How did undercover policeman Mark Kennedy spy on Drax activists? | Rob Evans

The convictions of campaigners in Drax case are now in doubt, but what was Mark Kennedy doing during the protest?

Coming under the spotlight at the moment is a second case of activists who may have been wrongly convicted.

Keir Starmer, the Director of Public Prosecutions, this month invited 29 activists convicted over a 2008 protest at the Drax power station to challenge their convictions at the court of appeal.

Starmer disclosed that the convictions may be unsafe as a senior prosecutor may have withheld from the trial evidence about Mark Kennedy, the undercover policeman who infiltrated the environmental movement for seven years.

Kennedy is understood to have infiltrated the group of activists who were convicted at the Drax protest. He appears to have helped with a reconnaissance mission and later drove some campaigners to a rendezous.

Any more information which sheds light on what Kennedy did during the Drax protest would be appreciated. It would be interesting to know what discussions took place between Kennedy and his handlers about whether to disrupt the protest, as the spy apparently knew what was going to happen.

The Drax case mirrors in many ways the case of the activists who were wrongly convicted over the plot to occupy the Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station in 2009. The convictions of the Ratcliffe activists were quashed at the court of appeal as police and prosecutors had failed to disclose vital evidence gathered by Kennedy.

As the Drax trial is now coming under renewed focus, we have gathered together a series of Guardian articles on the protest and the court case.

This is one of the first articles from June 2008 on how climate change campaigners had ambushed a train carrying coal to the Drax power station, Britain’s biggest, along with an audio report and a video.

Here’s another article on how the campaigners stopped the train and shovelled its contents onto the line into the plant.

The trial started in June 2009 and here is a report on how the campaigners were accused of planning to “misuse” the court process to continue their protest on global warming.

Here and here are another two articles from the trial on how the protesters managed to argue that they were acting justifiably to prevent harmful emissions from Drax, despite repeated warnings from the judge that the jury was only concerned with whether they had stopped and boarded the train.

Here’s another article on the defence mounted by the protesters.

Here is a statement from defendant Jonathan Stevenson to sum up the protesters’ defence

Here is an article on the verdict. Commenting afterwards, Rob Turnbull, the chief crown prosecutor for North Yorkshire, said :”While the CPS [crown prosecution service] respects the rights of individuals to lawfully protest, it takes a serious view of criminal activity which targets those carrying out lawful activities.”

Here is an article on the sentences handed down by the judge.

After the conviction, commentator George Monbiot hailed the activists as “heroes” who had “given up their time and risked imprisonment to show us where responsbility for the climate crisis lies”.

Two other opinion pieces from campaigners Beth Stratford and Ben Stewart argued that despite the convictions, the campaigners had been right to do what they did. © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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