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Posts Tagged ‘Tarnac Affair

Police Spy Mark Kennedy and the Tarnac Affair.

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Mark Kennedy

Mark Kennedy,  ‘Mark Stone’, British Police Spy.
The Guardian reports,

The former British police spy Mark Kennedy is being accused of making fake claims after leaked documents indicated he was the source behind claims that French activists were learning to make homemade bombs.

Ten French leftwing activists are under investigation over an alleged terror plot to overthrow the state in a case that has convulsed France and drawn criticism from human rights lawyers.

Leaked documents seen by the Guardian reveal how claims against some of the activists, including the suggestion they discussed and “practised” building improvised explosive devices (IED)s, came from the British police unit Kennedy worked for.

This was covered in great detail in Le Monde yesterday (print edition) – here.

L’espion anglais qui a piégé le groupe de Tarnac

Finalement, il y avait bien un homme qui vivait dans la “clandestinité” dans l’affaire de Tarnac. Mais il ne s’agissait pas d’un des jeunes gens interpellés le 11 novembre 2008 en Corrèze, à Rouen et à Paris, contrairement à ce que les rapports de police décrivaient. C’était Mark Kennedy. Son métier : policier britannique infiltré dans la mouvance altermondialiste 2003 and 2010.

The British spy who tricked the Tarnac Group. But it wasn’t  any of the young people arrested on in Corrèze, à Rouen et à Paris on the  11th of  November 2008 . – against the reports set out by the  Police . It was Mark Kennedy. His profession? He was a British police agent who infiltrated the ‘other-globalisation’ movement between 2003 and 2010.

Le Monde goes on to describe the key role Kennedy played in fabricating the dossier against the Tarnac group and Julien Coupat.  In the case against them, “il est partout, dès le début.” – he is everywhere, right from the start. Kennedy, they say,was responsible  for the way the French intelligence service, (at the time the DCRG) took an interest in the group. That is the claim that they were making explosive ‘engines’.

Yet his role did not figure in the court case that eventually took place.


Le Monde cites the lawyer, Me Bourdon, commenting on the ““extraordinaire déloyauté de la procédure” – the extreme bad faith of the legal process. That is, they failed to mention cheating Kennedy and his sordid behaviour.

The Tarnac affair, in which Coupat (fuller details in French here) is described in Wikipedia,

The TGV sabotage affair

In the night of 7–8 November 2008, Coupat and Lévy went for a car ride and played cat-and-mouse with police cars following them. Their trip included a 20-minute stop in Dhuisy  in the Seine-et-Marne department, by their account for a sex session in the vehicle. Their car was parked near a train line in one of the locations where iron hooks were left dangling from the overhead lines that night, paralysing the high-speed TGV network.

On November 11, gendarmes raided the Tarnac farm and arrested nine residents in connection with the sabotage. Four of the nine were released on November 15, under conditions. A further three were released on December 2, and the last but one, Lévy, in January 2009. Coupat remained in jail until May 28, 2009, when he was released under bail with instructions to remain in the Paris region and have no contacts with the other 8.

This site has supported the Tarnac 9 since the beginning.

Now we learn that agent provocateur Kennedy was involved in the injustice.

Who is Kennedy?

Wikipedia again,

Mark Kennedy (also known as Mark Stone and Flash) is a former Metropolitan Police officer who, whilst attached to the police service’s National Public Order Intelligence Unit, infiltrated many protest groups between 2003 and 2010 before he was unmasked by political activists as an undercover policeman

Kennedy’s role as a “mole” in the Tarnac Affair is also  exposed in, amongst other places, in Les Inrocks (November the 7th) “Mark Kennedy” la taupe de Tarnac.”

De 2003 à 2010, Stone/Kennedy a infiltré la gauche radicale anglaise et européenne. Il a vécu undercover chez les activistes écologistes, altermondialistes, anarchistes et antifascistes, partageant leurs repas, leurs fêtes, leurs manifs. Parfois leurs lits. Ils ont fini par découvrir sa trahison mais trop tard. Tout ce qu’ils faisaient et disaient depuis sept ans était déjà entre les mains de la police.

From 2003 to 2010 Stone/Kennedy infiltrated the radical left, in Britain and in Continental Europe. he lived undercover amongst ecologists, anti-globalisers, anarchists and anti-fascists. He shared their meals, their demonstrations, and sometimes their beds. The left found him out, but it was too late. Everything they had said and done was already in the hands of the police


In France Tarnac supporters demand that all the relevant documents relating to Kennedy’s  involvement in their case  be made officially public by the Minister of Interior, Manuel Valls.


Written by Andrew Coates

November 10, 2012 at 11:44 am

The Coming Insurrection. Review.

