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spying on workers - database of activists

WORKERS, JANUARY 2004 ISSUE

A private agency, run by an Evelyn Le Chene, has inherited the mantle of the collapsed Economic League. The Economic League existed throughout most of the 20th century, funded by various employers' organisations to spy and blacklist trade unionists, Communists and others deemed to be the enemies of capitalism. The League collapsed in the 1980s amid financial irregularities and outcry over abuse of civil liberties.

The new agency claims a database of over 148,000 individuals -- 'activists' covering a very wide political and economic spectrum -- effectively anyone who is anti-capitalist. Various companies, such as Group 4 Security and manufacturer BAE Systems, have bought information on these 'activists'. BAE is said to be paying more than 120,000 a year for information.

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