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COINTELPRO

Raided By The FBI For Being Socialist, With Omali Yeshitela

Today, “Behind The Headlines” host Lee Camp speaks to Omali Yeshitela, a man raided by the FBI for the crime of being a black socialist. Together, the two discuss the revolutionary black liberation movement, U.S. imperialism, racism, and the corruption of the two-party system. In August of last year, the FBI raided the offices of the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP), with agents using flash-bang grenades at 5 am on a Friday to startle and arrest individuals inside its headquarters. Yeshitela helped found the APSP in 1972, at a time when the Black Liberation movement was being similarly quashed by government forces. The group’s mission is to advocate for the rights and self-determination of African people globally. The organization has been a sharp critic of the U.S. and NATO-backed war in Ukraine and a defender of poor nations threatened by American sanctions, coups, embargoes, and blockades.

Ex-FBI Agent Coleen Rowley Breaks Silence On Leonard Peltier, COINTELPRO

The first FBI agent close to the Leonard Peltier case is calling for his freedom. Coleen Rowley recounts, in this wide-ranging and exclusive interview, her time as an agent in the Minneapolis field office. For nearly 50 years, the FBI has indoctrinated its agents on a specific version of events that led to Leonard Peltier’s arrest, conviction, and imprisonment. The mentality then, Rowley argues, is little different than the mentality today. That’s why she decided to break the silence and is calling on President Joe Biden to grant Leonard Peltier executive clemency. Rowley gives us an insider’s view of the FBI and how the dark and violent history of COINTELPRO, which targeted civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. and social movements like the Black Panthers and AIM, didn’t end in 1971. It morphed and evolved over the years and continued well into the U.S. war on terror.

FBI Harasses Cuban Solidarity Activists For Delivering Medical Aid

The president of the Cuba Solidarity Committee (CSC) of Puerto Rico, Milagros Rivera, denounces the intimidation operation unleashed by federal agents through calls and visits to several activists of the Committee and members of the Juan Rius Rivera Brigade. Claiming that they were investigating the Cuba Solidarity Committee, they tried to find out details about the Committee’s spokesperson and the recent trip to Cuba by the Brigade under the category “various types of support for the Cuban people”. On its tour of the country, the brigade delivered sanitary donations to fight against COVID-19 in hospitals and engaged in cultural and educational exchanges with the people. Since early in the morning of Tuesday, August 23, agents who identified themselves as FBI agents visited over a dozen brigade members and friends in solidarity from different parts of the country, alleging an investigation against the CSC, its president, and the solidarity militancy.

No COINTELPRO In Washington DC

The DC government is deploying COINTELPRO like tactics against organizations and individuals fighting to protect and expand our rights. Of course, this is not news to those who have been engaged in political work here for any amount of time, but now, thanks to one local organizer, there is proof. Suspecting she was being surveilled by the Metro Police Department (MPD), April Goggans of Black Lives Matter DC (BLMDC) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the documents the DC government had on her. After years of hiding, stalling and lying by MPD, April took the request to court. The most important hearing to date was scheduled for June 14, 2022 too determine if MPD is required to follow FOIA laws.

The Same FBI

Many Americans were shocked last year when the FBI released a statement saying that a group of 13 Michigan men had plotted to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer from her vacation home.  The group, which called itself the Michigan Wolverines, allegedly planned to storm the state capitol and Whitmer’s vacation home as part of an effort to instigate a civil war. Several of them made Molotov cocktails, which they allegedly intended to throw at responding police officers, and several others had weapons.  They had spent months conducting surveillance training and practicing with their weapons.  As many as 200 people were involved in the planning, either in meetings or in conversations over Facebook.

Lessons From FBI’s Secret War On Activism

The Federal Bureau of Investigation tried to destroy left organizations and the black freedom movement during the last major upsurge in radical politics in this country, in the 1960s. It looks like they are trying to do it again. The bureau’s Cointelpro (Counterintelligence Program) was a secret operation the bureau carried out against left-wing groups from 1956 to 1971. It first targeted the Communist Party, and was expanded to the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) in 1961 and the “New Left” in 1968. In a secret 1968 memo, longtime FBI director J. Edgar Hoover directed his agents to “expose, disrupt and otherwise neutralize the activities of various New Left organizations.

