Bush’s domestic spying on Katrina relief


This video from the USA is called Maryland Police spying on protest groups.

By Hiram Lee in the USA:

US: New reports of police spying on activist groups

6 January 2009

Political activist Brandon Darby has been revealed as a confidential informant for the FBI. Darby, 32, of Austin, Texas, is best-known as a co-founder of the Common Ground Collective, a loose-knit group of radicals and activists which organized relief efforts in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Information regarding Darby’s status as an FBI informant came to light during preparations for the trial of David McKay and Bradley Crowder, two Austin, Texas natives charged with possession of Molotov cocktails in the run-up to the 2008 Republican National Convention held September 1-4 in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota.

It was revealed in court documents that Darby provided the information that led to the arrest of the two protesters. The McKay-Crowder trial is set to begin January 26 in Minnesota and, if convicted, both men could serve up to 30 years in prison though no violence ever occurred.

Darby has confirmed his status as an informant in an open letter circulated on the Internet, saying, “The simple truth is that I have chosen to work with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.” Speaking with the New York Times, Darby added that working with the FBI was “a good moral way to use [his] time.”

Darby’s surveillance operation began some 18 months before the Republican National Convention (RNC). Roughly six months before the convention he came into contact with McKay and Crowder. In addition to his reports on the two men, Darby’s program of surveillance included providing the FBI with detailed observations of meetings, along with biographies and physical descriptions of other activists in Austin, Texas, as well as in Minneapolis-St. Paul. Darby often wore a recording device and attended the Republican National Convention with a transmitter tucked into his belt.

Darby’s undercover surveillance of activists during the RNC—and one can safely assume he was not alone in his efforts—was an essential component in the broader anti-democratic assault on protesters during the 2008 convention. That event saw a wave of suppression and intimidation of dissenters in the form of mass arrests and raids of protest headquarters in which hundreds were taken into custody and large amounts of computers, literature, and other materials confiscated. Darby, writing of his participation in the investigations, “strongly stands behind [his] choices in this matter.”

In addition to new information on the RNC informant, details have also come to light this week regarding widespread police spying in Maryland. Reports show police have spied on numerous organizations in the area, including Amnesty International, the DC Anti-War Network, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and others, such as consumer groups objecting to rate increases on local utilities.

Visiting New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin praised Cuba’s disaster response system on Tuesday, acknowledging that the islands’s socialist authorities “do a much better job than we do”: here.

4 thoughts on “Bush’s domestic spying on Katrina relief

  1. President Bush’s support for ineffective and discredited “abstinence-only” programs has allowed anti-choice lawmakers to spread right-wing ideology in the classroom.

    The new Congress can reverse the failed policy and direct funding towards the realistic, medically accurate, age-appropriate sex education programs that experts recommend.

    Let’s join NARAL Pro-Choice America in telling Congress to reconsider Bush’s failed “abstinence-only” programs.

    Bob Fertik

    NARAL Pro-Choice America

    Dear Activist,

    Leave it to the Bush administration to fund failed programs while our economy crumbles.

    We can finally stop the waste and protect our families.

    Call on the new Congress
    today: reconsider Bush’s failed
    “abstinence-only” programs.
    The Bush administration has consistently defied common sense by refusing to fund proven sex-education programs and funneling billions to programs with failing track records.

    As a former teacher and state superintendent of education, I know how dangerous it is for teens to get the wrong information—or no information at all—in the classroom. Today, one in four American girls has a sexually transmitted disease .

    But the new Congress gives us an opportunity to finally restore science-based sex education to our schools. We can’t afford to sit idle.

    Join us today and urge the new Congress to reconsider the last eight years of Bush’s failed “abstinence-only” policy.

    Bush’s support for ineffective and discredited “abstinence-only” programs has allowed anti-choice lawmakers to spend your tax dollars to spread right-wing ideology in the classroom, without doing a thing to protect the health of our teens.

    In fact, “abstinence-only” programs contributed to our growing public-health crisis.

    Leading experts universally endorse realistic, medically accurate, age-appropriate sex-education programs, not the failed “abstinence-only” approach. We need effective, comprehensive sex education, and Congress can’t afford to wait.

    Don’t let our teens pay the price for Bush’s political maneuvering! The 111th Congress is being sworn in today. Tell your new lawmakers you’re ready for change in our country’s classrooms.

    Now’s our chance to stop politically partisan meddling in our schools and support our teens with the facts they need to prevent unintended pregnancy and avoid sexually transmitted disease.

    My best,

    Nancy Keenan
    President, NARAL Pro-Choice America

    Like

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