Simon Wellings: McCurdy Interviews

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This article is part of the Undercover Research Portal at Powerbase - investigating corporate and police spying on activists

Part of a series on
undercover police officers
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Alias: Simon Wellings
Deployment: 2001-2004 (2007)
Globalise Resistance, arms trade & anti-globalisation protestors, Socialist Workers Party, Dissent! network

Simon C. Wellings is the alias of an undercover police officer who infiltrated anti-globalisation group 'Globalise Resistance' and the Socialist Workers Party. He was exposed when he accidentally caused a debriefing session with his police handlers to be caught in a recording on a telephone answering machine in 2004, and left the group.

Despite this, he was redeployed in 2005 into the Dissent! network, a predominantly anarchist mobilisation against the G8 Summits, which in 2005 was taking place at Gleneagles, Scotland. According to the Undercover Policing Inquiry, he continued as an undercover until 2007 and that Dissent! had been among his targets.[1][2]

When Newsnight released the photo of Wellings in March 2011, researcher Patrick McCurdy, active with the Dissent! media team (the 'Counter-Spin Collective') for the 2005 G8 mobilisation, realised he had known the undercover, corresponding with him into 2006.[3][4]

Further, Wellings participated in McCurdy's PhD research project in which he was twice interviewed, principally on his assumed activist persona's attitude to the media, but also about his past activities while he was with Globalise Resistance.[5][6][7]

This page outlines the information that Wellings' gave to McCurdy in his interview, as well as information McCurdy could personally corroborate not covered in the main profile. It is notable that Wellings retold his time with Globalise Resistance, to create a different back-story more in keeping with the Dissent! political milleu.

Given the topic of the interview, the ongoing debate within the Dissent! network about interaction with mainstream media, much of the material focuses on media and policing around the 2005 G8 Summit. Part of this involves discussing some of the politics of the Dissent! network as opposed to the other networks also mobilising. As such, he provides relatively simplistic analysis, which mirrors the composite picture of ongoing debates at the time. It is clear he had embedded enough to be able to pick up the various strands of the discussion and present them back, though at times slips into a more reformist politic.

The value in the interviews from our perspective is three-fold: firstly, how his background story changed to facilitate his infiltration of Dissent!. Secondly, how he became involved in the Dissent! network and his accounts of taking part in the mobilisation against the G8. Thirdly, his view on the policing of protests in relation to the intentions of the protests, and also how this intersects with mainstream media. We do not add weight to his political analysis or judgments.

McCurdy and Wellings contact 2004-2006

McCurdy was in contact with Wellings between 2004 and 2006, though latterly only through e-mail correspondence. It is in the two interviews for McCurdy's PhD, in March and September 2005 that they have the most extensive contact.

He first encountered the undercover at the European Social Forum (ESF) in London, which took place between the 15 and 17 of November 2004. McCurdy was studying for his PhD at the London School of Economics (LSE) and had previously been involved in the 2002 counter G8 mobilisation in Canada.[8][9][3]


  • November 2004: first meet at the European Social Forum, London.
  • March 2005: first interview March 2005
  • April 2005: meet at The Festival of Dissent, Scotland.
  • July 2005: both attend G8 counter-mobilisation in Scotland, camping at the Eco-village (or Hori-zone) at Stirling, Scotland.
  • September 2005: second Interview.
  • November 2006: last (e-mail) contact.

Wellings account of his time in Globalise Resistance

According to McCurdy, Wellings told him his job was to 'install fibre optic cables', work which took him across the world.[3][6]

At the time of the interviews in 2005, he claimed:[6]

I’ve been involved in political activism on and off now for about 10 years. Current wave of involvement started just after Genoa in 2001. Genoa was an amazing seminal moment in the movement and I missed it. I spent the whole weekend glues to my mate’s laptop on Indymedia with a really slow shaky dial-up connection that kept dropping out and watching it on some of the mainstream news reports. I kept thinking 'I should have gone', but that kind of peaked my interest again. I started going to some stuff, meetings and bits and bobs.

Genoa is a reference to the anti-G8 Summit protests in Italy in 2001 which saw wide-scale police violence and brutality. His known deployment timetable has him arriving at Globalise Resistance just after Genoa, but it is likely he studied the protests as part of his preparation for his deployment.

Having become active again, he claimed to have been part of an affinity group:[6] We are kind of a relatively tight little- I suppose you would call us an affinity group. We do sort of fairly direct action type stuff mixed with you know, just building and helping out where we can on other big mobilisations and stuff.

