Attempts by police to spy on the legitimate protest activities of students at Cambridge University ‘smack of the police state and undermine democratic rights’, Unite, the country’s largest union, said today (Friday 15 November).
Unite was responding to media reports of Cambridgeshire police’s bungled attempt to recruit an activist, living in the city, to monitor the political activities of university undergraduates.
Unite regional secretary Peter Kavanagh said: “Talk about a using a sledgehammer to crack a non-existent nut. This is not about national security, but a bungled attempt to spy on what students have been doing for years - taking a healthy interest in politics, being concerned about social justice and going on demos.
“What the police were trying to do in this case smacks of the police state and undermines the democratic rights built up, painstakingly, over centuries for citizens to engage in legitimate protest against an overbearing state.
“Unite calls on Cambridgeshire police to give a public assurance that they have ceased to spy on students and organisations, such as UK Uncut and Unite Against Fascism.”
For further information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.