Current Political Repression: Page Menu

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---Crackdown on Dissent
---Moving Toward a Police State
Unleashing the FBI
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Featured Articles and Reports

Big Brother Gets Bigger:
Domestic Spying & the Global Intelligence Working Group
by Michelle J. Kinnucan

Some of the easiest to understand material is at the Village Voice website, especially the articles by Nat Hentoff:

Sneak and peek searches with 90 day delay in revealing search

Surveillance of your computer keystrokes

Even more Repression is being Proposed - "Patriot II"
---Article One
---Article Two

Collection of Village Voice articles
ACLU Report on  Electronic Surveillance
Bigger Monster, Weaker Chains: The Growth of an American Surveillance Society

Imbalance of Powers:
How Changes to U.S. Law & Policy Since 9/11
Erode Human Rights and Civil Liberties
Lawyers Committee for Civil Right Under Law

98-page update to above report from the Lawyers Committee for Civil Right Under Law - in PDF

Lawyers Committee for Civil Right Under Law Timeline

Special Report
Justice Dept. Drafts Sweeping Expansion of Anti-Terrorism Act
Center Publishes Secret Draft of ‘Patriot II’ Legislation
By Charles Lewis and Adam Mayle

Trading Liberty for Security after September 11
By David Cole
FPIF Policy Report, September 2002

What's So Patriotic About Trampling on the Bill of Rights?
Nancy Chang, Senior Litigation Attorney
Center for Constitutional Rights


The Crackdown on Dissent
by Abby Scher
From The Nation, Jan. 19, 2001.

Over the past year, the US government has intensified its crackdown on political dissidents opposing corporate globalization, and it is using the same intimidating and probably unconstitutional tactics against demonstrators at the presidential inauguration. With the Secret Service taking on extraordinary powers designed to combat terrorism, undercover operatives are spying on protesters' planning meetings, while police are restricting who is allowed on the parade route and are planning a massive search effort of visitors...
Read the article


Moving Toward A Police State or Have We Arrived?  Secret Military Tribunals, Mass Arrests and Disappearances, Wiretapping & Torture. By Michael Ratner

...It is no exaggeration to say we are moving toward a police state. In this atmosphere, we should take nothing for granted.  We will not be protected nor will the courts, the congress, or the many liberals who are gleefully jumping on the bandwagon of repression guarantee our rights. We have no choice but to make our voices be heard; it is time to stand and be counted on the side of justice and against the antediluvian forces that have much of our country in a stranglehold...
Read the article

Unleashing the FBI

Ashcroft Proposal on FBI is Criticized

BRIAN GLICK is an associate professor of law at Fordham University and the author of "War at Home: Covert Action Against U.S. Activists." Glick said:

"Ashcroft is not just proposing to drop the limits for spying on violent organizations -- he wants to drop the limits, period. The FBI has a history of violating the legal limits; there is no telling what they might do without such limits. The document that launched the COINTELPRO operations against the black social movements directed FBI agents to 'disrupt, misdirect, discredit or otherwise neutralize' dissident movements. It's not just the surveillance part of Ashcroft's proposal that is worrisome; it's the psychological operations, the false rumors, the planted media stories, forged documents and the infiltration of dissident groups that the people
running the country dislike or fear."

CHIP BERLET, senior analyst at Political Research Associates, is an author and paralegal investigator who studies illicit government surveillance. Berlet said:

"Surveillance of dissidents across the political spectrum is now conducted through a loose network of government agencies, corporate security and private right-wing researchers.... By re-establishing a dynamic where any dissident group can be secretly accused of being linked
to terrorism, and subject to disruption, the government opens the door to domestic covert operations that in the past led to orchestrated confrontations and killings."

Released in press release 12/3/01 by the
Institute for Public Accuracy
915 National Press Building, Washington, D.C. 20045
(202) 347-0020 * *

See Also:
Challenging Claims that Agents Investigating Terrorism are Hamstrung by Current Laws

Jury Finds FBI & Oakland Police Targeted Activists

A federal jury has returned a final verdict in favor of Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney in their civil rights lawsuit against four FBI agents and three Oakland Police officers. The jury awarded a total of $4.4 million in damages.

More Online Information - Regularly Updated

  • Alternet Guide to Rights & Liberties


  • Collection of Village Voice articles


  • National Lawyers Guild Home Page
    Know Your Rights - A Legal Guide
    Also available at that site as downloadable Acrobat .pdf and Microsoft Word .doc files.
    Also in Spanish, Farsi, Arabic, Punjabi, and Portuguese.
    American Civil Liberties Union Home Page
    ACLU National Security project. Latest news releases
    Center for Democracy & Technology - Government Surveillance pages

    Center for National Security Studies - focus is on foreign policy & secrecy issues

    National Security Archive - Has a useful collection of legal briefs, Congressional testimony, and memos relating to legislation and legal matters.

