Thursday, 11 January 2018

Anonymity for Spy Cops & Freedom

FREEDOM, the once famous fearless anarchist journal that was one of the oldest political papers, founded in1886, ran a story yesterday denouncing the decision of the Public Inquiry into undercover police surveillance to allow spy cops the avoid having their names revealed.  The Freedom story which was an article that first appeared in the Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance
reported that:    
'The Inquiry has announced five new applications by anonymity from former undercover police officers. The police want the real and cover names to be withheld in all five cases, and the Inquiry intends to comply.'
Freedom on its website on January 10th, 2018, self righteously recites the contents of the text direct from the Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance statement.  This campaign declares:
'Without us knowing the cover names, we cannot check the veracity of their claims. It is the key prerequisite of us being able to get to the truth of what these trained liars did yet, despite proof of lying, the Inquiry is believing them and keeping cover names from us.'
The Campaign Statement continues:
'Once again we see inexcusable exceptionalism being granted to police.  No other group of proven miscreants gets their answers taken at face value, in secret, then used as the basis for whether their victims get told the truth.'
The Statement rightly observes:
'No other institution is allowed to be the custodian and archivist of the files that incriminate them. The Met are asked by a public inquiry to do searches and provide the results. It would be unacceptable even if there wasn’t, as in this case, a history of them destroying the files to avoid culpability.  But with the police we not only take their word, the Inquiry seeks to protect them from feeling upset at being caught.'
The problem here is that it is not the message that is at fault - no anarchist would disagree with the contents of the above Statement, but, in the case of Freedom whose current editor is apparently Adam Barr, it is the messenger.  Mr. Barr's name is in the public domain yet a predecessor of Mr. Barr on Freedom, was or is still a hack journalist on the Morning Star who insisted on anonymity to the point of an obsession.  Indeed ironically Freedom today has become one of the foremost defenders of anonymity.
Meanwhile, the managers of the Freedom HQ in Whitechapel, Friends of Freedom, will be meeting next Monday for their periodic get together.  This is a terribly fractous time for the anarchists with their successful London Bookfair closed down owing to tribal disputes between the feminists and Trans community, and the Anarchist Federation in bits and pieces.  Steve Sorba, the Friends of Freedom Press Secretary, will be presiding over next Monday's meeting and with the next Companies House statement due on the 4th, February 2018, he has much to worry about,  Interestingly, Freedom Press didn't get a place as a core participant in the Inquiry into police srveilance, but with the next statement to Companies House now due on February 4th, Secretary Sorba will have a lot on his plate.

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