Fusion Center, Boston Police Spied on Peace Activists

John Glaser, October 18, 2012

From the ACLU, a post-9/11 intelligence sharing and surveillance program spied on peace groups, including activists like Cindy Sheehan and the late Howard Zinn:

We now have proof of what peace groups and activists have long suspected: Boston Police officers have worked within the local fusion spying center, the Boston Regional Intelligence Center (BRIC), to monitor the lawful political activity of local peace groups and track their movements and beliefs. This information has been retained in searchable electronic “intelligence” reports bearing labels such as “Groups – Civil Disturbance,” “Groups–Extremists,” “HomeSec-Domestic” under the heading “Criminal Act.”

Under what interpretation of the US and Massachusetts Constitutions can the non-violent First Amendment activity of groups like Veterans for Peace and United for Justice with Peace be routinely classified as a criminal act?

If you have glanced at the US Senate subcommittee report on fusion centers that came out earlier this month, you may not be surprised to hear that Boston’s fusion center has been collecting dubious “intelligence” and violating civil liberties in the process.

The Senate Homeland Security subcommittee reviewed more than 600 reports from these fusion centers and found the giant bureaucracy surrounding the program produced almost nothing that had to do with countering terrorist threats.

“The subcommittee investigation could identify no reporting which uncovered a terrorist threat, nor could it identify a contribution such fusion center reporting made to disrupt an active terrorist plot,” the report said.

“When fusion centers did address terrorism, they sometimes did so in ways that infringed on civil liberties,” the AP reported. “The centers have made headlines for circulating information about Ron Paul supporters, the ACLU, activists on both sides of the abortion debate, war protesters and advocates of gun rights.”

Some of these intelligence centers even investigated Muslim-American community groups and their book recommendations. No evidence of criminal activity was ever found, but the government did store the information, which it is prohibited from doing for First Amendment activities.

Again and again, history proves that the state views antiwar activists and peaceful dissident political speech as grave threats to “national security.” Antiwar.com was reminded of this, perhaps too personally, when it was revealed last year that the FBI had their eyes on us too.

Check out this video the ACLU put together about the state’s spying on people exercising their first amendment rights:




33 Responses to “Fusion Center, Boston Police Spied on Peace Activists”

  1. [...] http://antiwar.com/blog/2012/10/18/fusion-center-boston-police-spied-on-peace-activists/ Share this:Like this:LikeBe the first to like this. [...]

  2. You have shattered my faith in the Boston Police Dept.

  3. Now we know what the Boston Police were doing when they weren't beating the hell out of Red Sox fans.

  4. I doesn't take an expert in public choice theory to correctly predict that if you throw a whole lotta other people's money at a bureaucracy and tell it find terrorists, it will find terrorists even if it has to create them itself. That bureaucracy will also have to expand the defintion of terrorist to the point where anybody and everybody becomes a suspect.

  5. Yes. In order to justify its very existence. Then again that's the very excuse for police departments to exist at all.

  6. [...] Fusion Center, Boston Police Spied on Peace Activists [...]

  7. What's crazy is that it doesn't matter what side of an issue a peaceful protest is about. Making waves is potential terrorism to these public parasites. They know who the enemy is — it is us.

    Ron Paul, pro- or anti-whatever, tea party, occupier, Muslim, Baptist, 99%, 1%, 47%. Or someone who protests nothing, but is too quiet. Watch out!

  8. Im proud to say that I marched with veterans for peace Boston chapter a few weeks ago in the streets of Boston. I must say for the most part the BPD was very respectful and professional throughout the rally. But there were 40 to 50 cops and by the look of there body language and facial expressions it’s not hard for me to believe that most Of them looked at us like “domestic terrorists” ……… Worcester for peace coalition. If standing up for what is rIght means your a “domestic terrorist”
    Other

  9. A good informative post that you have shared and thankful your work for sharing the information. Got some appealing information and would like to give it a try. Applaud your work and keep sharing your information.

  10. Under what interpretation of the US and Massachusetts Constitutions can the non-violent First Amendment activity of groups like Veterans for Peace and United for Justice with Peace be routinely classified as a criminal act?

  11. Thank you so much for bringing this to our minds eye. This is a very informative article with a lot of information, good content!

  12. As long as it's just spying on Muslims and smelly hippies what's the big deal?

  13. [...] The Obama administration has fought tooth and nail to keep the details of its surveillance activities hidden from the public. But documents recently released by the Justice Department after years of litigation with the ACLU have revealed that “federal law enforcement agencies are increasingly monitoring Americans’ electronic communications, and doing so without warrants, sufficient oversight, or meaningful accountability.” Homeland Security has also recently been found to have illegally spied on peace activists. [...]

  14. Constitutions, at any level, are of no concern whatsoever to the kleptologarchs (and their police forces) ruling over us and spying on us.

  15. "You have shattered my faith in the Boston Police Dept."

    Careful Mr. Bovard, you are channeling notorious Boston radio chickenhawk Howie Carr.

  16. [...] http://antiwar.com/blog/2012/10/18/fusion-center-boston-police-spied-on-peace-activists/ [...]

  17. [...] The Obama administration has fought tooth and nail to keep the details of its surveillance activities hidden from the public. But documents recently released by the Justice Department after years of litigation with the ACLU have revealed that “federal law enforcement agencies are increasingly monitoring Americans’ electronic communications, and doing so without warrants, sufficient oversight, or meaningful accountability.” Homeland Security has also recently been found to have illegally spied on peace activists. [...]

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    I doesn't take an expert in public choice theory to correctly predict that if you throw a whole lotta other people's money at a bureaucracy and tell it find terrorists, it will find terrorists even if it has to create them itself. That bureaucracy will also have to expand the defintion of terrorist to the point where anybody and everybody becomes a suspect.

  19. Constitutions, at any level, are of no concern whatsoever to the kleptologarchs (and their police forces) ruling over us and spying on us.
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