As many of you will recall, Crispin was fastidious in his record keeping. He left behind filing cabinets filled with paperwork about the ABC trial - from his handwritten notes of the trial and minutes of campaign meetings and flyers to campaign posters and ephemera from the ABC Campaign. Last year we were lucky enough to be approached by Statewatch who offered to archive Crispin’s documents and provide a long-term home for an official ABC Archive. We are hugely grateful toGarden Court’s Special Fundfor the grant that enabled Statewatch to undertake the painstaking process of archiving Crispin’s collection of documents as well as to Zak Suffee who undertook much of the work.
The launch event was an opportunity to remember Crispin and recall the huge significance of the ABC trial for both journalists and lawyers. Huge thanks to our speakers for their valuable contributions: Ann Singleton(Co-Chair Statewatch), Kate Aubrey-Johnson(Crispin Aubrey Legacy Fund), John Berry(the ‘B’ of ABC), Duncan Campbell(the ‘C’ of ABC), Tony Bunyan(Statewatch, ABC Defence Campaign), Rajiv MenonQC (Garden Court Chambers), Zak Suffee(Statewatch Library Volunteer)and Richard Norton-Taylor(Writer on Defence & Security, Guardian). To browse the special collection on the ABC Case online click here
On Thursday 28 March 2019 the “Crispin Aubrey Archive on the ABC case” is being launched by CALF and Statewatch
At: May Day Rooms, 88 Fleet Street, London, EC4Y 1DH
Time: 18.00 – 20.00
The Archive is held in the Statewatch office and comprises 3 filing cabinet drawers with 71 files containing voluminous cuttings, trial statements and documents, plus posters and the activities of both of the ABC Defence Committee and the preceding Agee-Hosenball Defence Committee. Plus highly detailed files on the background to the case eg: SIGINT and the Leveller Colonel ”B” trial.
You can access online the ABC case Collection here
From Print Works to Poldark, this year's annual legacy walk took us on a picturesque route around the centre of Frome with informative talks from local authors and local entrepreneurs Crysse Morrison, Sarah Schofield and Io Fox covering fictional works and insights into local historical landmarks including a visit to Hunting Ravens Bookshop, Silkmills and ending at Rise a large converted chapel!).
CALF produces an annual newsletter to keep supporters up to date about our progress and successes. Should you wish to receive the newsletter, please contact the us at firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to our mailing list.
For those of you who missed 'the ABC Secrecy trial 40 years on' event you can listen to the event podcast here and also read more about the background to the ABC trial in Duncan Campbell's interview with The Bristol Cable - click here to read.
Thanks again for those who joined us and donated to the ABC 40 years on event and are pleased to report that we have raised over £1,400 with donations still coming in!
We also have video from the event on vimeo - Part 1 here and Part 2 here
Thanks to all who joined us for an inspiring and thought provoking evening last night at the Arnolfini in Bristol. Thanks especially to our speakers: Sue Aubrey, John Berry Duncan Campbell, Tony Bunyan, Sarah Kavanagh, Geoffrey Robertson QC and William Nash. We are hugely grateful for the support of Andrew Kelly from Bristol Festival of Ideas and Phil Chamberlain, Head of Department at the School of Film and Journalism for co-hosting the event. Reflections and podcast will be available over the next few days for those who were not able to join us.
Follow the conversation @CrispinLegacy #ABC40
Friday 3rd November 2017
7.00 - 9.00pm (Networking & Drinks from 6.00pm)
Every post-war generation has had its own whistleblower who has tried to expose the extent to which governments monitor public communications. For the 1970s it was the ABC trial. This shone a light on the darker corners of state surveillance and sparked a ferocious attempt by the government to criminalise journalists. At this special event, hear from those involved and the contemporary relevance in our post-Snowden world. This unique panel discussion will look at the events from those involved and consider how much has really changed and the threats to journalists and whistleblowers today.
Background to the Event
This event marks 40 years since the joint arrests of Crispin Aubrey, John Berry and Duncan Campbell. In the early seventies, Crispin Aubrey became a leading figure in the campaign to prevent the government deporting two Americans on national security grounds - former CIA case officer Philip Agee and Time Out journalist Mark Hosenball - after Phillip Agee had exposed CIA malpractices and Hosenball and Duncan Campbell co-wrote the first ever article on the GCHQ intelligence agency. Then, whilst researching an article for Time Out to expose British government secrets, he was arrested with Duncan Campbell under the Official Secrets Act for receiving classified information from John Berry, a former signals intelligence operator.
