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Report: NYPD to Put 56 Activists Under 24-Hour Surveillance

WABC-TV in New York is reporting the NYPD has launched a massive COINTELPRO-like operation ahead of the GOP Convention. Over 300 police officers have been assigned to travel around the country to "shadow" 56 "anarchists" identified as dangerous by the NYPD. Each activist will reportedly be trailed by one six police officers and one police supervisor. WABC reports: "Sources say detectives are leaving this weekend for Boston, Washington D.C., North Carolina, and California to begin surveillance and tail the protestors as they travel to New York."

WABC quotes no named sources so it is hard to determine the veracity of the report. Perhaps misinformation is being leaked to scare protesters from coming to New York. What do you think?

August 19, 2004 | Permalink

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Comments

I think this is just a measure to limit the number of peaceful protesters that show up. No "actionistas" are going to be intimidated by surveillance, I'm sure they've gotten used to it over the years, but ordinary folks will neither wanted to be painted with the "dangerous" label, nor put themselves in danger.

Posted by: Billy O'Connor | Aug 19, 2004 11:28:18 AM

I am sure there are many who need to ask Police Commissioner Timmoney what the HELL is going on.

WHAT are they afraid of? FREE SPEECH ZONES not working?

Got Civil Rights?

Posted by: Ray | Aug 19, 2004 11:44:38 AM

fucked up. But funny. Has the police gotten so fucking paranoid that they are destroying the civil liberties ("Freedumb".. err Freedom) that they very much value? This makes absolutely no sense at all.

The NYPD does not even have the proper funding, gear, or equipment to fight terrorism (or whatever I guess)! Yet they are able to send cops around the country to fuck with folks.

To the NYPD: You know this. You know how fucked up this is. Are you trying to perserve this country for your children or a fascist dictatorship?

Posted by: Nick | Aug 19, 2004 12:57:07 PM

I object to the tax-payers money being wasted on tracking people who are participating in their constitutional rights; the right to travel from state to state, the right to assemble. The right not to be detained without charge and freedom of speech may also come into play. Objection to the president is not anarchy, it is democracy.
Don't they have anything better to do with their time and our money. Perhaps, protecting all citizens instead of just a few or detecting the next corporate scandal before innocent Americans lose their retirement funds.

Posted by: Gail | Aug 20, 2004 5:41:52 PM

Okay, let's see... they have identified 56 "potential terrorists" and are going to tail them.

Uhh, if they were serious about the security why did they publish this?

Posted by: Anon | Aug 21, 2004 4:15:25 AM

Regarding Gail's point - it could be that the anonymity of the NYPD threat was to ensure that there is no lawsuit (which would likely be federal, and thus expensive).

IMHO, the threat is vague enough that it could be equal parts reality and psychological attack. The NYPD could be following members of the Rotary Club for all we know, but nonetheless they realize that by making a non-specific threat, they heighten fears nationwide.

Posted by: Clandestino | Aug 21, 2004 11:48:01 AM

Two letters to the FBI:

Dear Federal Bureau of Investigation,

Can I just say that I am deeply disappointed that I have not yet received my personal visit from the FBI. I have put a great deal of time into my radical activities over the last couple months and frankly, it's time I received proper recognition for my work.

I left the doors unlocked. I have stayed up long nights waiting for you to enter my window. So where are you?

Do you seriously think I organized all those traffic blocks and banner hangs just to be ignored like some lowly petition gatherer? Do you think I locked myself to a crusty punk by the neck with bicycle U-locks just for fun? Do you think it's easy to create a costume-pirate-hook-out-of-papier-mache-that-is-intended-to-be-mistaken-by-the-Boston-police-as-a-molotov-cocktail-hoax-device? Those kinds of nuances take work. And those giant puppets of sunflowers, moon spirits, and earth goddesses, well guess what -- they weigh a fucking ton!

And in return for all this what do folks like me get? Nothing. We don’t get paid dirt. We depend on Food Not Bombs which doesn't require FBI intelligence to know it came from last night's dumpster run. The only reward we get is the social change we provoke...and one of the few ways we can measure if we are really having an effect is by the reactionary wave of repression unleashed upon us by the neo-fascist security forces of the capitalist state... i.e. you guys.

