distrust and paranoia.

In fact there is little need to stay 'below the radar' if you are not going to get charged or face any serious consequences, as undercovers can realistically expect; in fact the opposite could be more true - someone always being militant verbally who's never around at crunch time could arouse suspicion. Though come to think of it that describes a good half of the anarchist or activist scenes.

Otherwise, the ways to prevent undercovers being effective are to do with the ways we work, organise, communicate and rely on questions of trust and common sense - of which there is a shortage in some quarters. Useful and practical discussion should focus on that, because the filth will always send people in - their current dificulties won't last long; thee growing anti-cuts struggles on all fronts will demand new narks in new and varied groups...

Johann Neve

Black Box testing

14.01.2011 11:47

This is a software test term but plumbers use the same logic because it works for leaks too. The idea is you have a black box whose internal workings you can't know, but which has inputs and outputs. So you input a range of stuff and see what comes out, then deduce the inner workings.

A more simplistic analogy is if you want to see which river a mountain stream comes out in, you can test this by pouring food colouring in and watching for the dye in the rivers. It's not fool-proof, you might not see the dye in the river, especially if someone is trying to confuse you then they could add dye to the wrong river.

Basically though if you are regularly being questioned by the police about an offence or an allegation, and you know for a fact only a certain number of people know about it, then you know it was one of those people who leaked it. If you are being questioned about two things then you know the leak was in the overlap of people who knew about both things. By feeding misinformation, or even genuine information, to limited numbers of people then you can tell where the leak is.

The trouble is once you successfully identify a leak, the leak will then smear you as the leak out of self-defence, and they will have massive resources behind them, so groups invariably follow the person who is more popular or useful. Still simple logic can remove your own doubts and you can plug the leak another way.

Paying attention to plainly observable facts can indicate something, for instance fleabite never capitilises that pseuodnymn so the last Fleabite comment isn't theirs.


You can narrow it down easy enough.

14.01.2011 13:06

Splitting it into two things: grasses & undercover. The former is just twats who respond to the loca/regional plod, take the money and hand over timely information. Of course they could do this for years, but they usually have to traipse down to the station each time which up the risk.

Anyhow, the latter has always going to have certain traits. Minimum age to choice the porkers - 18. You're looking at around 10 years service before they could reach the point of being selected, trained and dispatched as a long term undercover. They have to know it'll work as it costs a lot and they need to make their money back. One of the main uses has got to be in working out accurate policing levels - if you know only 10 people are turning up to a demo rather than 200 you don't cancel leave and pay 200 odd pigs double time plus for the weekend. Couple of bits of information like that and you've paid your wo/man's wages for a year.

Back to spotting them. This means they're not going to be under the age of 28, but play safe and drop it to 26. Anyone who turns up out of the blue with a recently rented flat / recently NFA who's 26-40 might expect to raise suspicions, especially when they've got a unique selling point., and they always need a unique selling point - cash & a van for PC Kennedy, medical skills for PC Lyn. Let's face it, if you don't get active a couple of years either side of 18, you're unlike 90% of activists, and if you turn up as one of those 10% with no contacts, then you need a way in.

Obviously if they never have a sexual partner, then that's a stand out. And it the case of them being outed like now, if you slept with them, come forward so their families can read all about it. Somewhere in the UK, PC Lyn is fearing some very awkward moments with her other half. If that pig who infiltrated various AFA groups and keeps giving vox pops in the media is to be believed, they specifically select people who are married to guard against them going native or forgetting where their imaginary line is.

One other being that the handler needs to keep the porker convinced they are a porker and not a normal person. Coppers marry coppers, work with coppers, socialise with coppers & generally have a hard time acting like normal people. That's why you can't spot half of CID from 1000 paces: they can only stand at ease or to attention. And what is it with those Gortex jackets and boots? You're supposed to look like a Saturday shopper, not someone on a mission. Anyhow, to keep the undercovers half sane, they have to haul them back to be amongst other coppers and remind them who they are. Same thing with making sure they spend time with the other half and kids. That means they have to disappear frequently - sick relative, work, some such shit.

If you've got suspicions, push their back story. 90% they base it on real life, but with modifications. Could be their life altered, but often a friend or partner. If you've ever had a lengthy customs grilling, that's exactly what they do: ask you the same questions about tedious details of your life. If you're making it up, sooner or later you slip up or change your story. Ask the questions casually, spread out over weeks as you're not strapped for time like customs officials are.

