Campaigners staged a walk out of the Undercover Policing Inquiry currently happening in the Royal Courts of Justice on Wednesday 21 March.
The hearing on 21 March as due to hear applications by former undercover police officers requesting anonymity during the inquiry. As the hearing started, Phillippa Kaufmann QC, representing hundreds of “spycops” victims, called on the Judge, John Mitting, to step down. The Judge has been criticised for being “naive and old fashioned”, for being allowing former undercover police to conceal their identities, his past experience in super secretive courts, and his membership of the men-only Garrick Club.
In one example, Judge Mitting remarked that he believed an officer was very unlikely to have had any intimate relations with those he spied upon because he had been married for many years!
Kaufmann read out a statement on behalf of the “spycops” victims which said: “Our clients are not prepared to participate in a process where their presence is mere window dressing lacking all substance and meaning which would achieve nothing other than to lend the process a legitimacy it does not have.”
60 protestors walked out of the court to chants of “no justice, no peace”. Protestors have said they will not be boycotting the inquiry permanently, but pressure is mounting for the position of Judge Mitting to be reconsidered.
You can follow the spycops campaign at: www.spycops.info