Gideon Oliver spoke to me of the devastating effect this kind of surveillance has had on activists. “People fear that detectives are following them around. They panic. It’s a movement-dismantling tactic.” Most Occupy protesters are new to activism and are emotionally unprepared to deal with this kind of intimidation. Nor, so far as I have seen, are they inclined to seek the advice of older activists who were under surveillance in the 1960s and 1970s, before the protections of the original Handschu Decree, which prohibited political spying, were put in place. Those activists nevertheless found ways to continue their political work.From an article on the NYPD's Intel Division. [more inside]
"If the government is able to learn what we speak about, and know who we're talking to, and know what it is that we're planning, it makes any kind of activism extremely difficult, because secrecy and privacy are prerequisites to effective activism. "Glenn Greenwald on challenging the surveillance state: (1 - 2 - 3 - 4).
The Green Scare: Rod Coronado gave a talk in San Diego and the feds called his words ‘terrorism.’ How new laws are equating environmentalists with Al Qaeda. [Via Gristmill.]
If you get your protest, then you ‘ve got to have your subpoena! "I've heard of such a thing, but not since the 1950's, the McCarthy era," said David D. Cole, a Georgetown law professor. "It sends a very troubling message about government officials' attitudes toward basic liberties." (NYT article)