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Posted: 11/22/2003 7:21:39 PM EDT

FBI Scrutinizes Antiwar Rallies

By ERIC LICHTBLAU, The New York Times

WASHINGTON (Nov. 22) -- The Federal Bureau of Investigation has collected extensive information on the tactics, training and organization of antiwar demonstrators and has advised local law enforcement officials to report any suspicious activity at protests to its counterterrorism squads, according to interviews and a confidential bureau memorandum.

The memorandum, which the bureau sent to local law enforcement agencies last month in advance of antiwar demonstrations in Washington and San Francisco, detailed how protesters have sometimes used "training camps" to rehearse for demonstrations, the Internet to raise money and gas masks to defend against tear gas. The memorandum analyzed lawful activities like recruiting demonstrators, as well as illegal activities like using fake documentation to get into a secured site.

F.B.I. officials said in interviews that the intelligence-gathering effort was aimed at identifying anarchists and "extremist elements" plotting violence, not at monitoring the political speech of law-abiding protesters.

The initiative has won the support of some local police, who view it as a critical way to maintain order at large-scale demonstrations. Indeed, some law enforcement officials said they believed the F.B.I.'s approach had helped to ensure that nationwide antiwar demonstrations in recent months, drawing hundreds of thousands of protesters, remained largely free of violence and disruption.

But some civil rights advocates and legal scholars said the monitoring program could signal a return to the abuses of the 1960's and 1970's, when J. Edgar Hoover was the F.B.I. director and agents routinely spied on political protesters like the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

"The F.B.I. is dangerously targeting Americans who are engaged in nothing more than lawful protest and dissent," said Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union. "The line between terrorism and legitimate civil disobedience is blurred, and I have a serious concern about whether we're going back to the days of Hoover."

Herman Schwartz, a constitutional law professor at American University who has written about F.B.I. history, said collecting intelligence at demonstrations is probably legal.

But he added: "As a matter of principle, it has a very serious chilling effect on peaceful demonstration. If you go around telling people, `We're going to ferret out information on demonstrations,' that deters people. People don't want their names and pictures in F.B.I. files."

The abuses of the Hoover era, which included efforts by the F.B.I. to harass and discredit Hoover's political enemies under a program known as Cointelpro, led to tight restrictions on F.B.I. investigations of political activities.

Those restrictions were relaxed significantly last year, when Attorney General John Ashcroft issued guidelines giving agents authority to attend political rallies, mosques and any event "open to the public."

Mr. Ashcroft said the Sept. 11 attacks made it essential that the F.B.I. be allowed to investigate terrorism more aggressively. The bureau's recent strategy in policing demonstrations is an outgrowth of that policy, officials said.

"We're not concerned with individuals who are exercising their constitutional rights," one F.B.I. official said. "But it's obvious that there are individuals capable of violence at these events. We know that there are anarchists that are actively involved in trying to sabotage and commit acts of violence at these different events, and we also know that these large gatherings would be a prime target for terrorist groups."

Civil rights advocates, relying largely on anecdotal evidence, have complained for months that federal officials have surreptitiously sought to suppress the First Amendment rights of antiwar demonstrators.

Critics of the Bush administration's Iraq policy, for instance, have sued the government to learn how their names ended up on a "no fly" list used to stop suspected terrorists from boarding planes. Civil rights advocates have accused federal and local authorities in Denver and Fresno, Calif., of spying on antiwar demonstrators or infiltrating planning meetings. And the New York Police Department this year questioned many of those arrested at demonstrations about their political affiliations, before halting the practice and expunging the data in the face of public criticism.

The F.B.I. memorandum, however, appears to offer the first corroboration of a coordinated, nationwide effort to collect intelligence regarding demonstrations.

The memorandum, circulated on Oct. 15 -- just 10 days before many thousands gathered in Washington and San Francisco to protest the American occupation of Iraq -- noted that the bureau "possesses no information indicating that violent or terrorist activities are being planned as part of these protests" and that "most protests are peaceful events."