Among the big mobilisations he says he went to in the McCurdy interviews, were the World Economic Forum (New York City, 2002), EU Summit (Seville,2002) and the 2003 G8 Summit (Evian). He attended these demonstrations as part of contingents from Globalise Resistance and his presence at them have been confirmed.[10] His accounts of them have changed a bit, giving him a stronger back-story more suitable for the milieu around Dissent!

World Economic Forum (New York, 2002)

Welling said of this:[6]

I think it was only about – gee whiz, it was in January, so it was only about 4 months after 9/11 and that was an extraordinary experience to be honest. There was only two or three of us on it – some friends I know in New York and Syracuse and some people from Cornell as well and sort of joined in on what they had planned, because they were like a tight little affinity group and they had a nice little squatted space on the upper West-side of New York near Columbia where we could stay. And the was just an amazing experience because New York – there was such a feral atmosphere in the city.

This varies from the account from Guy Taylor who noted that Wellings went to Manhattan as one twelve Globalise Resistance campaigners for the express purpose of protesting at the WEF, and the flat becomes a 'squat'.[10]

The World Economic Forum, normally took place in Davos, but had switched to New York to show solidarity with the city after 9/11. The protests received considerable criticism in the mainstream press as being somehow disrespectful. On this, Wellings added:[6]

The mainstream media completely demonized the whole process and, you know were hysterical really. And the thing about that it is, it whips up a momentum doesn’t it? Well I think it whips up an expectation for everybody and it starts feeding off both sides. You get this attitude by the mainstream media that there is no story unless there is violence or rioting or whatever and it’s just, they aren’t interested in anything else – or they weren’t then.

EU Summit (Seville, 2002)

According to Guy Taylor, Wellings travelled to Spain with other activists from Globalise Resistance, staying with them on the camp-site provided for international protestors. However, he camped by himself, away from other GR activists.[10]

Contradicting this account, Wellings gave a fictionalised version to McCurdy in the interview:[6]

I went with a very small group of people. We were planning to do a bridge blockade at one of the major bridges in Seville between the main conference centre and the old historic city centre where a lot of the top hotels were. And we knew or we believed, from being there in the morning the day before that a lot of the cars, the big limousines had used this bridge. We had a plan to do bridge hangs off the infrastructure off the bridge and have people obviously ahead of both sides saying 'look, you can’t come through, there’s people hanging on ropes' very much you know like what happened in know, 'If you drive through here you are going to cause people to fall to their peril'.

This is a clear and somewhat offensive lie on Wellings' part. The bridge action in Geneva took place the following year, on 1 June 2003, when two climbers used ropes to stop traffic on the Aubonne bridge between Geneva and Lausanne in an effort to blockade those attending the G8 Summit. Police cut the ropes holding the climbers causing one to receive life-threatening injuries and lead to an international inquiry and campaign.[11][12][13]

This refers to the International Monetary Fund meeting in Geneva, when two activists were stopping traffic passing over a bridge sustained life-threatening injuries when police cut the ropes that the climbers were attached to.[14]

Wellings also added to his account of Seville:[6]

We were staying in a public park; they just opened a public park for people to sleep in. We had no tents, it didn’t matter because it was 40 degrees centigrade hot, it was still 35oC at two o’clock in the morning it was absolutely and even people from Seville you know, Spanish people were going “it’s not normally this hot” but it was mad hot. But you know, we were dirty, we were filthy, we hadn’t washed...

He then goes on to discuss British mainstream media come to speak to them there at the park and his groups decision to engage with them in what is clearly presented as a first-hand account. Having talked to a journalist them for a hour, explaining why they were protesting, Wellings noted:[6]

We were saying 'Ahh great, do you think you are going to get some of that on the paper, on the news?' They would just go 'Ahh no mate, no it’s nothing we can use, nothing we can run with'. And we would say 'What do you mean?' you know, and he’d say 'No mate, unless you said you were going to fucking attack the hotel or tear the fence down you know, our editor is just never going to run with that. It’s just not going to happen'. And you think, ahhh gee whiz you know, it’s an hour there we spent, three of us there chatting to you in the blistering heat when we could have been doing something a lot more productive. And I’m not saying our hours are particularly valuable, but you know it’s so frustrating and it must also be frustrating for him as well. To actually to say, 'look there’s no violence, there’s no story.' That’s what he was saying.

