The Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill (CHIS), otherwise known as the SpyCops Bill, is currently being rushed through parliament. Its purpose is to provide the legal basis for the conduct of undercover agents such as police officers, but in reality, it will go much further.
There has been a well-documented history of state surveillance of lawful trade union activity and justice campaigns in recent years, including links with the criminal blacklisting of trade union members.
Lee Lawrence was just 11 years old when his life changed forever. He had fallen asleep in his mother’s room and was awoken by a loud noise. She went to investigate but moments later he heard a gunshot.
His mother, Dorothy “Cherry” Groce, had been mistakenly shot by police officers in an incident which left her paralysed and sparked the Brixton Riots of 1985.
Now 45, Lee remembers his mother crying out that she could not breathe – words which now resonate with those uttered by the black American George Floyd as a police officer knelt on his neck in Minneapolis, Minnesota.