But it pointed to violence at protests against the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank as evidence of potential disruption. Law enforcement officials said in interviews that they had become particularly concerned about the ability of antigovernment groups to exploit demonstrations and promote a violent agenda. "What a great opportunity for an act of terrorism, when all your resources are dedicated to some big event and you let your guard down," a law enforcement official involved in securing recent demonstrations said. "What would the public say if we didn't look for criminal activity and intelligence at these events?"

The memorandum urged local law enforcement officials "to be alert to these possible indicators of protest activity and report any potentially illegal acts" to counterterrorism task forces run by the F.B.I. It warned about an array of threats, including homemade bombs and the formation of human chains.

The memorandum discussed demonstrators' "innovative strategies," like the videotaping of arrests as a means of "intimidation" against the police. And it noted that protesters "often use the Internet to recruit, raise funds and coordinate their activities prior to demonstrations."

"Activists may also make use of training camps to rehearse tactics and counter-strategies for dealing with the police and to resolve any logistical issues," the memorandum continued. It also noted that protesters may raise money to help pay for lawyers for those arrested.

F.B.I. counterterrorism officials developed the intelligence cited in the memorandum through firsthand observation, informants, public sources like the Internet and other methods, officials said.

Officials said the F.B.I. treats demonstrations no differently than other large-scale and vulnerable gatherings. The aim, they said, was not to monitor protesters but to gather intelligence.

Critics said they remained worried. "What the F.B.I. regards as potential terrorism," Mr. Romero of the A.C.L.U. said, "strikes me as civil disobedience."


11-22-03 16:44 EST

Copyright © 2003 The New York Times Company.

Link Posted: 11/22/2003 7:53:54 PM EDT
What a nice un-biased news report. Somehow they link the protestors to middle-eastern terrorists and also report that these protesters attend training camps. You mean, like the Al-Qaida "training camps?"

I don't have any love in my heart for people who commit acts of property destruction but this is a good example of a smear-job by a well-read and well-respected newspaper.
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 8:02:29 PM EDT

Originally Posted By N_Viejo:
What a nice un-biased news report. Somehow they link the protestors to middle-eastern terrorists and also report that these protesters attend training camps. You mean, like the Al-Qaida "training camps?"

I don't have any love in my heart for people who commit acts of property destruction but this is a good example of a smear-job by a well-read and well-respected newspaper.



Thats funny, I thought that with all the refrences to J. Edgar that it was the FBI that was getting smeared here. The FBI isn't telling the local police anything that the locals couldn't have found themselves just by browsing Anarchist websites and collecting old news interviews by protest leaders.
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 9:03:18 PM EDT
Well, some of these guys have caused RIOTS at their so-called 'peaceful demonstrations' before...

I think that is a matter worthy of investigation...
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 9:15:54 PM EDT
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 9:23:38 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/22/2003 9:29:24 PM EDT by BusMaster007]
That's correct, SA.
When I drove the WTO detail in Seattle, I hauled some true shitbags to jail.
One look at the processing of the 'people' that were being booked would make you want to kick their asses just because.
They were foul, lewd, anti-everything POS.
Thinking these are the kind of people that would kill you in a second kind of changes your mind real quick about them.
They ARE fucking terrorists. I saw the damage they caused.
They weren't exercising their Freedom, they were being terrorists. Period.
I'll never forget that 3-day episode here, nor will I ever yield my way of life to people like that.

edited to add:
These are the folks that caused the city to shut down, and then began to head toward the outlying neighborhoods. There is no reason to go there except to wreak havoc on innocent civilians and destroy private property.
These are also the folks that would end up shitting in the doorwell of the bus they were being held on until processing their arrest.
Or the guy who was trying to pick out his tongue stud to use as a handcuff key...
There are places they 'teach' tactics to these folks to disrupt the right to peaceable assembly, etc.
I could go on.
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 9:26:20 PM EDT