This is notable in that we have a undercover police officer abroad talking to British media, but also saying that violence was not anticipated. Which, if the case, begs the question as to what his tasking to be in Spain actually was.

G8 Summit (Evian, 2003)

Wellings also spoke of the 2003 G8 Summit protests which took place at Evian in France, which he had attended with a sizeable contingent from Globalise Resistance.[15][16][10] While he discusses some of the more notable events and actions that took place, they are not things he appears to have take part in. Rather he notes:[6]

There was a lot of networking done, I think a lot - you know. I certainly made new contacts there. Ya, it was a good experience.

Involvment with media for Globalise Resistance

As well as the above incident in Seville, Wellings claimed to McCurdy to have done media work on other occasions for Globalise Resistance events. In one ancedote, he talks about meeting a BBC freelance journalist following a meeting he had organied at Conway Hall, Red Lion Square ahead of the Seville summit, and her knowing someone he knew from the independent production company Altwire which often did stuff focused on Palestine. From this there was follow up media stuff with the BBC which Wellings seemed to have input on.[6]

Taking part in Dissent!

On being asked on how he got involved in the Dissent! network, Wellings said:[6]

Everybody kind of knew the G8 was coming here and stuff and I kind of really completely cut my ties and links with the other groups. Having been involved on this – I don’t know how you would call it – this sort of side of the movement before, I was just very keen to get back involved. I really didn’t do anything much more sophisticated than speak to a couple of people and have a look around. It was obvious that Dissent! was very energetic, and it was quite – it seemed quite sorted and started quite early so I was quite keen to get involved in that so that’s how really. ... [B]ut I signed up to a few of the elists and spoke to some people and you know, the guys and girls in our group are happy with the politics and the way it’s organised. We are certainly not interested in ... sort of hierarchal leadership. I haven’t got a particular beef with that you know, it’s just not for us. And that’s how really. I’ve been along to some of the meetings, some of the London meetings, Beyond ESF, TRAPESE … You just start going to some of the gatherings and you get a little bit more involved. I’ve [also] been able to help move stuff about…

On being asked why he is planning to go to Scotland for the 2005 G8 protests: protests:[6]

Just because-and that’s a really valid question as well – why actually, who do you have to go there? I think simply because if it comes – I just think it’s a showpiece Summit for them, for the members of the G8. For Chirac, for Putin for Bush, for Blair… I think it’s just completely wrong, and I’m not saying this should be the be all and end all the mobilisation for the G8, you know, it’s not something to be undertaken lightly but it is just as valid to go and doing something on your high street or whatever you know at the end of your row. But I just think it’s completely, for me, it is completely unacceptable for it to go on unopposed. What will happen is, because there is a history of demonstration, protest, opposition to this Summit, I think all of the sudden if we had one and nobody turned up they would just spin that around instantly. I mean, Blair’s little; it’s not little is it? It’s a great big, fucking huge spin team, would just say 'Look, you know, we are so right on, we’re so connected with the people, our policies are so right, no one even opposes what we are doing'.
And I think it’s really important to get up there and highlight the whole sort of shallowness, the sort of corruption almost of the whole process because they don’t really do anything. ... I just think it’s an obscenity where they spend this much money to come together, you know to feed and wine and dine these thousands of people on their side, the official delegate side, and then for that to go unopposed, I really do.

He also added:[6]

[It is] really important to take advantage of the fact that there will be a huge amount of media there. [T]hese things suck in the media to a huge extent. I think it is important that even if only one or two journalists you know carry a story or actually sort putting our side of the story. You know, the counter arguments to all the statements, proclamations and spin that will come out of the whole thing. I just think it is really important they are opposed. I think that if they are not opposed, they just become more valid by the fact they haven’t been and I know that is a bit of a shallow argument, but I just think that they could easily hold their hands up and say “Look no one is here, there’s six people outside with a banner-we’ve come so far”. I dread that.

After the G8 protests were over, Wellings told McCurdy in a second interview when asked about the success of the mobilisation:[7]

But yeah, I think it was a huge success and I think the 6th itself was really successful as well. think it showed the strength of the movement and the fact that the sort of autonomous decentralized actions were a huge success. Not that that's the object, but there would have been much more media attention focused on the 6th, which was always, you know, the day of blockades. I think they would have had to have a lot of attention on that if the events down here in London the next morning hadn't taken place.

