A History of Repression
By RON JACOBS
[Article originally appeared at counterpunch]
In recent weeks, articles have appeared in various media outlets detailing recent surveillance activities of the FBI and other law enforcement agencies. According to these reports. much of this surveillance was focused on antiwar and peace groups. Then, on September 24, 2010 several homes and offices in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Chicago and North Carolina were raided by the FBI. Subpoenas to appear at a grand jury investigation were issued to several activists. The reason provided for the raids was that some individuals were suspected of providing “material support to terrorists.” These raids and recent revelations have been met with protest and, in some quarters, shock-as if the United States government were somehow above such police state intimidation and practices.
On October 10, 2010 at the Mission Cultural Center of Latino Studies in San Francisco, the Freedom Archives will premier its latest documentary. Titled Cointelpro 101, this hour-long film makes it quite clear that the US government is certainly not above such practices and that, furthermore, it has a long history of them. For those who don’t know, Cointelpro was the abbreviated name for the intelligence and counterinsurgency operation waged against a multitude of organizations and individuals deemed threats to national security during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s by the FBI and other US law enforcement and intelligence agencies. Short for counterintelligence, Cointelpro involved the use of a multitude of methods up to and including murder in its crusade to neutralize any and all left opposition to the status quo in the United States. From Martin Luther King, Jr. to the Weather Underground Organization, any one considered an enemy of the US national security state because of their opposition to the US war in Vietnam or their support for the self-determination of people of color in the United States was a potential target of the Cointelpro program.