Originally Posted By BusMaster007:
That's correct, SA.
When I drove the WTO detail in Seattle, I hauled some true shitbags to jail.
One look at the processing of the 'people' that were being booked would make you want to kick their asses just because.
They were foul, lewd, anti-everything POS.
Thinking these are the kind of people that would kill you in a second kind of changes your mind real quick about them.
They ARE fucking terrorists. I saw the damage they caused.
They weren't exercising their Freedom, they were being terrorists. Period.
I'll never forget that 3-day episode here, nor will I ever yield my way of life to people like that.



And what was the Socio-Economic status of these people you were hauling in? Mostly white and wealthy or?
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 9:32:22 PM EDT
Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that I was doing a running Socio-Economic Study at the time...

Yes, they were mostly Caucasian.
But, that doesn't matter, does it?
They were criminal shitheads. Color notwithstanding.
I have no idea what their 'poverty level' was.
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 9:35:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By BusMaster007:
Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that I was doing a running Socio-Economic Study at the time...

Yes, they were mostly Caucasian.
But, that doesn't matter, does it?
They were criminal shitheads. Color notwithstanding.
I have no idea what their 'poverty level' was.



I was being sarcastic. I was wondering if the TV appearence of being wealthy white trust fund babies was accurate, or just a stereotype.
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 9:39:50 PM EDT
I don't know.
It started out pretty good.
Lots of people there to see what was going on.
As the day progressed, the Business types disappeared and what remained were the hooded, masked, freakazoid destructos.
I don't think these were rich white kids with nothing better to do.
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 10:52:29 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/22/2003 10:55:11 PM EDT by rayra]

Originally Posted By N_Viejo:
What a nice un-biased news report. Somehow they link the protestors to middle-eastern terrorists and also report that these protesters attend training camps. You mean, like the Al-Qaida "training camps?"

I don't have any love in my heart for people who commit acts of property destruction but this is a good example of a smear-job by a well-read and well-respected newspaper.


BwaaaaHAAAHAAAAA - "well-read and well-respected newspaper." You're funny. The home of Plagerist / Lying Jason Blair, an Israel-hating editorial staff, and a declining readership.

The anarchists / communists / socialists of International Answer, NION, ISM deserve to get their heads kicked in - a little extra scrutiny from law enforcement of groups that preach and practice civil disruption and acts of rebellion, including exhortations and attempts to disable uplink satellite hardware at Vandenberg is the LEAST we should be doing - they NEED to be getting intensive special scrutiny.
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 11:35:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/22/2003 11:36:46 PM EDT by The_Cheat]
Certain Army units are also watching the WTO protestors. Starts with with a "Op" ends with a "D".

They were called up and working in Seattle at the last demonstration. I dont know what they did, all I know is they were there.
Link Posted: 11/23/2003 1:34:51 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SteyrAUG:
Normally this kind of stuff would bug me.

I think you guys should study up on these guys before you dismiss them as innocent victims of a smear campaign.

These guys are real close to domestic terrorists.


The same label they will give us when they come after firearm owners.
Link Posted: 11/23/2003 2:03:39 AM EDT
Doesn't matter what you label them. What matters is whether or not the label fits. Terrorism is the use of force or threat to intimidate. If that is what these people are doing, then they are in fact terrorist. Lables can give people bad names and there is no doubt in my mind that if/when JBTs come for our your guns, they will label us you, as terrorist, but it's what's just that matters.
Link Posted: 11/23/2003 2:14:41 AM EDT
A friend of some friends went to Evergreen State College after high school and really got into this kind of activism hard core. His graduating class were the ones who selected Mumia Abu-Jamal to give their commencement speech via tape recorder.