The events of the following day were the 7/7 Bombings in London.

On policing of protests and associated media attention

Policing in Derby during G8 Ministerial Conference, 2005

Policing of protests is a topic Welling speaks to on multiple occasions in his interviews with McCurdy. In relation to the various protests around the G8 Summit in the UK he notes:[6]

I also think that there is a lot of tactics being used by the state to intimidate people. You get the use of these police camera teams – the Forward Intelligence Team – everywhere you go.

He particularly comments at the over policing for a protest called at a meeting of G8 Environmental and Development ministers on 17 March 2005, in Derbyshire[17] and which had seen a low turn out of demonstrators:[6]

I went to Derby [for the G8 Environment Ministers Meeting]… and I swear I had never seen anything like it. I don’t think anybody you know, expected it to be a huge demonstration, there was a critical mass called at the railway station. I was in a fucking car looking like a dreadful activists arriving in a four seat car on my own. Anyway, I parked up, walked around to the railways station, and there was just row after row after row after row of police vans full of guys in full riot gear at nine o’clock in the morning, camera teams on all the platforms at the railway station videoing everybody who got off the train.
It was just extraordinary. The critical mass was about 15 people on bikes – a motley collection as you hope for an expect – on bikes and scooters you know, micro-push along scooters. And they had behind them like a huge police four-wheel drive, like a people carrier with doors open people pecking away on lap tops, you know, there was like two huge vans of riot cops following us around, two or three motorcycles and about twenty guys running behind it in yellow jackets. Honestly, I’ve seen nothing like it in my life.
I had my own digital camera and I was snapping the cops and I got stopped and turned over, and searched and everything... I don’t know if you read about it, but the Home Secretary signed banning orders the night before, so they made it basically illegal – an amazing thing really – they made it unlawful to demonstrate in the confines of the whole Derby apart for one bit in the market square so that was the only place. And I got told very direct – he had signed it from twelve noon and I got told – I got dragged into an alley by these two cops. [untranscribed: interaction with police at Derby; police supposedly asking Wellings why he was taking pictures.]

On his anticipation for the policing during the G8 in Scotland:[6]

I think Scotland’s going to be insane, to be honest.
I think Scotland will be very, very heavily policed there will be an enormous, an enormous police presence. I think it will be a bit more evenly matched because there will be an awful lot more of us. And I don’t – when I say evenly matched, I don’t mean that in any physical sense but I just mean it will just be a bit fairer. Because they clearly have no qualms at all – the State have got no qualms about looking as if it’s massively disproportionate to what’s actually happening. You know, because Derby was mad…
I think Scotland will be very-it will be very heavily policed. I think a lot will depend on how it goes on the big demonstration on the Saturday, the big [Make Poverty History] march. I think that will set the tone for the whole week. I think it will be very interesting to see what happens at Faslane on the 4th. I’m sure people will be looking to keep their powder for the 6th. I think there will be an enormous police presence; I think it will be very much in your face. I actually think it will be more in your face than Evian and places like that were- you only ever saw the police there when, when people were doing something “wrong” in inverted commas.

Later he added:[6]

What I am trying to say is that they didn’t have that in your face approach which we seem to have got to in this country, in the UK. With these police teams really mixing with activist, demonstrator, being very upfront with taking people photos, following them around very overtly. I think it will just be very interesting to see how that goes down with our colleagues – our friends, if you like, from mainland Europe because they are not used to that, and it is very provocative.

Wellings also added this criticism of over-policing around the G8:[6]

But, I think [mainstream media] is important, it has a bearing and I think as well, if you are the top cop up there or whatever and you are formulating your response and you know that the eyes of the world are on you, I just think you are going to air on the side of caution really. I think that’s probably what happened in Derby to a degree, they are going to swamp the place. The worst thing that can happen is they get an article in the paper saying 'Why did we spend all this money for 150 people?' They can always say 'Well, if we hadn’t done it, if we hadn’t done it, there might have been trouble'. That’s the worst that can happen. Where as if he or she doesn’t you know get all this lunacy with the SAS on the rooftop and helicopters swarming around then it will go dreadfully wrong and there will be some sort of riot even though that’s, I mean, I’m involved in Dissent organising such as it is and we’re building and I’ve not been to any meetings where anybody is talking about rioting; it’s not on people’s radar is it? How counter productive is that? For us to go up there and fulfil all their doom and gloom expectations? It’s the very, very worst thing that could happen. I am not saying there will not be trouble but – I mean I’ve been [...] on lots and lots of protests and actions and things and I’ve never seen an activist start a confrontation but I’ve seen the police start it many times. I mean that with my hand on my heart, you know I really have. They arrive, they are pumped up, they are testosterone fuelled, they are not the sharpest pencils in the box. They don’t realise when something is good humoured or tongue in cheek or you know and I mean I’ve seen some of these pro-capitalist demonstrations.[18]

