If you are a member of a mosque, a person of color, or a member of an organization that advocates for peace, the environment, animals, economic justice, or just about any other cause–heads up–the FBI (or the state or local police) is sending paid informants into your community and organizations to spy on you. Worse, they may try to entrap you or one of your peers in a manufactured plots that could end you up in jail.
The FBI’s most successful counterterror operations follow the same pattern: paid informants come into a community, latch onto the most vulnerable members, befriend them, give them gifts, money, drugs and/or alcohol, bully them into joining fake terror plots, and provide everything that is needed to carry out the ploy. Then, BAM! the fake plot is exposed, people’s lives are ruined and the FBI is able to demonize a whole community or movement while pretending they have heroically saved us from terrorism.
We call this pattern Manufacturing Terrorism and it is playing out now in Muslim communities and is being used against environmentalist, anarchists, the Occupy movement, and others.
In response to revelations that the FBI and DHS have been spying on Black Lives Matter, Occupy, anti-pipeline activists and peace and solidarity activists, individuals and 131 civil society organizations asked the House and Senate Judiciary Committees to find out the true extent of improper spying.
The Inspector General found that the NYPD broke the rules on surveillance of political activity, doing it for too long without a reason. Also, 95% of those spied on were “individuals associated with Islam.”
New Defense Department Policy Bans Same Spying Practices Army Used on U.S. Antiwar Activists for Years
New rules for Army Intelligence agents prohibit surveillance “for the purpose of collecting information on the domestic activities of U.S. persons” or “anonymous spying on email listservs.”
Back in March, hundreds of protesters descended on the Superdome in New Orleans to disrupt a federal auction for new Gulf of Mexico oil and gas leases. Now an advocacy group wants to know if federal officials worked with local law enforcement and oil and gas industry insiders to spy on environmentalists involved in that and other protests held as part of the campaign.
UN Special Rapporteur: US Falls Short on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association
“In short, people have good reason to be angry and frustrated at the moment. And it is at times like these when robust promotion of assembly and association rights are needed most.”