Santa Cruz Indymedia :
Santa Cruz Indymedia

Re: Photos: "Just Us" Action Against SCPD Spying

To clarify, the undercover police were not helpful. In fact, they made important commitments that they did not keep. Among other things, they told us that the Surfrider Foundation was "definitely interested" in serving as the parade's "sweeping tail," a portion of the parade that was to sweep up after itself. And naturally, everything they said was bullshit intended to cover their identities. The surfrider foundation had made no such committment. So when we discovered their identities, we had to make other arrangements last-minute to clean up after ourselves.

They also helped set the time, date, and place of the following meeting so it was convenient for them. This had the possibility of excluding others who couldn't make it at that time.

If we are talking about intention, I understand the intention of the police was to merely find out information about an unknown event that they considered a potential threat.

But if we consider effect, the undercover infiltration resulted in a chilling of free speech and free assembly, a nervousness on the part of anyone considering hosting a public meeting in their home, and distrust among individuals working together in the community.

But from the police point of view, it has set them back years in terms of community relations. The community can no longer trust their police not to invade their homes, infiltrate their peaceful meetings, and monitor the activities of political groups.

Regarding what is legal and un-, that will no doubt be sorted out in court. Right now, we've filed and received public records requests to find out what the police discovered and discussed in their undercover investigation. I will tell you that there are over 200 pages of documents relating to their investigation of this parade. And the SCPD claims that they have NO records of investigations of ANY OTHER groups.

The police have the guns, the money, and the power. Ostensibly they work for us, but too often it seems the other way around. It is the responsibility of the people to provide a check to that power and to hold them accountable when that power is abused.

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