International guest Helen Steel will be speaking about corporate/state spying on activists, and undercover policing.
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Special international guest – Helen Steel

Speaking about corporate/state spying on activists, and undercover cops
Jura is pleased to welcome a special international guest speaker: Helen Steel from the UK. Helen will talk about corporate and state spying on political activists, and the recent scandals surrounding undercover policing in the UK. We're sending this email newsletter a bit early to tell you about Helen's special impromtu visit!
Helen was one of the defendants in the McLibel case, where it was revealed that McDonald’s had sent 7 private investigators to spy on campaigners. The McLibel case was filed by McDonald's against Helen and fellow environmental activist, David Morris over a pamphlet critical of the company. The case lasted for 15 years, from start to victory in the European Court, and it was a total PR disaster for McDonald's! It proved that grassroots protests and defiance can undermine those who try to censor activists, and render oppressive laws unworkable. For more about the McLibel case, watch the excellent documentary film McLibel (stream free online), or check out this longer article: McWorld on trial, by Helen and David.

Undercover cops violate human rights

More recently Helen Steel was involved in a court case against the London Police along with 7 other women who were all deceived into relationships by undercover policemen infiltrating campaign groups. On 20 November 2015 the women won a very significant development: after a four-year legal battle, the police finally conceded that “officers, acting undercover whilst seeking to infiltrate protest groups, entered into long-term intimate sexual relationships with women which were abusive, deceitful, manipulative and wrong” and that “these relationships were a violation of the women’s human rights, an abuse of police power and caused significant trauma”.

For more about the undercover case, check out Police Spies Out of Lives – the support group for women's legal action against undercover policing.

There have also been a series of articles in the mainstream media, including these two from the Guardian, which tell Helen's story:
Helen Steel on her relationship with an undercover policeman: ‘I feel violated’
Woman's 18-year search for truth about police spy who used dead child's name
Helen will talk on corporate and state spying on activists and undercover policing. Followed by discussion, as part of Thursday Menace. Entry is free, with food by donation – 7pm Thursday 10 March at Jura. Facebook event
Helen Steel speaking at Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance (COPS) meeting
Video: Helen speaking about her experience

Racialised labour and dispossession

Red & Black Forum, 2pm Saturday 19 March at Jura
Also, at Jura this month, Bree Blakeman, Ph.D. candidate at ANU for Anthropology, is coming to discuss the history of racialised labour in the dispossession of Aboriginal people. Going deep into history Bree will start from the Doctrine of Discovery and make her way up to the recently abolished Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) relating how the labour performed by Aboriginal people contributed to their dispossession. Bree was an engaging and welcomed speaker at the Sydney Anarchist Bookfair last year and Jura is pleased to have her speak at 2pm on Saturday 19th March. Hopefully, you can make it down to this fascinating talk! Free event, followed by discussion. Check out Bree's blog.

Rally in solidarity with refugees

1pm Sunday 20 March at Belmore Park
In recent months, many groups have been taking action in solidarity with refugees: Doctors, nurses, teachers, students, unions, artists, grandmothers, mums and refugees themselves. Join Jura folk and thousands of others at this rally. We'll be demanding: Close the Camps! Open the Borders! Facebook event
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Thursday: 2pm-7pm
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