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No Place to Hide: Activists Under Surveillance by Pentagon Include UCSC Students

No Place to Hide: Activists Under Surveillance by Pentagon Include UCSC Students

An MSNBC story on Pentagon surveillance of counter-recruitment activists is causing major waves in the national anti-war movement today. One of the groups known to have been surveilled by the Pentagon is UCSC Students Against War (SAW), a large and very active student group.

MSNBC came out with an alarming but not entirely surprising story on Pentagon surveillance of activists today. Click here to read the story.

Only eight pages of the 400-page document detailing the surveillance have been released publicly as of this writing. The additional pages are likely to become available in the near future.

This document will probably only be a small glimpse into the US government's massive and growing surveillance apparatus. The known bureacratic and technical capabilities of the other agencies charged with keeping a big eye on us, such as the Homeland Security Department and the FBI, would imply that we are essentially living in a surveillance society.

Surveillance of UC student activists is known to have been extremely pervasive in the '60s and '70s, particularly with respect to Berkeley students. For instance, the FBI closely monitored and sought to "neutralize" Free Speech Movement activist Mario Savio, and saw Ronald Reagan's election as governor of California in 1967 as "an opportunity to . . . thwart the ever increasing agitation by subversive elements" on the campus.

The FBI also monitored student members of the Black Student Union at UCSB in the late-'60s and early-'70s, following the organization's extremely effective takeover a campus administration building in 1968, to call for greater civil rights in campus administrative policies.

In perhaps the most ugly incident characterized by repressive surveillance at a UC campus, two Black Panther Party leaders of the Southern California Chapter, John Huggins and Alprentice "Bunchy" Carter, were murdered at UCLA by FBI paid assassins in February 1969. To term the killers "FBI paid assassins" is not an exaggeration. The incident has been very well-documented.

Some quick Googling will turn up a fair amount of information on all of these incidents.

Below is a press release put out by Students Against War (SAW) today. SAW's Demilitarize UCSC sub-group is a partner organization of UC Nuclear Free. SAW members are encouraging everyone who reads the press release to send it to local press contacts. Doing so would be an important first step in combatting the aforementioned surveillance society.


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