Monday, October 11, 2010

COINTELPRO all over again? PA government intel agency monitors Philly JwJ, other progressive local state organizations

Of course, not that I'm shocked, but...

In the middle of one of the worst economic crises in American history, our government is wasting taxpayer money paying a private international firm, the Institute of Terrorism Research and Response (ITRR) to monitor the activities of groups like Philly Jobs with Justice and the Brandywine Peace Coalition. Our peaceful 9/15 jobs action (about which we not only made all details public, but notified the city Civil Affairs office!) endorsed by organizations like Philadelphia NAACP and Philadelphia Coalition of Labor Union Women, earned us entire paragraphs in the bi-weekly, PA Homeland Security-funded ITRR bulletins. HuffPo has the details.

One particularly chilling quote they pull: ITRR brags to its contractor--our state government--about its work finding out details from "intercepted communications."

Just over a month ago, ProPublica broke the story that Pennsylvania's Office of Homeland Security contracted with the Institute of Terrorism Research and Response (ITRR), a private Israeli-based company, to assess terrorist threats impacting law enforcement priorities in Pennsylvania.

For almost a year, ITTR provided bi-weekly intelligence briefings to Pennsylvania Homeland Security which focused in equal part on "jihadist" communications and trainings throughout the world, and also social justice organizing and protests across the country.
Pennsylvania Homeland Security, in turn, distributed this information to 800 federal, local and state law enforcement agencies, along with "relevant stakeholders" like local businesses. Information provided included the political views and movement building strategies of hundreds of law-abiding groups and individuals.

Click here to download a PDF copy of their analysis of our 9/15 Jobs rally--your tax dollars at work.

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