#COINTELPRO: Disrupting Resistance Movements In The Digital Age

By Tasha Moro for the National Lawyers Guild. Trials began last week in the historic prosecution of nearly 200 “J20” defendants indiscriminately arrested en masse during protests against Trump’s inauguration in Washington, DC, each facing more than 60 years in prison on rioting and property damage charges. In an affront to the First and Fourth Amendments, federal prosecutors seized more than 100 cell phones and obtained warrants for information of all visitors to the disruptj20.org website and those who “liked” their page on Facebook, among other personal social media data of organizers and participants. In contrast, law enforcement’s laissez-faire attitude during August’s “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, VA allowed white supremacists with guns, tiki torches, and Nazi flags to spew racial slurs and hate throughout the city for two entire days, culminating in the murder of anti-racist activist Heather Heyer on August 12.

Leaked Documents Reveal Counter-terrorism Tactics At Standing Rock

Alleen Brown, Will Parrish and Alice Speri for The Intercept. A shadowy international mercenary and security firm known as TigerSwan targeted the movement opposed to the Dakota Access Pipeline with military-style counterterrorism measures, collaborating closely with police in at least five states, according to internal documents obtained by The Intercept. The documents provide the first detailed picture of how TigerSwan, which originated as a U.S. military and State Department contractor helping to execute the global war on terror, worked at the behest of its client Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the Dakota Access Pipeline, to respond to the indigenous-led movement that sought to stop the project.

Anti-Black Surveillance Did Not End With COINTELPRO

By Stephanie Llanes for Truthout - Fifty years from now, what will the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture's exhibit on the Movement for Black Lives look like? Will the exhibit feature videos from the hundreds of protests that erupted around the United States and the world, alongside pictures of children with signs that say "I Can't Breathe," and "Say Her Name?" Will there be displays of the canisters of tear gas thrown by police at protestors, and a copy of the Vision for Black Lives policy plan for visitors to read?

Silicon Valley And Police Create COINTELPRO For Tech Age

By Staff of Tele Sur - The most widely-used social media platforms have collaborated with law enforcement to track Black Lives Matter activists, providing police agencies with data that is unavailable to the broader public, the American Civil Liberties Union revealed Tuesday. Indeed, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all gave “special access” to Geofeedia, a Chicago-based social media monitoring company whose marketing materials have referred to labor unions and activists as “overt threats.”

History Of State Repression Against Social Movements

By Jared Ball for The Real News - Welcome, everyone, back to the Real News Network. I'm Jared Ball here in Baltimore. As we move into Black History Month, we wanted to sit down with our resident political prisoner and Black Panther Party producer and host here at the Real News, Marshall Eddie Conway, to talk a little bit about his life and work, and particularly about his book The Greatest Threat: The Black Panther Party and the Counterintelligence Program.

The Worst Snowden Revelation of Them All: Digital Cointelpro

Speaking of the media, this whole covert action program assumes easy access on the part of government agents to sympathetic contacts in the "mainstream" news and opinion outlets: it posits a ready consumer base of "journalists" hungry for a constant diet of smears, "false flags," and compromising material. And we can all guess as to who some of them might be…. Cass Sunstein, President Obama’s close advisor and head of a commission to "reform" the NSA, has long advocated infiltrating online communities devoted to supposedly dangerous "conspiracy theories," and otherwise steering online discourse in a more pro-government direction – and it looks like his ideas are being put into practice. The new documents promise a "full rollout complete by early 2013," with "500+ GCHQ analysts" on the job – and how many from the NSA and US law enforcement agencies?

FBI Burglars Praise Edward Snowden – And His Decision To Flee

The activists who stole FBI documents exposing widespread, illegal domestic surveillance in 1971 say Edward Snowden did the right thing in fleeing the country instead of awaiting punishment for leaking sensitive NSA files. "How would that have helped in the purpose for which Edward Snowden acted?" asked John Raines, who revealed his role in the burglary for the first time on Tuesday. "How would that have helped if we had stood around?" The actions of Raines, an 80-year-old retired Temple University professor, and seven other anti-war activists revealed a vast effort under FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover to surveil and intimidate law-abiding dissidents during the Vietnam era. The files they pilfered from a field office in Media, Pa., and then sent to journalists helped spur sweeping intelligence reforms under the 1970s-era Church Committee.

Activists Who Broke into FBI Office, Stole COINTELPRO Papers, Reveal Their Identities

Forty-three years after the mysterious theft of up to 1,000 documents from an FBI office outside Philadelphia, three former political activists are publicly confessing to the brazen burglary, calling it an act of “resistance” that exposed “massive illegal surveillance and intimidation.” “We did it … because somebody had to do it,” John Raines, 80, a retired professor of religion at Temple University, said in an interview with NBC News. “In this case, by breaking a law -- entering, removing files -- we exposed a crime that was going on. … When we are denied the information we need to have to act as citizens, then we have a right to do what we did.”
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