Photo: Guardian--the new look
The news story in the UK of the undercover cop who was posing as an environmentalist for seven years just keeps on going. This one has legs, as they say.
Mark "Stone", really Kennedy, was the perfect environmentalist who was found out and has now turned against the police, dishing dirt which they say is dangerous to other agents still undercover. Environmentalists say that prior court decisions are now prejudiced. Others question the need to police the environmental movement to such an extent.
Photo: schNews--the old look
The whole affair has become a bit of a circus, with Mark Kennedy re-doing his look: he is now shaved, with a neat hair cut and conservative clothing. He has hired Max Clifford, the go-to PR person when you want to sell your story to the tabloid newspapers for vast amounts of money. He had a long interview, in print, and video with the Daily Mail wherein he tells his side of the story.
Kennedy claims that there are at least 15 other undercover agents who have infiltrated the green movement in the past and that four are still under cover. He says that he has had sexual relationships with only two women, other officers were also involved with women and that he was "offered sex repeatedly."
As for the pay at this gig, in addition to his salary of £50,000 (US $79,000), he was paid another £200,000 (US $317,000) to help him keep his cover. Now Kennedy says that the police have now "hung him out to dry." He claims that his handlers knew all about his affairs, because he spoke to them at least twice a day.
He says that he is on the run, in hiding and afraid for his life. But he has also been swamped with offers for book and movie rights to his life story.
There are some serious legal and ethical issues involved. Last week the trial of six environmental activists, who were accused of plotting to break into the Ratcliffe-on-Soar coal-fired power station in Nottinghamshire, collapsed because of questions over Mr Kennedy's involvement.
He now says that the police withheld secret recordings that he made that proved that those who had been accused were innocent of being part of a conspiracy. The tapes show that they acted independently.
Now lawyers for twenty others who had already been found guilty over the planned break-in are suggesting that their clients have been victims of a miscarriage of justice.
George Monbiot, in today's Guardian, calls eco-terorism "the non-existent threat we spend millions policing." He says that "spying on environmental activists serves no one's interests except for big corporations." Monbiot says that there are no proven examples of planned missions to harm people in the cause of defending the environment. Even the judge that sentenced the twenty activists said that they were "decent" people with "the highest possible motives (that is defending the environment)."
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