Subversion, sabotage and spying: Political policing and state racism in the UK

At this two-day conference on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 April 2016, an impressive line up of speakers will examine the role and impact of undercover policing and the surveillance of protest groups and 'suspect communities'.

In partnership with


About the conference

Government policy continues to invent and punish ‘suspect and targeted communities’ and frustrate genuine attempts to hold its agencies to account. Building on a hugely successful conference in 2015, this event will examine the history and disastrous impact of the policing of social and justice movements. It will open a dialogue on ‘accountability’ so that a long-awaited 'momentum for change' can be driven by those directly affected by disproportionality and discrimination.

In light of the upcoming Undercover Policing Inquiry, the conference will seek to develop a strategic alliance between those directly affected by undercover policing (so far 170+ non-state individuals have been granted core participant status at the Inquiry), civil society and the public so that the Inquiry adopts a broader, open and more rigorous approach.

This conference is co-organised by The Monitoring Group and the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies. It is supported by Imran Khan and Partners and Tottenham Rights. The conference is hosted by London South Bank University, School of Law and Social Sciences.


For last minute inquiries, email us or call Will McMahon: 07968 950 223 or Rebecca Roberts: 07956 604 355.

Press inquiries: Suresh Grover 07816 301706

Conference programme for Saturday and Sunday

Saturday: Policing of black, asian and 'suspect communities' – spying, lying, dying and racism

9.00 Registration
10.00 Welcome
10.15 Political policing: Setting the context
  Tony Bunyan (Statewatch), Prof Mark McGovern, Colin Prescod (Institute of Race Relations)
11.15 Question and answer session
11.30 Break
11.45 Policing of 'suspect communities'
  John McDonnell MP (Shadow Chancellor), Gareth Peirce (Birnberg Peirce), Paddy Hill (Birmingham 6 / MOJO UK), Becky Clarke (Manchester Metropolitan University), Salma Yaqoob/Muhbeen Hussain 
12.45 Question and answer session
13.00 Lunch
14.00 Workshops
  Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance, Undercover Research Group, Blacklisted Trade Unionists, Black Justice Campaigns, JENGbA
15.00 From 'suspect communities' to targeting of campaigns against injustice
  Professor Gus John, Suresh Grover (The Monitoring Group), Vakass Hussain and Abrar Javid (Support the Rotherham 12)
15.45 Question and answer session
16.00 Break
16.15 Why the Undercover Policing Inquiry is important
  Baroness Doreen Lawrence, Imran Khan (Imran Khan & Partners), Kate Wilson (Police Spies Out of Lives), Stafford Scott (Tottenham Rights / The Monitoring Group)
17.15 Question and answer session
17.45 Close

Sunday: Spycops and the Undercover Policing Inquiry – is accountability possible or a pipe dream?

9.30 Registration
10.30 History of the Special Demonstration Squad and Spycops, Herne and Ellison
  Rob Evans (Journalist, The Guardian)
10.55 Question and answer session
11.05 The spied upon speak out
  Baroness Jenny Jones (The Green Party), Piers Corbyn (scientist and housing activist), Helen Steel (Police Spies Out of Our Lives), Dave Smith (Blacklisted Trade Unionists), John Monerville (father of Trevor Monerville), Mark Wadsworth (journalist and anti-racist campaigner), Janet Alder (sister of Christopher Alder), Alastair Morgan (brother of Daniel Morgan), Sukhdev Reel (Mother of Ricky Reel)
12.20 Question and answer session
12.35 Lunch
The post lunch session will focus on the challenges posed by the Undercover Policing Inquiry and how to address them
13.35 Challenges facing the Undercover Policing Inquiry
  Michael Mansfield QC, Courtenay Griffiths QC, followed by a statement from Peter Francis (ex-SDS officer turned whistleblower)
14.15 Question and answer session
14.30 An official update from the Undercover Policing Inquiry
  Piers Doggart and Stephen Brown, members of the Undercover Policing Inquiry legal team
14.50 Question and answer session
15.00 Break
15.15 Discussion space for non-state non-police Core Participants at the Undercover Policing Inquiry
  This sessions has been specially created for participants and members of the public to meet and discuss the latest information including issues flowing from the preliminary hearings. It will include contributions from some of the lawyers representing non-State core participants including Harriet Wistrich (Birnberg Peirce), Jules Carey (Bindmans), Kate Ellis (Imran Khan & Partners), Shamik Dutta (Bhatt Murphy)
17.30 Close

The timetable may be subject to change due to developments around the Inquiry. Delegates will be informed of any changes.


IMPORTANT: If you are a registered Core Participant at the Undercover Policing Inquiry OR you are a student at London South Bank University, your entry to this conference is free. 

Hosted by

Venue, date and time

April 16th, 2016 9:00 AM   to   April 17th, 2016 6:00 PM
Southbank University
London Road Building
100-116 London Road
London, SE1 6LN
United Kingdom

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Unwaged - Saturday & Sunday £ 10.00
Waged - Saturday & Sunday £ 20.00
Small Vol. Org. Turnover under £2m - Saturday & Sunday £ 60.00
Large Vol Org. Turnover over £2m - Saturday & Sunday £ 120.00
Public & Private Sector - Saturday & Sunday £ 200.00