Cosmetics company Lush has teamed up with spycops campaigners to expose abuses by undercover police. And it’s fair to say that the police aren’t happy.
raise awareness of the ongoing undercover policing scandal, where officers have infiltrated the lives, homes and beds of activists.
Spying on over a thousand groups
Between 1968 and 2006, undercover officers from the Special Demonstration Squad spied on political groups in the UK. When the squad was disbanded, its undercover work was taken over by the National Public Order Intelligence Unit. Between them, they are believed to have spied on more than one thousand political groups in the UK. A number of officers had sexual relationships with women activists while undercover. Many of those women have been left utterly traumatised by the experience.
The Undercover Policing Inquiry into the infiltration of activist groups began in July 2015. In March 2018, participants staged a mass walkout in protest at the decision of the chair, John Mitting, not to release the identities of many undercover officers.
Postcards to Sajid Javid
Lush is asking customers to sign postcards to home secretary Sajid Javid with various demands about the inquiry. It also has displays in all its shop windows and has made a series of short films about the spycops scandal. Police Spies Out of Lives has also made a film to go with the campaign:
“Ill conceived, dangerous and irresponsible”
But Lush’s campaign has not gone down well with the police:
— West Yorks PolFed (@WestYorksPolFed) May 31, 2018
The latest "advertising" campaign by LUSH UK….. 🙄 You might now expect a 100% reduction in calls to the Police, given that they're displaying their contempt in their shop windows… pic.twitter.com/LGXCZ5o7BG
— UK Cop Humour (@UKCopHumour) May 31, 2018
Dear @LushLtd Your anti police advertising campaign is an utter disgrace. It stereotypes ALL police officers as corrupt & includes some fundamental misrepresentations of the facts. I trust that you will never again seek police assistance if you are the victims of crime. 😠😠😠
— Peter Kirkham (@Peter_Kirkham) May 31, 2018
Undercover policing is a highly specialised & regulated tactic undertaken by brave officers to protect the public from the most serious offenders. I’d encourage @LushLtd to visit @NCA_UK to receive a contemporary briefing
— Lynne Owens (@NCA_LynneOwens) June 1, 2018
Just been live on @BBCRadioSolent talking about the @LushLtd campaign. It’s an anti police campaign which is misjudged and highligly offensive. I’ve called on Lush bosses to reconsider & apologise. Good to know some stores, including Southampton are not taking part. pic.twitter.com/pZFxeOvLZP
— John Apter (@PFEW_Chair) June 1, 2018
Campaigners set the record straight
But there were plenty of people weighing in on Lush’s side:
The Police Federation goes 'maximum snowflake' over an excellent campaign @LushLtd is running to highlight "abusive, deceitful, manipulative and wrong" behaviour by #spycops targeting political campaigners. That quote, incidentally, is an admission by the Metropolitan Police https://t.co/qBykK7edH9
— Netpol (@policemonitor) June 1, 2018
Thanks to @LushLtd for their bold capmaign today tabout #spycops. Read my story to know more about the background to this campaign. The scandal has been brushed under the carpet, but until there is justice there will be no peace. https://t.co/vfQoP0Oi7E
— Lisa Lân (@JustLisa2010) June 1, 2018
— Smash EDO (@smash_edo) June 1, 2018
This is not a slur on the police, only a small group who caused a lot of misery and distress. Not least to themselves and their 'official' families. A very important issue #SpyCops
— Jenny Jones (@GreenJennyJones) June 1, 2018
Well done to @LushLtd for highlighting the #spycops scandal.
The mainstream media seem more upset about a window display, than the human rights abuses carried out by undercover political police units
(that the Met Police have actually publicly admitted to & apologized for) pic.twitter.com/ML9t22f2aY
— Dave Smith (@DaveBlacklist) June 1, 2018
A serious campaign for justice
Many of the anti-Lush tweeters are trying to make out that this is simply an anti-police campaign by Lush. In fact, Lush’s website makes it clear that this is a campaign about abuses committed by undercover officers.
This is not an anti-state/anti-police campaign. We are aware that the police forces of the UK are doing an increasingly difficult and dangerous job whilst having their funding slashed. (1/3)
Read the full statement here: https://t.co/dmvleH4zyJ
— LUSH UK (@LushLtd) June 1, 2018
We fully support them in having proper police numbers, correctly funded to fight crime, violence and to be there to serve the public at our times of need. (2/3)
— LUSH UK (@LushLtd) June 1, 2018
This campaign is not about the real police work done by those front line officers who support the public every day – it is about a controversial branch of political undercover policing that ran for many years before being exposed. (3/3) #SpyCops
— LUSH UK (@LushLtd) June 1, 2018
This is a serious campaign. And it should be supported by anyone concerned about justice.
– Support Police Spies out of Lives.
– Sign the petition from the Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance.
– Follow the #spycops hashtag on Twitter.
Featured image courtesy of Lush
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