They'll likely use a real first name - possibly with a different spelling - as it's way easier to remember and you don't risk accidentally answering to the real name by mistake. She's down as 'Lyn' here, but I'd put money on it being Lynne. So if Lyn/Lynne said she did subject A at University Z, check the Alumni records 2 years either side of her supposed age. Or use the day and month the given birthday but a different year. Again, far easier to use your real day and month - you don't risk mentioning a birthday present, celebration, etc. which is out of sync - but a fake year of birth. The 192 info disks are good too, plenty of old electoral roll things for checking supposed histories or actual ones.

Remember, these people don't respect us professionally, so they get sloppy. They're in very little danger, there's no weapons, no more serious criminality than the rest of society. It's pretty much a training ground, and a fairly dull one at that. The likes of PC Lyn will be likely fucking their way through some gangsters at the minute. Well, until a few days ago anyhow.

One thing though, if you've got suspicions keep them to yourself and work on them until you know. Actually, genuinely know. Worse than anything is false accusations - that's way more damaging than what the pork manage.

Blah Blah


14.01.2011 13:38

Blah Blah,

Interesting suggestions you make.

A few additions:

In the last few years Mi5 have recruited amongst university students. The minumum age of an infiltrator would need to be brought down to 18 or 19.

Quite a few are pure speculation. That they don't respect us is one of that. A lot of activists are very brave and dedicated and get respect for that.

A give away is that they would rarely be taken to court. But there are exceptions.

They need to be in regular contact with their handlers, which will be mostly by phone. So if you suspect someone, try to try to find them out when they are on the phone and they think they are alone. Or try to hack their phones. Info of how to do that has been posted on this website.

Feeding them info and seeing if it turns up doesn't work. The top have a policy of only acting upon info when they have received the info twice. The infiltrators often work in pairs without knowing about each other.
Spies are encouraged to spread info amongst activists to limit the chances of them being singled out.
The info could be obtained by bugs.

Most importantly:
Most damage to the movement has been done by false allegations and false suspicions than by real spooks.
Maybe it is time for us to set up counter espionage training camps and teach us avoidance techniques.


You can narrow it down easy enough.

14.01.2011 14:39

re. Sometimes.

As far as the MI5 thing goes, they've been doing that openly since the late 90s I think - but that's MI5 not this lot - I'm only dealing with them, not everyday grasses or MI5 as we know a lot about them now. The squad Kennedy et al are from is under ACPO (actually a private company) though I forget it's name. I think it's being moved to Scotland Yard shortly, well if I remember yesterday's paper accurately. Also, there's just the practicality of the set up to consider as regards the age. Unlike in WWII when they expected every agent to die within a few weeks, nowadays they have a much longer time scale and that requires years of normal service, promotion, selection, training and ultimately dispatch. The graduate recruitment scheme will have a different timescale so the dibble from that angle may shave a year off or so.

The point about them not respecting us I mean solely from their angle; if you were undercover in NI, you respected the IRA as a capable opponent or you were tortured and killed, eg. gung ho fool Robert Nairac. Activists - thankfully - don't have a Nutting Squad, and are rightly trusting and forgiving. If you slipped up once in NI, your life was on the line, same if you're infiltrating the bulk dealers/importers here. Having no such worry makes people lazy - if your environment is like that all the time it will have an effect. I'm not dissing activists in any way with that, only pointing out that it's hard to keep in mind that your life is under threat and act accordingly, when it isn't and won't be.

As for the court thing, I'm sure they'd get arrested and charged like anyone else as a rule, otherwise that's a cast iron way of detecting a plant, same with sexual activity. I know PC Kennedy avoided the Kingsnorth prosecution but without half the police force & CPS knowing who's an undercover - including the bent coppers & prosecutors - they'll have to let the fake ID take the fines and community service. While on the whole their MO is the same for us as serious gangsters, I doubt they'd go as far as sending one of their own down for 6 months or more, which they would for them.