    Electronic Privacy Information Center

    Electronic Privacy Information Center - Wiretap Page

    Electronic Privacy Information Center - Counter-Terrorism Page

    In Defense of Freedom Statement & Signatories

    National Coalition to Protect Political Freedom: Home Page is curently offline

    National Coalition Against Repressive Legislation Home Page is curently offline

    National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild

    Chicago Red Squad Case & Updates - Richard Gutman

    The Emergency Campaign to Defend Dissent and Advance Civil Rights
    222 South Black Ave.
    Bozeman, MT 59715

    Insatiable Appetite: The Government's Demand for New and Unnecessary Powers After September 11. A May 2002 report from the American Civil Liberties Union

    Bill of Rights Defense Committee
    P.O. Box 60591
    Florence, MA 01062
    (413) 582-0110
    Coordinator of the  Civil Liberties Safe Zone Campaign, local efforts to fight the Patriot Acts

  • Use Caution:
    Federation of American Scientists A terrific general resource on intelligence policy; marred by the decision to include uncritical and unexplained links to dubious conspiracist articles, JFK assassination mania, and Area 51 UFO speculation.

    See Also:

    Building a Just Foreign Policy & Lasting Peace

    Specific Topics

    PATRIOT Act - Analyses of Repressive Features
    ACLU Legislative Analysis

    Electronic Freedom Foundation

    Center for Constitutional Rights - Chang Article

    OMB Watch - Anti-Terrorism Bill Could Impact Nonprofits

    Counter Terrorism

    EPIC: Counter-Terrorism Proposals

    PDF File: Field Guidance on New Authorities (Redacted): Enacted in the 2001 Anti-Terrorism Legislation

    Immigrant Rights

    Powerpoint Presentations
    by Ann Benson, Directing Attorney, Washington Defenders Immigration Project

    Note: These files may require you to install software, and display the presentation on your screen

    Post 9/11 Government Actions

    Overview of Post 9/11 Domestic Actions of the U.S. Government

    Familes for Freedom Project
    c/o Immigrant Defense Project
    2 Washington Street, 7 North
    New York, New York 10004
    (212) 898-4121

    A New City-based resource for families and friends affected by unjust immigration laws.

    See Also:

    Defending Immigrant Rights

    "The concept of military necessity is seductively broad, and has a dangerous plasticity. Because they invariably have the visage of overriding importance, there is always a temptation to invoke security "necessities" to justify an encroachment upon civil liberties. For that reason, the military-security argument must be approached with a healthy skepticism."

    --Justice William Brennan, Brown v. Glines, 444 US 348 (1980)

    Selected Articles

    Rule of Force v. Rule of Law: The Global Lock-down on Civil Liberties. Malcolm Rogge

    Novel Security Measures: A local man was kept off a flight because of a book he was carrying by Gwen Shaffer

    Nightly News Glosses Over Anti-Terrorism Act by FAIR  Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting, September 27, 2001

    Press Release: National Coalition to Protect Political Freedom

    Press Release: First Amendment Foundation

    Text & Analysis of Proposals Affecting Civil Liberties Center for Democracy and Technology

    Civil Liberties Concerns from OMB Watch

    Sacrificing Freedoms in the Name of Saving Them by Neil Skene

    Hunt, Not Witchhunt, For Terrorists by Earl Ofari Hutchinson

    Slate Dialogue on Civil Liberties

    Feds use attack to push Carnivore   Just hours after what some commentators have dubbed a second
        Pearl Harbor, federal police reportedly increased internet surveillance. ISPs are reportedly quietly complying with FBI requests to monitor electronic communications. (09/12/01)

    Report Incidents of Harassment & Political Repression

    No Fly List

    American Civil Liberties Union

    Have you been barred from flying because of your political views?  The ACLU wants to hear from you. Fill out this online form!

    Federal Officials have given airlines a blacklist of people to prevent from flying because they are deemed suspicious.  Sure, terrorists shouldn't fly, but government has to be accountable for the fairness of the list.  Already there are reports of people being stopped at airports because of their lawful political activity.  The ACLU wants to hear from anyone who has been barred from flying because of their political views.

    Center for Constitutional Rights

    Contact the CCR which is collecting data for a possible lawsuit.

    Several organizations are considering establishing a reporting center for acts of political harassment.  In the meantime, visit the Security for Activists pages and especially read the article Common Sense Security.  If you are the victim of obvious harassment, write down the details, including date, time, location, a description of the incident, any witnesses that can corroborate the story, and the names/badge numbers of any person responsible for the harassment.

    Please keep in mind that your suspicions that your phone might be tapped or that you might be being followed or under surveillance are difficult if not impossible to corroborate and may even be the result of a form of "paranoia" encouraged by some government agencies to chill dissent. OK Sometimes THEY are out to get YOU. Obsessing over the details is pointless. Repression happens. Take reasonable precautions and move on. Don’t let bogus “experts” divert you from your goals with scary talk about wiretaps and infiltrators. This is a form of self-aggrandizing disruptive behavior. Clicks, buzzing, and electrical fluctuations on a phone line are symptoms of either bad phone service or a bug, and the most experienced and honest experts with thousands of dollars worth of equipment will tell you they can’t really tell the difference unless they physically find a bug.

    For more information, see What To Do About Political Spying or read Encountering and Countering Political Repression.

    Special Reporting with a Specific Narrow Focus

    American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)
    Report several types of discrimination against persons of Arab descent
    including travel restrictions and civil liberties

    Council on American Islamic Relations
    Report several types of discrimination against Muslims including travel and civil liberties
    Passenger Profiling
    Hate Crimes
    Also see the Mosque Safety Checklist accessible from CAIR main page


    Report Hate Crimes


    More on Civil Liberties