Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Watching The Watchers

(Photo by Hank)

The American Civil Liberties Union released a report yesterday entitled Policing Free Speech: Police Surveillance and Obstruction of First Amendment-Protected Activity (PDF) detailing numerous incidents where law enforcement authorities infiltrated nonviolent organizations, abused their authority, or illegally spied on Americans who were simply exercising their First Amendment rights.

There are many interesting and outrageous examples of irrational, fear-driven behavior in the report which includes three incidents in Washington state. An anti-war activist reported to have "three known anarchists" in his car. An artist arrested for taking photos of power lines. And a Fort Lewis civilian working in law enforcement who passed himself off as an anarchist in order to infiltrate an Olympia-based anti-war group.

And then for those that do make it to a protest, there's the Miami Model to worry about.

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