(Emphasis added)

On media coverage of Dissent! and G8 protests

In the interview with McCurdy, Wellings comes across as defensive of Dissent!, in particular he is critical of how media presented it in a simplistic fashion, focusing solely on the media anticipated violence, which he says comes from a need to sell papers. His defence of Dissent! as a non-violent is curious in hindsight given the significant police resources that went into policing it.

On the aims of the expected protests in Scotland, he said:[6]

I think that we’re very keen on a relatively, non-violent but confrontational approach to disrupting the Summit. I think for us, actually getting up there and even if it just means closing a road for a few hours or preventing the Summit from starting on time like has happened in Evian of Geneva you know where it was delayed for hours. I think that is about as much as you can hope for. I don’t think you can go up there and expect you arte going to sort spray can George Bush’s limousine, it’s not going to happen, is it? [...] But I think, you know, to get up there, to build links with local communities. To actually speak to people and say look, “we are not masked maniacs” you know? We are just people who, we believe passionately what we believe, we think that we’re being exploited; the system is run for us, it’s run for them you know?
And we just want to tell you what we think, and just ask you to think about what is actually happening, what’s being perpetuated. And also, you know I think that, I think in a way perhaps you know to do some stuff which is, and although I hate the idea of being a media whore or slave to the mainstream media, to actually do something which actually captures the imagination of the, the mainstream media to such a degree that it does become headline news you now? It is the first item on the news. I don’t think that is an objective, I just think that’s a desirable side-product of all the other stuff that you do that perhaps wakes people up. ... I’m not suggesting that they haven’t made decisions about their lives but to question what is going on and to think about ‘hold on’, there is a lot of people up there and they look quite normal to me, a lot of them people. They are not all maniacs; they are just people like me and my friends and they have gone all the way up there to protest, so what’s going on? You know, I need to read about this.
Because they treat it as a big showcase you know, photo-op, I think we, we need to respond to that. I think you’ve just got to build awareness, educate, outreach and you know just hope to change people’s consciousness a bit about the whole thing.
I think we’ve got to be – and don’t get me wrong, I’m not pretending I’ve got any of the big answers. I just think we’ve got to be creative, energetic, dynamic. We’ve got to do the unexpected. We’ve got to confound people’s you know expectations. We’ve got to work on not you know, resorting to stereotypical – I never condemn people’s way they protest or attacking some of the more physical you know, manifestations if you like of capitalism. I’m not saying that’s invalid but I think we need to – I think there will be an enormous amount of people up there expecting it to go badly, expecting there to be trouble.

In response to a question on media expectation of the protests causing trouble:[6]

I don’t think for a moment for instance that CNN, Sky News, BBC News 24 or whoever would go up there if they didn’t expect there to be some lively, at the least, large scale demonstrations or some you know, direct actions which actually get in people’s faces a bit. Or, blockade a bridge or a hotel. Or, have a party in the middle of Princes street in Edinburgh you know? I think that there is no way that if you were a commissioning news editor, you would say 'ya you go away for a week or 10 days, and you know, go stay at a hotel in Edinburgh and I will authorise all that the expenditure' if they don’t think there is a story there. They’ don’t want to see some very reasonable, nice people sitting down, having a vegan breakfast and then explaining patiently about climate change and the brutal injustices of capitalism and all the rest of it; they don’t want to hear that, do they?
I think that for them G8, equals must get picture of Blair, Bush and Berlusconi, Putin and all the rest wandering along, in a row looking purposeful cut to hooded-black hooded anarchists swarming across golf course at Gleneagles tearing up the 18th green you know? A sort of cavalry charge of golf buggies down the fairway. That’s their story and I think, that’s what they think now. And, I think if that isn’t what happens, then they will be disappointed and that will be it, there won’t be a news story.