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The Coming Insurrection has just been published in English. Under the prestigious MIT label (here) and the no less highly regarded Semiotexte (an imprint gracing all the best crystal tables of the Manhattan left). meanwhile the Tarnac Affair (details here) continues, at a slower pace.  The site just cited does not refer to the controversy which has shaken the French anarchist milieu over sabotage – the root accusation. Which it would be too dreary to detail, except to say it revolves around accusations against the ‘Official’ anarchists by the ‘real-Continuity’ anarchists that the former distinguished between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ sabotage. More important news can be found on this Blog (here)

Be that as it may, this review, written as the Coming Insurrection gained notoriety, retains its relevance. Though some of its heat and rapidness. As we recently saw in Poitiers the autonomist left is capable of open street fighting on a scale not seen in France since the 1980s. Calls have been renewed for a ban on these groups. For all those buyers of the English version, and fans of these ideas, I republish it.

L’Insurrection qui vient. Le comité Invisible. © La fabrique éditions, 2007

To the French Police and (some) Magistrates the country is menaced by the avatars of the Bande à Bonnot. These libertarian, individualist, anarchists, carried out the first motorised hold-up in France (1911), in the Rue Ordener, Montmartre. Some in the modern equivalent of the Sûreté have dreamt up a similar threat from anarchists. They are echoed by right-wing politicians. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Andrew Coates

November 2, 2009 at 1:05 pm

Tarnac Affair: Julien Coupat Freed.

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Just a  short note: Julien Coupat has been freed (provisionally) – here. He was accused of running a clandestine anarchist-autonomist network, responsible for sabotage of rail tracks. And no doubt Sarkozy’s bad breath. This has become a cause célèbre in France. Put simply, at the heights of the French state there was a view that, with widespread social unrest,  far-left terrorism was on the cards. They then ‘found’ the Tarnac accused (Julien is the last one held – for over seven months) to ‘fit’ the theory. Julien remains under stringent ‘juridical control’ (here). When, and how, the trial of Julien and his co-accusees, will take place, is now extremely unclear.

I will be blogging (we’ve been posting on this from the beginning) in more detail about this sordid episode. There was a long interview with Coupat in le Monde a couple of days ago, now translated I have just learnt,(here) and lots of things to say. Basically though, it’s an indication of serious political over-reaction.


Good news. We hope.

Written by Andrew Coates

May 29, 2009 at 12:09 pm

Tarnac Affair: No Material Proofs.

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A great injustice pursues its course.


In Radical Philosophy Alberto Toscano provides a good introduction to this.

 On 11 November 2008, twenty youths were arrested in Paris, Rouen and the village of Tarnac, in the Massif Central district of Corrèze. The Tarnac operation involved helicopters, 150 balaclava-clad anti-terrorist policemen, with studiously prearranged media coverage. The youths were accused of having participated in a number of sabotage attacks against high-speed TGV train routes, involving the obstruction of the trains’ power cables with horseshoe-shaped iron bars, causing a series of delays affecting some 160 trains. The suspects who remain in custody were soon termed the ‘Tarnac Nine’, after the village where some of them had purchased a small farmhouse, reorganized the local grocery store as a cooperative, and taken up a number of civic activities from the running of a film club to the delivery of food to the elderly.

Le Monde yesterday commented that in the dossier of the affair (as a big as seven or eight telephone  books) that, it had ” beau être dense, il ne contient ni preuves matérielles ni aveux, et un seul témoignage à charge, sous X, recueilli le 14 novembre. ” It may have been dense, but it contains neither material proofs nor confessions, and a single witness cited, under X, has been received on the 14th of November.”  The documents contain the following exchange:

“– Le juge:”Pensez-vous que le combat politique puisse parfois avoir une valeur supérieure à la vie humaine et justifier l’atteinte de celle-ci?

– Julien Coupat: “Ça fait partie (…) du caractère délirant de la déposition du témoin 42 [sous X] tendant à me faire passer pour une espèce de Charles Mansonde la politique (…) Je pense que c’est une erreur métaphysique de croire qu’une justification puisse avoir le même poids qu’une vie d’homme.”

The Judge: “Do you think that political struggle can sometimes have a greater value than human life, and can justify causing harm to human beings?”

Julien Coupat, “This is part of the insane delirium of the testimony of  42 (X ). which tries to make me out as a kind of political Charles Manson. I consider it a metaphysical error to give any (abstract)  justification a greater weight than human life.”

Meanwhile Julien Coupat  languishes in gaol, and the other accused (out on bail) wait to see if charges are brought.

The cost of the surveillance operation, which lasted some years before the Tarnac autonomists were raided and slung into the clink, must be enormous. We are seeing the same State-Media obsession with anarchists and autonomists in the run up to the London anti-G20 Demos.


More information (in English) here. Coatesy’s critique of the autonomist ideology here.

Written by Andrew Coates

March 27, 2009 at 12:15 pm

Posted in Ultra Left

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