Cosmetics retailer Lush is exposing spycop abuses, and the police aren’t happy

An image of a man, dressed half as an activist and half as a police officer
Andrea Needham

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.

Lush’s spycops campaign is running from 1 to 18 June. Working with Police Spies Out of Lives, the campaign aims to:

raise awareness of the ongoing undercover policing scandal, where officers have infiltrated the lives, homes and beds of activists.

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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.

Mass walkout

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.

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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:

Campaigners set the record straight

But there were plenty of people weighing in on Lush’s side:

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 a serious campaign. And it should be supported by anyone concerned about justice.

Get Involved!

– Support Lush’s campaign. Visit a store and sign a postcard. Put a message of support on Lush’s Facebook page, or tweet your support.

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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