State surveillance of the Women’s Liberation Movement and other radical and campaigning organisations

Surveillance and the Women’s Liberation Movement

April 2021: I’m very proud of my partner of 34 years, Diane Langford, for her role in the ongoing Undercover Policing Public Inquiry, on which she has spent a huge amount of time. Discovering that she, her family and the groups she was then involved in were spied upon by the state, and motivated by the desire to act in solidarity with the women who were tricked into sexual relationships with police officers, family justice campaigns such as that for Stephen Lawrence, ‘blacklisted’ trade unionists and others who have had their lives devastated by the spycops, and supported by brilliant solicitors, she presented evidence at the hearing which made a vital contribution. Amongst other issues, she spoke of how her experience in the early days of the Women’s Liberation Movement focused on the importance of demanding equality of education and opportunity for girls and women (formulated for the first national WLM conference), working class women’s struggles, and of understanding how class, racialisation and colonialism intersect with patriarchy.

Here’s an article she wrote in July 2021 about her experience of the Inquiry https://whitstableviews.com/2021/07/11/the-lives-of-others/

Her opening statement (22 April 2021), evidence (26 April 2021), and various subsequent news reports on the Under Cover Policing Inquiry, can be seen here:

Report from Campaign http://campaignopposingpolicesurveillance.com/2021/04/22/ucpi-daily-report-22-april-2021/

https://www.ucpi.org.uk/publications/opening-statement-from-diane-langford-for-tranche-1-phase-2/  (downloadable from UCPI website)

Report on Diane’s evidence: http://campaignopposingpolicesurveillance.com/2021/04/27/ucpi-daily-report-26-april-2021/?fbclid=IwAR1BhP63SBwPXUhM2aQEJmMgJOjdtoqblXAVVZK28t8Ugrg1_-vjPPXjA9o

Re ‘Sandra,’ the undercover policewoman who spied on the WLM : https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/nov/18/undercover-police-officer-spied-on-womens-rights-group-inquiry-told

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/apr/26/police-spy-issued-nasty-threat-to-womans-family-inquiry-told

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/b/campaigner-sickened-by-spycop-sexist-racist-and-homophobic-remarks-in-their-reporting-inquiry-hears

You can read more on Diane’s blog:

https://dianelangford.wordpress.com/2020/03/