LUMPENPROLETARIAT—On Thursday (16 APR 2015), free speech radio’s Up Front (Pacifica Radio: KPFA, Berkeley, CA), discussed a recent East Bay Express report, which has exposed police infiltration of #Black Lives Matter. This is not a new problem. (See, for example, here, here, and here.) But this is a very serious problem in terms of our human rights as a society. The police trend of treating constitutionally-protected civil rights of assembly, of association, and of dissent as criminal and, even, terrorist behaviour, which must be spied upon and undermined wherever possible, as were human rights leaders of the 1960s, such as Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr., speaks to a police agenda, which prefers to undermine sincere public scrutiny of police abuses, brutality, and police terrorism. Listen or download mp3 here. (The Police State Update segment begins at 34:45.)
UP FRONT: (c. 30:00) “When we come back after news headlines, turning to local news, we’ll be joined in-studio by Darwin BondGraham of the East Bay Express. He has just reported on a trove of internal emails from police agencies showing that during the height of the Black Lives Matter protests last December [of 2014], there was a large number of anti-terror police liasons, using their time to follow activists on social media and track things like vigils and city council meetings. We’ll look at what they were doing and how that added up to putting two undercover CHP officers with weapons in the middle of a demonstration on the streets of Oakland.”
UP FRONT—A new investigation shows how anti-terror officers in the California Highway Patrol monitored Black Lives Matter activists over social media and embedded armed plainclothes officers in demonstrations. Plus: The European Union has brought anti-trust charges against Google — is Europe going to have a different Internet from us? Finally, seismologists say the fault running right through the East Bay could produce an earthquake almost three times worse than previously thought — Uh oh!
- Jim Edwards, Editor In Chief of Business Insider UK [on Google]
- Darwin BondGraham, staff writer for the East Bay Express [on USA’s police state]
- Estelle Chaussard, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory [on SF Bay Area seismology]
Learn more at UPFRONT.
EAST BAY EXPRESS—On December 9, 2014, at 4:48 p.m., an internal email with the subject line, “Reminder for Tonight and this week: Do Not Advise Protesters That We Are Following Them on Social Media,” circulated among dozens of California Highway Patrol commanders. The message read: “A quick reminder … as you know, our TLO [Terrorism Liaison Officers] officers are actively following multiple leads over social media.” The note continued, “this morning, we found posts detailing protesters’ interaction with individual officers last night. In the posts, protesters are stating that we (CHP) were claiming to follow them on social media. Please have your personnel refrain from such comments; we want to continue tracking the protesters as much as possible. If they believe we are tracking them, they will go silent.”
In recent years, police agencies throughout the United States have scoured social media as part of criminal investigations. But the police are also watching social media to spy on political protesters, especially those they suspect will engage in acts of civil disobedience. During the recent Black Lives Matter protests, local and state police agents monitored protesters on social media and activist websites. Several hundred CHP emails obtained by the Express show that social media is now a key source of intel for the police when monitoring political protests.
But the emails raise serious questions, say civil libertarians and some of the activists whose posts were harvested as intel. How do police monitor social media? Do they store data or track particular people? Are agencies over-reacting and wasting resources? And why are counter-terrorism police involved?
The TLOs tasked by the CHP with monitoring Black Lives Matter protesters on social media are employed by different local agencies and serve as points of contact for matters regarding terrorism. The role was created after 9/11, and the officers communicate through networks coordinated by fusion centers, such as the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center, or NCRIC, which connects police agencies from Monterey County to the Oregon border.
Learn more at EAST BAY EXPRESS.
[last updated 14:45 CDT 16 APR 2015]
[all transcription by Messina; full transcript pending]