Now I am sure that those people you intimidated in Missouri, Colorado, Massachusetts, California and New York all did some worthwhile stuff…but every relationship takes work and you are clearly not holding up your end in ours. You don’t have time? Well, you need to make time. Where’s the love and affection? (or rather, gloves and detention.)

Look, I’m sorry. I know it must be hard at times to decide which non-criminal, non-violent, pro-democracy, pro-peace activist to hunt down, but if there is any way I might stand our from the rest by being more of an extremist when it comes to non-criminal, non-violent, pro-democracy, pro-peace activities, then please just tell me.

If you don't have time for personal visits, I understand, I really do. But really, a card or something. Here, the letter I enclosed should make it easy…just print it out and mail it to me. And please use the good stationary so it will look good in frame.
See, what was so hard about that? As Aretha put it, all I’m askin' for is just a little R.E.S.P.E.C.T. (Just a lil' bit. Just a lil’ bit.). After all, without critically thinking citizens like us you wouldn't have anything to do except hunt down *real* threats to our security.

I’ll leave the light on,

Joe Protester


P.S. You should know I was really hurt when you told your people to stop strip-searching me at the airport. I had been feeling really confident about our relationship after I got 5 of them in a row, including 1 body cavity. You were so busy at the office with those ACLU lawsuits I knew the searches were your little 'secret' of telling me you still cared. But then, suddenly, all I got was this polite, impassive "welcome aboard, sir... have a pleasant flight, sir...would you like some peanuts, sir". That’s a cold way to let a person down. You could have at least called.

FBI, have I really changed that much? Are the creative direct actions that others are planning for NYC better than mine? They always used to be good enough for you.

FBI, where did our love go?

Dear FBI,

I have received visits from the FBI. I am curious if that automatically registers me as one of the 56. Whether or not we are anarchists, we are viewing this as an "Anarcho Idol," and if I am not being tailed, I would like to know what I have done in the last month to be taken off of the priorities list.

In the end, I think that most of us understand that you are simply attempting to intimidate us, and you must know that it wont work. We are of one mind: if we don't protest, then the terrorists (you) have won.

sincerely,
you all ready oughta know who I am (and if you don't, then I'm kind of dissappointed in myself)

P.S. There are a number of dangerous activists planning violence that you might want to check out: Todd Gitlin, the Spartacus League, the Lyndon Larouche people, rightmarch.com, the Society for Truth & Justice, and Protest Warrior. You might want to refocus your energies.

Posted by: me | Aug 21, 2004 12:12:01 PM

Please help me stir up the pot on the Ultra right
Political forum of www.shotgunworld.com
Just using facts drives them crazy. Anything they dont like is automatically viewed as lies, slander, or propaganda. PLEASE HELP

Posted by: Jon Lorenz | Aug 22, 2004 9:30:03 AM

One important thing your forgetting.

THE PROTESTERS ARE NOT WELCOME, AND THERE WILL BE SOME SERIOUS FOOT TO ASS.

YOU HAVE BEEN TOLD

Posted by: JohnDough | Aug 23, 2004 3:51:20 AM

Don't be a pantywaist sissy and let them scare you. We need to be tough like the Republicans. Come on and quit bellyaching! ! ! Jeeze, sometimes I wonder how how we ever made it this far . . .

Posted by: Tommoss | Aug 23, 2004 3:57:35 PM

Hey -- this is eyewash for the gibbering masses. They watch a LOT more than 56 people, around the clock, 24/7/52.

Posted by: Comandante Gringo | Aug 24, 2004 12:42:44 AM

"Please help me stir up the pot on the Ultra right
Political forum of www.shotgunworld.com
Just using facts drives them crazy. Anything they dont like is automatically viewed as lies, slander, or propaganda. PLEASE HELP"

never bfore have i seen a political forum that was more "middle of the road". nothing you say there is censored unless you are trolling. there are plenty of liberals as well as conservatives at the site. those on both sides keep the other side in check.
it is not an "ultra right" political forum at all.

Posted by: chips | Sep 12, 2004 10:28:35 PM

That "Shotgun World" forum had it's share of Conservatives, but it also had it's share people who REALLY want Bush out.
Sure, it may be a more "Conservative" forum but it has voices from the pro-gun left too.

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