One final thing, infiltrating us is very different in one way - there's no clear end to the job. Once you've got the recordings of Mr B saying, 100Ks of brown please, and then retrieved the 100Ks, your agent disappears and is only seen again behind a screen giving evidence. Police always keep activists under surveillance as an insurance. The West German police learnt this with the Red Army Faction. They killed or locked up the core group in the 70s, but because they had no presence within the wider support base, a second, more effective RAF generation came up through the 80s. It took over 10 years, starting right from the bottom before they got near, and ultimately in the RAF. Since then they always keep people involved in the support base so they can pounce on anything which arises in the future. That said, they always limit the length of assignments to stop people identifying with their 'targets' and going native. Or mental. So again, dates, ages and times are crucial. Use them and you move from a 1 in a 100 guess to looking closely at maybe 5 people, which is decent odds.

Oh and as for the false accusations or paranoia, I agree with you 100% - really nothing is more damaging for us.

Blah Blah

undercover cops avoid excess alcohol and drugs

14.01.2011 18:07

In my limited experience of undercover cops in activist movements, they seem to avoid excess alcohol intake and imbibing illegal drugs, for obvious reasons.

That's not to say everyone like this is dodgy, obviously there are genuine straight-edgers and people who don't like to lose control, but it is a sign and could possibly rule people out.

Conversely, of course, those genuine activists with serious drug habits are easy prey for cops to put pressure on and leak information to the cops.

I'd be interested to know if Mark Kennedy liked a toke or ever got shitfaced on booze.

While we are on the subject of undercover operatives, let's not forget Graham Hall, the scumbag who infiltrated animal rights activists and pulled a fast one with the media by pretending to have been "branded" with the words ALF on his back!

If only it were true, he deserved it and worse.


@ Johann Neve

14.01.2011 22:43

"Nigel and Mary", Huntley Street? Blimey, ye're going back a bit there!

They were useless and hilariously crap at pretending to be homeless squatters. More comparable with the stupid Plane Stupid infiltrator than Kennedy of "Lyn". I think they were just two local cops and not specially selected or trained. Although they weren't chucked out (should have been), they had been confronted and knew we knew.

They certainly didn't help with the eviction. With 5 JCBs and how ever many hundred cops it was (650? 550?) they didn't really need to. All they did was make sure they were on the roof look-out rota when the eviction was scheduled. You could say DOH!, but the squatters didn't care as the struggle was won and they didn't anticipate a pointless "revenge" eviction.

The point of this ancient tale is the real role of "Nigel" and "Mary". It wasn't to help with the eviction, but to compile the arrest list by observing who was doing what in a community under siege and identifying so-called "ringleaders", who then became the Huntley Street 14 (12 acquitted -wahey!).

I reckon that is still the basic activity of infiltrators together with specific information leakage (details of actions etc.). Active disruption and / or acting as agent provocateur are additional functions which may be tacked on, but they carry greater risk of exposure and require the infiltrator to be a bit more canny than do the simple, basic functions.


P.S. More interesting than useful category: Huntley Street = debut of two of today's commonplaces, the activist video (very bad, all copies now faded) and the police computer (very heavy, took several strong coppers to lug the component units out of a van, probably less computing power than my £10 watch). Film and notebooks would have served the respective sides better.


age, friends

15.01.2011 01:48

I don't quite agree, blah blah.

Many people move from city to city, and don't have contacts in the new city. Also, the media is also very happy to promote people turning out to protests for the first time when they're 40, when something finally inspired them to participate. They are more legitimate than losers who attend lots of protests.

In the US, Eric McDavid was sentenced to 20 yrs for 'conspiracy' when the long-term undercover informant Anna kept goading his group into planning violent actions in California. Anna initially started working at age 17 when she met a police officer at an evening school course. Someone is working on a documentary with the hidden camera footage that the FBI made. Eric kept telling her to calm down and saying they didn't need to do any of it, but he was up for playing around with homemade explosives in the yard with instructions she had found.


@ stroppyoldgit

15.01.2011 09:21

sorry, misunderstood all those fireside tales of Nigel and Mary and Huntley Street. My point stands though i think, that longterm infiltrators are gonna be slightly better trained than plods sent in with very short limited goals. Is it also possible that blundering keystone cops can be used to distract from other undercovers (not saying this was the case In Huntley St), in the way some of us used to use a scruffy decoy while shoplifting to distract from smartly dressed hoisters?

