Met Police spied on anti-apartheid protesters in Croydon

Croydon Guardian: A document detailing surveillance of an anti-apartheid meeting in Thornton Heath A document detailing surveillance of an anti-apartheid meeting in Thornton Heath

The Metropolitan Police spied on anti-apartheid protestors in Croydon, it has been revealed.

Secret documents show meetings of just seven people in Thornton Heath were kept under surveillance by detectives intent on infiltrating the movement during the 1980s.

They also reveal Special Branch filed a confidential report on an employee of a Croydon branch of Sainsbury's who had handed anti-apartheid leaflets to colleagues.

The documents, first obtained by the BBC, show British police spied on the campaign to end racial segregation in South Africa for at least 26 years from 1969 to 1995.

One of the files, dated May 28, 1982, details a meeting of the Anti-Apartheid Movement's Croydon branch the previous evening at Whitehorse Manor School, Whitehorse Road, Thornton Heath.

The report notes seven people attended and that the meeting "ended without incident" 9.45pm, adding: "One of the members attempted to get passers-by interested enough to attended but without success."

A second report, dated September 1984, relates information from a source that a female student working part-time Sainsbury's in Croydon "is actively passing anti-apartheid literature to other members of staff.

It adds: "She has been warned to stop doing this by management."

In 2011, the Met launched Operation Herne to investigate allegations about undercover officers' conduct, including while infiltrating protest groups, between 1968 and 2008.

Croydon Guardian:

Croydon Guardian:

 

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