Later in the interview, he noted in terms of mainstream press coverage ahead of the G8, adding how some saw in some of the press hysteria deliberate manipulation by the state to justify repressive policing measures against protests:[6]

The Scotsman seems to run a you know scare story every other day. You know, there has been some absolutely crazy articles in there about you know- And again you know, its that very simple argument, black and white you know. It’s very easy to look at the-the anarchists you know for want of a better word- the sort of autonomous, anarchisty side of the mobilisation as the ones likely to produce trouble you know because in people’s minds rightly or wrongly-wrongly it’s synonymous with a more direct action approach, with black block and all that stuff that for them, we are the easy target.
I’ve been talking to people you know inside and outside Dissent, “It’s all about state conspiracy … to justify the clampdown” and all this but I think, you know I think sometimes I think the simpler explanation is, is more likely to be true. I just think that’s what sells papers. You know I think that’s what they think their readership wants to read.

He continues in a vein critical of press whipping up hysteria months ahead of the Summit with regards to anarchist protestors as that was what sold papers.

it’s the same articles being rehashed and just written from a different, you know: [six] thousand, all police leave cancelled you know. Thousands of police following in from all over the UK to police it; training videos being sent out you know, widespread expectations for disorder or whatever, gee whiz, why?
Because there is going to be you know, 500 people in a field talking about first aid, consensus based decision making and building a tripod I mean I don’t see that, do you? I mean I don’t see that when I’m with people from Dissent. I don’t see dangerous – you know – it’s just you know and I don’t hear a word about it either. It’s not as if you’ve got those people hiding with organisation. I mean for want of a better way to put it, it doesn’t happen you know? But it’s going to be you know, people I suppose, you know, you know it’s like you say, I mean “how do you know he’s an anarchist? Well, he looks like one.” It’s going to become this visible manifestation of this extreme point of view – I mean that’s, you know that’s going to be what they concentrate on.

In a second, post-G8 interview with McCurdy, Wellings is critical of how protest was delegitimised:

That seemed to be a real effort, to say the only legitimate protest or legitimate demonstration that could possibly be is to be a part of the Make Poverty History campaign. [...] You know – that was the only legitimate form of protest, and if you weren’t there with your white T-shirt and your white bracelet on, somehow you were automatically some sort of criminal or terrorist element that was there to subvert and undermine, you know, the only legitimate process. It was really important to be there and say “look, we’re not a part of that. Don’t agree with you and our presence and voices are here. We’re just trying to articulate that.”

This was a point he returned to:[7]

You kind of had two stories, didn't you. There was the impending doom of this whole..this sort of Black Bloc…thousands or tens of thousands of firebombs from Black Bloc will descend on the rural idyll, raze it to the ground. There was all of this, you know – when is this going to happen, is this going to happen, when is it going to happen – sort of story. Sort of building and ratcheting up the pressure. And then there was the other side of it. The big fluffy, Make Poverty History march and demonstration. ... They were almost evangelizing one side and demonizing another, it seemed to me. But there was an enormous amount in the media, you know – the media I saw. Mainly print media – newspapers. They were just waiting for trouble, you know, and almost hoping for trouble. Well, not almost – they were. That was it, really. It was a sort of countdown to doomsday. One of the normal puff-pieces they seem to produce beforehand.

He was also critical of Bob Geldof's Live 8 concert drawing people's attention away from the amount of effort that had already gone into raising the political issues leading to the G8 moblisation.[7]

2006/2011 - McCurdy and Wellings email correspondence

Much of the email correspondence between McCurdy and Wellings is currently unavailable. However, two 20006 emails that McCurdy retained are of interest.

Both contain references to McCurdy's family, and the impending birth of a child. On this angle, Wellings states that he accessed McCurdy's Flickr page to look at images of his family,[19] a case of collateral intrusion probably not justified under the law as neither 'proportional or necessary' as required.[20]

The first email stated that Wellings intends to travel to a counter-G8 camp in Germany called Camp Inski, 'thats setting up a full year early to oppose next summer's summit.[21] Wellings remarked that: 'I'm hoping that it'll have some of the same vibe that Stirling did but with maybe better showers![22]

The second email, sees Wellings invite McCurdy to attend the 'Sack Parliament' action, stating that 'there's a bit of a buzz in air' about it.

