The New COINTELPRO

For many activists, the infamous COINTELPRO campaign--an anti-radical program run by the US government in the 1960s and 70s--may seem like a remote chapter in the history of American activism. But in recent years, with the upswing in radical activism and the consolidation of the American police state, American activists are finding themselves to be the target of a new COINTELPRO program.

This page contains information and news about developments concerning police harassment and disruption of activists. It will also provide information for activists so that they can be prepared for this repression and fight back.

Recent Developments

Outlawing Dissent
F.B.I. Scrutinizes Antiwar Rallies
FBI INTELLIGENCE BULLETIN no. 89

Atlanta

Protesting? Atlanta police are watching you
The Atlanta Police Department routinely places under surveillance anti-war protesters and others exercising their free-speech rights to demonstrate, police officials acknowledged this week. While the APD denies the taping is akin to spying, demonstrators, civil libertarians and some elected officials disagree and demand that the surveillance be stopped.

Denver

The real extremists: Police surveillance of peaceful groups crossed the line
Denver cops accused of spying on journalists

Los Angeles

Support LA Anarchists
LA-ABCF Harassed by Anaheim Police

New York City

Security or Suppression: Examining NYPD Crackdowns on Activists
NY Police Admit Keeping Anti-War Protest Database

Oregon

The "War on Terrorism" at Home

San Francisco / Oakland / Bay Area

State monitored war protesters
San Francisco Political Police Exposed
Undercover cops infiltrate San Francisco breakaway march

Washington, DC

In March 2003, activists in Washington, DC discovered an undercover operation against activists being run by the DC Metropolitan Police Department in coordination with federal and local police departments. This is in addition to information on anti-activist police operations ferreted out by ongoing protester lawsuits. This operation included the use of several women undercovers posing as anti-globalization activists. These "activists" participated in the planning and operations of several activist organizations.

When Things Get Rough for Protesters, These Lawyers Go on the March
D.C. Council Probing Police Conduct in Protests
Washington, DC: Councilmembers Investigate Police Actions on Demonstrations

Timeline

2002

Domestic Spying Pressed
"Big-City Police Seek to Ease Limits Imposed After Abuses Decades Ago" A Washington Post article about NYC trying to get out of the Handschu consent decree about spying on activists, Chicago and SF and other cities backing away from restrictions on spying, etc.
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S GUIDELINES ON GENERAL CRIMES, RACKETEERING ENTERPRISE AND TERRORISM ENTERPRISE INVESTIGATIONS
Ashcroft's new general investigation guidelines (May 30, 2002), which did away with the stricter guidelines that were issued in the aftermath of the Church Committee investigations and COINTELPRO, etc.
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S GUIDELINES ON FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION UNDERCOVER OPERATIONS
Ashcroft's undercover operations guidelines issued that same day 5/30/02.
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S GUIDELINES REGARDING THE USE OF CONFIDENTIAL INFORMANTS
Ashcroft's guidelines on use of confidential informants, also issues 5/30/02.
Procedures for Lawful. Warrantless Monitoring of Verbal Communications

@ INFOSHOP

Infoshop News: Spying on You

LINKS

ACLU: Analysis of Changes to Attorney General Guidelines
Newly Developed Police Tactics to Counter Direct Action at Mass Demonstrations