An article in this week’s East Bay Express: Counter-Terrorism Officials Helped Track Black Lives Matter Protesters highlighted the next phase in the progression of what is a historic, ongoing and escalating trend of using regressive laws and abusive practices against activists. Just as cointel-pro was implemented (often by illegal tactics) to destroy the black power and anti war movements, the same attack is now taking place against the black lives matter movement – in addition to the ongoing scapegoating/criminalizing of immigrants, Arabs and Muslims.
Across the board the goals are the same, but the methods, tools and tactics are the same – giving free range for all levels of government (and corporations), to access quite literally unlimited amounts of information. Today never ending streams of data being transmitted and stored at local ‘fusion centers’, and as the article displays – are shared with and coordinated at the local, state & federal levels.
The article documents how, during the #BlackLivesMatter protests in December, law enforcement used tweets several activists, including one I posted, to justify their over reaching response in which an armed undercover officer in plain clothes that pulled out his gun in the middle of a nonviolent protest. The emails in question clearly display how police use any means, no matter how far reaching, to justify abusive practices – with full impunity.
In Pasedena a dangerous, new precedent is being set, by charging BLM activist/ community leader Jasmine Richards with “terrorism” charges. Despite a shred of evidence pointing her to any violence or otherwise, this means ‘legally’ – she can be denied a trial, thanks to the National Defense Authorization Act(NDAA). The irony should not be lost that these protests originally formed as a result of police misconduct, and impunity. What is abundantly clear – from Ferguson to NYC, to Oakland and beyond, is that millions of American’s have had the exact same experience.