One of the last emails from Wellings to McCurdy, written 5 October 2006, the undercover says:[23]

Sure you know, but there's gonna be a potentially interesting action on Monday from lunchtime onwards - the 'Sack Parliament' action. Slight shades of 'V for Vendetta' and I don't know too much about it but apparently there's a bit of a buzz in the air and considerable interest from da media. I've organised next Monday around it and am gonna go along - maybe you'd be interested too?

'Sack Parliament’ was a direct action with then intention to surround parliament and cause parliamentary activities to cease. It was also the first major demonstration to use image of the mask ‘V’ for Vendetta, later used by the Anonymous hacking collective.[24][25] Around 40 people were arrested, after being surrounded by police, and one photographer was seriously injured.[19][26] It is not known if Wellings attended the demonstration as suggested. However, it is now known that the organising group was targeted by one of Wellings colleagues in the Special Demonstration Squad, Rob Harrison and who was present on the day.

Following Welling's exposure on the BBC in 2011,[27] McCurdy tried to contact Wellings via email but did not receive a reply.[28]


  1. Cover Names, Undercover Policing Inquiry, 2018 (accessed 4 March 2018).
  2. Press Notice: Update on anonymity applications – N118 (“Simon Wellings”), Undercover Policing Inquiry, 19 January 2017 (accessed 19 January 2017).
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Undercover Research Group, Interview with Patrick McCurdy, 2 November 2018.
  4. Undercover Research Group: email from Dr Patrick McCurdy, 29 April 2020.
  5. Patrick McCurdy, ‘I Predict a Riot’ – Mediation and Political Contention: Dissent!’s media practices at the 2005 Gleneagles G8 Summit (PhD thesis), London School of Economics, March 2009 (accessed 23 October 2018).
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 6.15 6.16 6.17 6.18 6.19 6.20 6.21 Patrick McCurdy, 1st Interview with 'Scott' (Simon Wellings), 20 March 2005 (accessed 23 October 2018).
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Patrick McCurdy, 2nd Interview with 'Scott' / Simon Wellings, unpublished, 2 September 2005 (accessed 23 October 2018).
  8. Hilary Wainwright and Oscar Reys, European Social Forum: debating the challenges for its future, Red Pepper, 1 December 2004 (accessed 3 November 2018).
  9. 28th G8 summit, Wikipedia, undated (accessed 3 November 2018).
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Undercover Research Group: interview with Guy Taylor, January 2016.
  11. Ronya, Activists in life-threatening condition at bridge between Geneva and Lausanne, Indymedia UK, 1 June 2003 (accessed 24 October 2018).
  12. G8 injured activist released from hospital after one month - new video evidence demonstrates police negligence, press releases, 3 July 2003 (accessed via
  13. Stuart Millar & Alison Langley, G8 protester to prosecute Swiss police, The Guardian, 9 June 2003 (accessed 3 April 2020).
  14. Ronya, Activists in life-threatening condition at bridge between Geneva and Lausanne, Indymedia UK, 1 June 2003 (accessed 24 October 2018).
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  18. The pro-capitalist demonstrations is a reference to spoof protests by the BeyondTV group in favour of capitalism by the group 'Capitalism Represents Acceptable Policy' which mobilised behind the banner Make Poverty Worse. See Montgomery Owen-Pumfrey iv, Pro-capitalists threaten to march in support of G8, July 2nd., Indymedia (UK), 9 June 2005 (accessed 23 April 2020).
  19. 19.0 19.1 Simon Wellings, E-mail to McCurdy, 6 October 2006 (accessed 17 November 2018).
  20. Home Office, Regulation of Investigatory Powers (2000) Section 3(11)
  21. 'Happy Camper', Camp Inski - International Anti-G8-Camping at the Baltic Sea (Aug 06), Indymedia (UK), 2 August 2006 (accessed 4 April 2020).
  22. Simon Wellings, email to Patrick McCurdy, 27 June 2006.
  23. Email from Simon Wellings to Patrick McCurdy, 5 October 2006, unpublished.
  24. Alan Moore, V for Vendetta, Book One: Europe After the Reign, 1981.
  25. Nick Carbone, How Time Warner Profits from the ‘Anonymous’ Hackers, Time Magazine (news feed), 29 August 2011 (accessed 17 November 2018).
  26. 'imcistas', Sack Parliament!, Indymedia (UK), 9 October 2006 (accessed 14 November 2018).
  27. Newsnight (25 March 2011), BBC iPlayer (currently unavailable).
  28. Patrick McCurdy, email to Wellings, 17 June 2011.