Some of the characteristics quoted above as to general guidelines to be suspicious of will change now I think, as the NPIOU and co know people are on the look out a bit more. The van thing: that's 3 times in my experience they've done that, it's kind of old and suspicious now (cover stories can raise eyebrows, eg someone who is allegedly a builder or transports things for builders, if their van is always spotless...). Recently rented flats, i dunno, when people first get involved in things it's often in a more open group where people aren't necessarily immediately checking out backgrounds, they then use the contacts made there to move on to groups doing more hardcore stuff; they can, and have, used this period also to find ways to move in with activists they meet, start squatting or whatever, so as to muddy the trail of where they lived at first. Some groups that take part in hardcore or obviously arrestable actions insist on visiting people's homes, meeting friends or family outside of political scenes; this could also I guess be engineered more subtlely if need be. But it's difficult to start this process when people first turn up if its in more open groups.

One structure that makes it easy for them is where you have a large open group meeting publicly, at the heart of which might be a core that organises secret or arrestable actions. It's relatively easy for a smart operator to spot who is doing the underground stuff (unless the 'core' are very deceptive in wider meetings etc, which is hard and maybe undesirable), get to know them, prove themselves useful or like-minded. But I'm not sure how you get round these problems without excluding genuine new and interested people.

Someone knowing info and the action not getting busted is NOT an indication they are not a cop - some undercovers simply gather intelligence, and the handlers will not act on the info unless there are pressing operational reasons of their own more important than the possible exposure of the asset. Feeding suspects info and seeing what comes out may add to evidence, if yr lucky but isn't reliable.

Johann Neve

Get your facts right

15.01.2011 15:09

C2i no longer exists. Justin King is now the owner of Lynceus

Lyn Watson will be an alias. Yes, she is probably called Lyn, but her surname will be different.

The document which can be found here was originally authored by the maintainer of this weblog and given to a London campaign group. How it ended up being hosted online at this site I have no Idea

It is clear that no one involved in any of the above campaigns or actions has read it. The information on Barrie Millett, head of security at EON was posted by our team, his personal profile had been deleted from Plaxo this morning which goes to show how closely monitored this site is.

Campaign Secure
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2004 Leeds

15.01.2011 15:35

I doubt I'm adding anything useful here except maybe a 'first sighting'. That is the same Lyn from Leeds who visited the March 2004 Menwith Hill action, the church in Leeds that was the convergence/sleeping space. She was in my 'odds and sods' affinity group that night that consisted of newbies and non-arrestables. She said it was her first protest and was very enthusiastic and she flirted with a few of the arrestable male protesters to get contact details, despite later claiming to have a boyfriend. She was one of the people who kept popping out and didn't stay the night.

There was a lot of police hassle that night from the police, and the Yorks.CND organisers for some reason seemed to know rather than suspect that there was at least one infiltrator in the church, the police must have let something slip that they couldn't have known otherwise. I didn't ask. Cleverly the organisers woke everyone two hours earlier than they'd said the night before so the action was still successful, and she wasn't there on time to take get a ride. She claimed that she had made her own way there but I never saw her. For a couple of weeks after I got a couple of text messages and emails from her after saying how she had been so inspired that she wanted to visit to be involved in future actions, and I told her she'd be better just organising her own. That phone was stolen a few months later under strange circumstances. There was a Scottish Street Medic there, maybe she remembers Lyn.

I Saw You

Lyn Watson on Heathrow DfT superglue demo

15.01.2011 19:16

According to the latest Guardian article, " It was also revealed that the second undercover agent – "Officer A" – was arrested for glueing herself to the Department for Transport during a protest against Heathrow's expansion in February 2008."

Now IIRC, this demo took place as part of the 2007 Climate Camp at Heathrow. If so, there's an article on Indymedia about it with some photos. Is she here?

Northern Voices
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campaign 'secure'?

15.01.2011 23:06

Campaign Secure
mail e-mail:
home Homepage:

Secure -
Secure -

I would not trust any other understanding you have of secure!


To the astonished..

16.01.2011 01:46

Dear astonished

W made our concerns clear to activists at a number of festivals, and climate camp meetings over the past 4 years and have been repeatedly dismissed.

We weere commissioned by 2 leading environmental campaigning organisations to find out who were the most likely companies to infiltrate them and how and in the process of doing so identified holes in their security procedures.

