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Be alert for any government plan that shifts attention from criminal acts to "radical" ideas and "extreme" views on politics and religion. This chills dissent across the political spectrum.

From "Social Movements and 'Terrorism'"
by Robert Whit

'Scholars and government officials have spent countless pages trying to define “terrorism.”  They should instead follow Charles Tilly’s definition of political violence:

any observable interaction in the course of which persons or objects are seized or physically damaged in spite of resistance (Tilly 1978, p. 176).

What is often termed “terrorism” is more properly the use or threat of political violence.

A virtue of Tilly’s definition is it acknowledges that state and non-state actors engage in (and threaten) political violence.  Unfortunately, many scholars who study “terrorism” explicitly exclude state actions from their definition or they include the potential for state violence and then selectively focus on non-state activists.  This is misguided, at best.

From my perspective, “terrorism” is a label used by elites to smear dissenters.  For example, The Guardian reports that the Chinese government has referred to the Dalai Lama’s prayers for self-immolating monks as “terrorism in disguise”....'

Read more from "Social Movements and 'Terrorism'"
by Robert White

Visit the Political Spying Document Depository

Please Note:

The files in this online archival depository are provided because democracy is based on informed consent and the free flow of ideas and information.

Documents from government and non-government surveillance files, without corroborating information from another source, should not be considered an accurate historic record.

As scholars and journalists have shown repeatedly, surveillance documents contain information that is sometimes inaccurate and sometimes invented. Read more here.

Browse Documents from Government Programs that Involve Surveillance

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First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, 1791

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.