He wrote an unbelievably narcissistic autobiography about himself (at age 21) about his political awakening, mission to save the world, and the 1999 WTO protests. Now he's a public school teacher teaching kids in Corvallis, OR. Hooray!
Link Posted: 11/23/2003 2:25:34 AM EDT
"One man's terrorist is another man's patriot"

I don't know who said that but it's true. Perception is everything.

Link Posted: 11/23/2003 2:30:34 AM EDT
Those guys were about as much patriots as the LA rioters were...
Link Posted: 11/23/2003 3:45:39 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ArmdLbrl:
And what was the Socio-Economic status of these people you were hauling in? Mostly white and wealthy or?



I would bet these are who my brother-in-law calls trustafarians. Kids with dreadlocks and a trust fund.

I thought I would piss myself the first time I heard that.
Link Posted: 11/23/2003 11:31:07 AM EDT
Link Posted: 11/23/2003 11:32:26 AM EDT
Link Posted: 11/23/2003 2:06:24 PM EDT
KEEP LINK COLD: http://flag.blackened.net/

Enough stuff there to keep you pissed off for years. The Black Bloc are the folks that travel from city to city starting shit, along with Critical Mass. They are the ones bringing weapons and incendiaries, ball bearings, etc., and jamming urban areas. They use SMS messaging to coordinate, and digital video to make it look like THEY are the ones being persecuted.

They ARE terrorists.

FUCK THEM ALL.

As an aside, is Pierre Proudhon actually Paul Prodhorn?
Link Posted: 11/23/2003 2:44:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SteyrAUG:

Originally Posted By cyanide:

Originally Posted By SteyrAUG:
Normally this kind of stuff would bug me.

I think you guys should study up on these guys before you dismiss them as innocent victims of a smear campaign.

These guys are real close to domestic terrorists.


The same label they will give us when they come after firearm owners.



Yeah? When was the last time a bunch of gun owners got together in protests and burned down a city?

In fact when was the last major protest of gun owners at all?

Can you even name one or are you just FOS again?

The WTO anarchists go from protest to protest almost as a way of life. They have a well documnted track record of destruction.

Can you please provide me the same for a 2nd Amend Group?





Unfortunately Steyr, in spite of the FACT, that the Constitutionally guaranteed rights of Gun owners are violated daily in this country, WE, just don't have the BALLS those "Hippies" have....
Link Posted: 11/23/2003 3:35:19 PM EDT
Yeah, what the hell is up with that? I mean it isn't like gun owners are being kept track of is it? Does the FBI dare to keep a list with all the protesters names on it? (Like they do with gun owners) Do they do background checks and forbid them to protest if they have been a bad boy/girl? (Like they do with gun owners)....

Cry me a river, Let them deal with the BS Joe GunOwner does everyday then let them bitch
Link Posted: 11/23/2003 3:52:14 PM EDT
We had a terrorist group similar to the WTO ones here in Sacramento, Ca last summer. They were protesting the genetically altered foods saying that it was bad for people and encouraged corporate greed. Keep in mind that most of this altered food would allow certain crops (like corn, wheat, etc) to be produced in desert/high bug areas....hence help starving nations. It also was/is more resetent to bugs and pests which would cut down on the number of insecticides used on our foods.


But they were all against this because someone would be making money off of it. It was a 3 day event for this conferance, yet the protestors arrived 2 days prior and starting causing massive trouble before it ever started. And they only had one day protest permit. They blocked businesses, where un washed and dirty, bloked traffic on purpose, yelled at people in their cars, threw items at the police, and generally caused truble the whole 5 days they were here.

So I say fuck them...they are an organized GANG that deserves to be treated as the Domestic Terrorist that they are.

My only hope is that the envornmental groups will be next.

Sgtar15
Link Posted: 11/23/2003 5:18:33 PM EDT
Link Posted: 11/23/2003 6:10:55 PM EDT
In fact, when I think of hippies, I think of French hairy vaginas (girls and boys) instead of balls, or lack thereof.
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