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Exposed: police spy in Worthing

Porkbolter | 07.02.2011 19:36 | Ecology | Repression | Sheffield | South Coast

A POLICE spy pretending to be an environmental campaigner targeted the Save Titnore Woods! campaign in its early years, The Porkbolter can exclusively reveal.

After the woman, who called herself Lynn Watson, was outed on the Indymedia website and in The Guardian, a Durrington resident contacted us to reveal the Worthing link.

She recalled how she had met ‘Watson’ on a protest march in Titnore Lane, which we have worked out would have been the one on May 26 2002. Watson introduced herself as a ‘care worker from Bournemouth’ and expressed an interest in attending future protests, if her shiftwork allowed, handing over a slip of paper with her contact details (which has now been passed to us).

Our reader got on well enough with her on the day and did send her details of future protests, though she never met her again. But when she saw Watson’s name in the paper, and recognised her photo, she realised she had been conned by a cop.

She told us: "It sent a shiver down my spine when I read it. I thought - no, it can’t be! But it was. Why were they doing that for something like Titnore? It’s totally disproportionate."

Our research reveals that the email on the paper is the same as one given to environmentalists targeted by Watson in Leeds and elsewhere - she is thought to only recently have been forced to withdraw from her shady activities, which will remind many of the sinister secret police tactics of the Soviet KGB or the Nazi Gestapo.

It’s interesting to note that it seems Watson’s 2002 spying in Worthing is her first recorded mission - The Guardian reported (January 19) that she "first surfaced in 2003 at a protest at Aldermaston, Britain's nuclear weapons centre".

The 350-strong Durrington protest was the start of a long-running campaign and was a reflection of a widely-held local view that Titnore Woods should not be destroyed to make way for a massive housing estate - an opinion ultimately shared by Worthing Borough Council’s planning committee.

There was no excuse at all for the police to be taking an interest in the campaign, although over-aggressive filming and policing on the day did succeed in scaring off some supporters - as was presumably the aim - and cops’ lies about campaigners were only revealed thanks to video evidence produced in court (see issue 50).

Watson didn’t even work for Sussex Police, but for a shadowy outfit called the National Public Order Intelligence Unit. This begs a whole load of questions. What the pork was she doing there? Was she or her unit linked with subsequent dirty tricks used against campaigners, such as the lying copper who pretended to be from a local radio station? (issue 49).

What other police interference and fibbing has been undermining our local democracy in Worthing?

On a wider level, why exactly is taxpayers’ money spent spying on and attacking local campaigns to protect our countryside? Why does the British state act in the interests of property developers and huge corporations rather than the public it is supposed to serve?

Could it just be that that is in fact simply what the state is and what it does? While pretending to be some kind of practical voluntary arrangement set up to protect and look after us, it is in fact nothing but a tool used by an arrogant ultra-rich mafia to keep the rest of us in our subservient place.

From the Porkbolter, Issue 100, February 2011
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Display the following 2 comments

  1. Wasting our money — zarniwoop
  2. Have you asked the Guardian to cover this? — A N Other