From The Herald
The police-paid spy Rob Gilchrist passed officers information about union pickets, student demonstrations, and a pepper-sprayed protester who was preparing a case against them.
New Zealand’s biggest union, the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union, and the Unite union last night called for a Commission of Inquiry into the police’s Special Investigation Group that Mr Gilchrist worked for.
It followed the release of further emails that Mr Gilchrist forwarded to his police handler which contradict Police Commissioner Howard Broad’s assurances that the SIG’s investigation of activist groups only targeted individuals.
The emails, seen by the Herald, refer to plans by the eight union groups.
They discuss protests about youth rates outside fast-food outlets like McDonald’s, a picket schedule during the Progressive Enterprises lockout and meetings about National’s “fire-without-recourse” bill.
The SIG received information about the EPMU, the Maritime Union, National Distribution Union, Unite, National Union of Public Employees, Youth Union Movement and Council of Trade Unions.
Howard Broad is taking flak from some of the left-wing bloggers who claim he lied when he briefed his Minister that the SIG was monitoring individuals not groups. I doubt Broad had the faintest idea that his department had launched a covert operation against every major union in the country and that he will have been incandescent with rage when he found out about it – which was probably by reading the newspaper.
Spying on activist groups is one thing; antagonising the unions – who have lawyers, money, media-savvy and powerful political allies – is quite another.
Whoever runs the SIG and signed off on this little adventure has to be out of their fucking mind; I doubt we’re going to get a public inquiry – the profile of the police is wretched enough at the moment and the last thing they need is an open investigation into an intelligence group operating wildly out of their mandate run by paranoid reactionaries who seem to be clinically insane.