We published the information about the EON Head of Business Resilience, Barrie Millett on this site from information which he had placed in the public domain, including his business and personal email address, phone number and home address.

We raised the issue on the "Censored" Daily mail article post that Kennedy was carrying a tracker phone.. and what do you know?,AAAAAFSL1bg~,CmS1EFtcMWGovGFz9QK5QoNdeeLc1Zro&bctid=751486431001

He was carrying a tracker phone...

Astonished that we use Google for hosting and email, its more anonymous than you can imagine, even though we are probably well known to the security services because they have "ghostnet" technology.

Campaign Secure

Superglued Pictures

16.01.2011 10:03

I knew 'Lyn', she is certainly none of the close ups.Not sure about the ones lying down.
This link and own comment was posted yesterday and removed. Let's don't confuse the readers again.

A Commonplacer

"Google for hosting and email, its more anonymous than you can imagine"

16.01.2011 12:14

Go on enlighten me how is it anonymous.

You might have registered, and always log in through TOR; it does force https; and like any decent mail server will use opportunistic encryption tls when talking to other mail servers. But that is no different from any other half-decent mail set-up. So that's not more than I imagine. Must be something else?

What about the security of the people mailing you? There are not TOS guarantees about that are there? What about their continued efforts to link together users? What about the fact you can't really delete mail. What about the fact that Google will comply with any legal request to hand over information, more of which they store than even your average mail provider. They probably also hand over information without a full legal request, we don't know how friendly they are.

"If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place." Google CEO Eric Schmidt

still astonished

Newcastle addition

16.01.2011 14:21

People who were active in anti-G8 and other protest things in Newcastle have also had a quite obvious police infiltrator in their midst. This person was distrusted and most people did not let him into their lives. However as a group I think we failed a the time to protect new or trusting individuals whose lives were negatively affected by him. We also found it hard to function as a group because of the paranoia that results.

He left after being increasingly cold shouldered, but not before he had engineered the arrest of a group of people. They were not involved in anything close to an illegal activity, and so the assumption is that they were arrested as part of his 'quota' of people, maybe selected on the basis that 'stroppyoldgit' explains well in a previous comment.

Although confronted, this particular police spy did not admit to it, so I am not providing more fixed details or photos here. Obviously he disappeared, probably back to uniform because he was a shit spy - you'll spot him straight away. But sadly he was an effective disruptor of peaceful protest and a destroyer of some personal lives - again, the details don't need to be aired here. There will be more to come. It's what public services are being cut for, to pay for the wages of failed humans.


You can narrow it down easy enough.

17.01.2011 13:30

Just to reiterate, I'm only talking about long term police undercovers: not grasses, those infiltrated by local police for cash, or MI5. Their methods or all different & I'm only dealing with the latter as they've been particularly damaging and we've got a lot of information about them.

Long term undercover work needs a mainly genuine background: you can't convincingly entirely make up a life story for 3 or 4 years, let alone 7. This means you can check people's backgrounds over time as you can either find evidence that the history is someone else's (family history, news, Facebook, job websites, dating, Alumni, electoral role, blah, etc.) and also glean information about their likely real life. If you don't use your real history as the basis, or someone very close to you, you will slip up over time. That's why they use real first names, and usually largely real DOBs.

The matter of signifiers such as recently rented flat isn't to say there's one thing which can prove someone's undercover, but it's to use rough filters to narrow the chances. With undercovers from this unit, we know they're drawn from usual plod who have to do basic training, 2 years odd on the beat, CID, selection, training. That means they've got to be over 25. By the time they've reached 40 or so, they'll pack it in, or be withdrawn as they'll have been too long on the 'wrong side' on the whole. Again with the useful skills: van, money, medic. I'd be interested to see what 'Marco' (Mark/c?) offered. But as I say, none of these alone or together add up to proof. Together though you've got a massively increased chance of finding undercovers as you only have to look at say 5 people, rather than 100. You can't apply a fine filter to 100 people, so you use a rough one on the bulk and a fine one on the output of that.

Again, this is only for these undercovers, not for common or garden grasses and sellouts. Fortunately, the local plod is going to have less money available to fund the latter over the next few years, but I'd be interested in people's thoughts about how to spot them.

Blah Blah


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