Mark Kennedy encountered in London
Last week ex-undercover police spy Mark Kennedy was encountered by chance by an activist who was an erstwhile friend. Kennedy was about to board a train at Euston Station in London. The person who saw him was extremely shaken and completely unsure as to what to do, but in the end they decided to accept Kennedy’s offer to talk and ask him questions.
Immediately after this meeting the person went to another trusted friend and told them as much as they could remember of the conversation, and it was written down from memory. A wider group of activists was consulted in order to decide what to do. A decision was then made to let those who had been very close to Mark know asap that he was back in the UK; they wanted to make sure that nobody else was taken by surprise in this way. Another decision was made to write the following statement for Indymedia, to share the information freely with the movement.
It is important to state at the start that obviously we all have to assume that nothing Kennedy said can be trusted; although in this conversation he claimed he would “tell the truth from now on”, he refused to answer many questions, and some of what he said was known by his questioner to be untrue (these known lies are not repeated here). In addition, we are aware of the danger that by reporting Kennedy’s words there is a danger of acting as unwilling proxies for Kennedy to push his own agenda. Bearing all that in mind, the conversation is summarised below.
Kennedy’s appearance and current activities
Kennedy still has short hair, undyed, and has regrown his beard that he shaved off for Max Clifford. He was wearing a rain jacket, dark jeans, and trainers. He said he’d sold his motorbike and the narrowboat Tamarisk”, although it seems likely from what he said, that he might be staying on the boat temporarily somewhere on the Grand Union canal just out of London, as Euston has lines serving this area.
He said that he was working on a documentary with an independent company, who he refused to name (but who are presumably operating in London). He said that he had been in the UK for three weeks and would remain here until the documentary was finished (approx 15 weeks in total, therefore for about another 12 weeks) and then planned to leave. He said that he was not going to be working on a film, but that there would be a book as he wanted to ‘get the truth out there’, and claimed that no-one would be named in the documentary or in the book.
Kennedy and the media
He is being represented by Max Clifford but said that he hadn’t been paid for his Mail on Sunday article yet, and that he hadn’t even read it. Much of what he said in the conversation echoed much of the story in the Mail on Sunday on January 17th, and there was not much that was new.
Kennedy’s undercover career
He said that the first time he ever appeared at an action was at Faslane. He claimed never to have worked for Global Open (see http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2011/01/471916.html), saying that he went to the animal rights gathering in Italy as a ‘favour for a friend’. He said that he only contacted Global Open director Heather Millgate for advice on taking a legal case against the police for being beaten up at Drax.
He said that he personally knew of no other undercover officers that were in relationships with activists. He said that his boss (presumably at NPOIU) was called Andy Nightingale, and that Nightingale had purposefully stirred trouble in the media (for instance, saying that there was a hidden video camera in “Tamarisk”). He was asked about the newspaper article that involved undercover policeman Peter Black ( see http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2011/01/472708.html), but Kennedy called him Peter Blexley. It is unclear if that was an accident or not.
He said that he had told police they there was nothing being planned for the G20 and that was no need for a big presence. He said that the cops were already in riot gear when he got there, and then Ian Tomlinson died.
The questioner’s response
Kennedy was told that he should move on asap, and that it’s not okay for him to be going in and out of London as it could also be incredibly painful and distressing for others to bump into him. Was told that the documentary he was making would not help anyone at all. He was reminded that he had said at the beginning of the meeting that he would tell the truth and be asked anything, and that the conversation had proven both to be untrue. He was told that whatever he said or did, he needed to know that there was no way back and no happy ending, that nobody could ever trust him again.