Environmentalist activist group Saving Iceland has released a statement claiming that coverage of undercover policeman Mark Kennedy in the Guardian exaggerates the part he played in environmentalist groups in Iceland.
When environmentalist activist Mark Stone was revealed last year to be British policeman Mark Kennedy, media both foreign and domestic were fast to report, often from secondary and anonymous sources, the role he played in activist circles.
While these articles claimed Kennedy played key roles in everything from organising to tactics to networking, Saving Iceland says that on the contrary, Kennedy was never a crucial figure in the environmentalist movement, and that the media is exaggerating.
Contrary to what the Guardian has claimed, “Mark Kennedy was never a trainer for Saving Iceland nor did he train any Icelanders,” Saving Iceland says in part. “Kennedy did not play a major role in actions in Iceland in 2005. He had already left the protest camp before it was evicted from Karahnjukar, and was not present when we relocated at Vad Farm in Skriddal.”
Kennedy’s sole contribution to the environmentalist movement in Iceland, they say, was to take part in activists chaining themselves to work equipment at the Kárahnjúkar dam project, on two separate occasions. Saving Iceland says Kennedy was gone before the dam was even completed.
Furthermore, Kennedy never “rose up the ranks” within Saving Iceland, as he has claimed. He was, and had always been, a marginal participant with no role of importance, who was gone before operations ever ended.
That being said, Saving Iceland does point out that Kennedy encouraged police to engage in illegal activity, such as using sexual relations with other activists to extract information from them. Kennedy has, in fact, bragged about doing this to members of the media.
Saving Iceland therefore demands “that the truth about his betrayals while under the command of the British authorities, and possibly in collaboration with the Icelandic authorities, be exposed and that those responsible be made to answer for their actions. The British and Icelandic police and governments, for whom Kennedy seems to have gathered information, must end their silence about which agencies and authorities were aware of his undercover work in Iceland.”
Just how much the Icelandic government knew, if anything, about Mark Kennedy’s real identity and his purpose in Iceland has yet to be fully brought to light. But either way, the law has been broken – foreign police forces are not permitted to conduct investigations in Iceland without the consent of Icelandic authorities. So either the Icelandic government didn’t know, and the British broke the law, or the Icelandic government did know, in which case they broke the law in being complicit in Kennedy’s illegal activities in Iceland.
The full article from Saving Iceland can be read here.