Crispin Aubrey, John Berry and Duncan Campbell appeared in court in what was known as the ABC trial (an acronym of their surnames). The ABC case attracted huge public interest as the government mounted a prosecution by turns farcical and ferocious. The case became notorious for a number of reasons, including jury vetting after the defence discovered that the jury foreman was a former SAS officer and that two other jurors had signed the official secrets act, as well as the prosecution of journalists under section 1 of the Official Secrets Act. The trial revealed much about government surveillance and also the lengths it would go to keep its activities secret. Following the trial, Crispin wrote the book Who’s Watching You: Britain's Security Service and the Official Secrets Act (1981).
In 2012, Crispin Aubrey sadly passed away and this event has been organised by his family as part of the Crispin Aubrey Legacy Fund set up to support aspiring journalists and in conjunction with the University of West of England's Film and Journalism Department and Bristol Festival of Ideas.
18.00 - 19.00 Drinks and networking
19.00 Opening address from the Crispin Aubrey Legacy Fund
19.10 Panel Discussion One : Reflections from the trial and campaign
Chaired by Andrew Kelly, Bristol Festival of Ideas
ABC defendant, John Berry
Sue Aubrey, wife of ABC defendant, Crispin Aubrey
20.00 Panel Discussion Two: Lessons from the trial and legacy today
ABC campaigner and Statewatch Director Tony Bunyan
Sarah Kavanagh, NUJ Senior Campaigns and communications officer
ABC defendant, Duncan Campbell
Entry - to register for the event please click here. There is a suggested £5 donation (to be paid on the door) to the Crispin Aubrey Legacy Fund.
For more information about the trial and this event download the background reading material below.
Crispin Aubrey Legacy Fund 2016 BA Scholar
As my friends and family know, I have always been extremely career driven. At the tender age of ten I was ordering every university in the county’s prospectus’ to my family home, dreaming of a successful career. After completing an eye-opening internship in my first year, I was determined to get more experience under my belt.
Whilst I am terribly lucky to have had such a worthwhile first internship at an amazing beauty and lifestyle agency, and forever grateful, it really put my aspirations into perspective. I learnt I wanted to develop a career in a cause more worthwhile of my time; the environment. Luckily for me, I learnt of a volunteering opportunity going in the Soil Association’s press office from a fellow student. A few phone calls and emails later, and it was in the bag. With this week being my last, I have recognised considerable differences in myself – as a student and as a person.
My first day started with a surprising lie-in in comparison to my university wake-up call, with still enough time to avoid having to frantically run to catch the bus. Arriving five minutes earlier than told, I was keen to make a good first impression on team – and I think it worked. Despite one of the press office managers telling me they were juggling a few volunteers over April, I was the only one in that day which made it slightly less daunting. After being introduced to the team, greeted with a bar of Green & Blacks and briefed on the all things organic, I got cracking with measuring the organisations coverage for the day and distributing it out to the necessary teams. Whilst I knew measuring coverage was the backbone of public relations, it was interesting to be able to use new tools I had not been exposed to before in a real-life situation. After refueling on a Bearrito, I focused on the creative side of press office duties, summarising some key organic and environmental stories for their weekly newsletter before returning home.
In my first week, I expressed my eagerness to be part of some pitching as this is one practical element of PR that we don’t experience at university. As this is quite an important task, I didn’t think I would be allowed to phone journalists so soon into my time with the Soil Association, but the team were very encouraging for me to get involved. So much so that they thought it would be an insightful for me to follow a story from searching for relevant contacts, to writing the press release, to getting it published. Whilst the local story was far from going global, I was over the moon when my journalist phone conversation led to the story becoming a nib in local London paper. Whilst I had heard about the rush practitioners get, it was hard to relate from the 4 corners of a classroom, however, the press office was just as proud as I was of my mini accomplishment.
My third week happened to be the week before the launch of the Soil Associations latest greenwashing within the beauty industry campaign, and the whole press office seemed to be in overdrive. Amongst my usual routine of measuring coverage and writing about important news stories for their weekly Organic News, I was asked to help compile a list of all the press contacts we could pitch to on the day of the launch. Whilst this job doesn’t sound super exciting, I quite enjoyed searching for important media contacts knowing that on launch day, I could be pitching to any one of them.
And finally, Campaign for Clarity’s launch day was finally here. It was far less hectic than I originally anticipated, and after an informal meeting with the team, my anxiety was put at ease. Armed with all the information I could possibly need and some Pukka mint tea (a bonus of working for an organic NGO I will miss terribly), I was ready to get pitching to the mass media. And it didn’t go too badly either. There were some curve-ball questions thrown at me, and some uninterested receptionists, but other than that the experience was positive and thrilling.