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Students Denounce Pentagon Surveillance of Counter-Recruitment Activities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DECEMBER 14, 2005

CONTACT: Students Against War’s ad-hoc press team:
Jen Low, Josh Sonnenfeld, Kot Hordynski
STUDENTS DENOUNCE PENTAGON SURVEILLANCE OF COUNTER-RECRUITMENT ACTIVITIES
DoD ACTIONS PART OF A WAVE OF CAMPUS REPRESSION

SANTA CRUZ, CA – According to a document obtained by NBC News, the Pentagon has been spying on 1,500 “suspicious incidents,? including anti-war and counter-recruitment meetings and actions throughout the nation over the past 10-month period. Among the first pages of more than 400 released, 10 college anti-war protests were listed, including UC Santa Cruz Students Against War (SAW)’s counter-recruitment protest of April 5, 2005, which was the only one to be labeled both credible and a “threat.?

Click on image for a larger version

DoD Record of UCSC Protest.jpg
A Pentagon document reveals surveillance of UC Santa Cruz protest


Despite having dealt with both undercover police and university agents involved in the acts of surveillance and repression, the news came as a little shock to many SAW members, reaffirming long-held beliefs about the nature of the U.S. military. 3rd year student Jen Low noted the hypocrisy of the government’s messaging, reminding us that, "the notion of the Pentagon spying on peaceful protesters is a major threat to the freedoms that they claim to protect."

While the Department of Defense has not commented on the allegations, student activists assert that the rising unpopularity of the Iraq War and the inability of military recruiters to meet their quotas make the counter-recruitment movement a strong candidate for repression by a “homeland security? apparatus run amok.

This repression does not end with the surveillance from the Federal government. In fact, local officials and college campuses have also been monitoring and repressing anti-war and counter-recruitment activities. In August, community members of the Pennsylvania Organizing Group (POG) peacefully protesting at a military recruiting center near the University of Pittsburg were violently attacked by police. Most recently, at Hampton University in Virginia, students disseminating information against military recruiters on campus were threatened with expulsion. Other schools that have witnessed incidents of extreme repression against student activists include the University of Wisconsin – Madison, Kent State, Harold Washington College, Holyoke Community College, George Mason University, San Francisco State University, City College of New York, and Seattle Central Community College.

UC Santa Cruz is widely known to have one of the largest antiwar and counter-recruitment movements in the country. On April 5, 2005 over 300 students marched into a campus job fair, occupying the building and holding a teach-in until all military recruiters left. On October 18, 2005, over 200 students rallied outside of another job fair, while two dozen UCSC students blocked recruiters on the inside by engaging in a ‘Queer Kiss-In’ to protest discriminatory military recruitment.

###

Sources:
12/13/05 - Is the Pentagon spying on Americans?
www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10454316/

12/13/05 – Department of Defense database listing domestic ‘threats’
msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/msnbc/sections/news/DODAntiWarProtestDatabaseTracker.pdf

12/10/05—Hampton University Students Punished for Protesting War
www.finalcall.com/artman/publish/article_2318.shtml

12/03/05 - Students Not Expelled! …But Fight Not Over
www.campusantiwar.net/index.php

11/18/05 – POG Returns to Oakland Recruiting Station
pittsburgh.indymedia.org/news/2005/11/21658.php

11/18/05 - Rally, Queer Kiss-in Greet Military Recruiters at UCSC
santacruz.indymedia.org/feature/display/17213/index.php

04/05/05 - UCSC Students Kick Military Recruiters Off Campus
santacruz.indymedia.org/feature/display/17073/index.php
 
 


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Photo from Pittsburgh surveillance

On Nov. 18, this agent was caught spying on nonviolent counter-recruitment protestors in Pittsburgh, PA.
closeup.jpg
 

Surveillance on 4/20/05 of Action In Defense of Education school walkout

Click on image for a larger version

student-surveillance_4-20-05.jpg
Seems Big Brother was out again in Santa Cruz and he knows who "ditched" school. Better not try to forge a note from your mom.... Do you feel more safe and secure now? Is Homeland Security active in Santa Cruz, or what?
Surveillance of students also includes videotaping youth and their parents and teachers on April 20, 2005 during the Action In Defense of Education school walkout. The action called for an end to budget cuts to public education.

Students and Workers take Action in Defense of Education
santacruz.indymedia.org/feature/display/17088/index.php

On April 20, 2005, the AIDE (Action In Defense of Education) network held its first statewide action against budget cuts to education. Representing the Santa Cruz chapter of the network, roughly 150 students and union members from UCSC took over the streets in a march to the county buildings in downtown Santa Cruz. There they met and rallied with elementary school and high school students, as well as Santa Cruz and Pajaro school district teachers and parents. Cece Pinheiro, vice president of the Santa Cruz County School Board, came to show support for the cause as well.

Walkout for Education moves to Ocean and Water Streets
santacruz.indymedia.org/newswire/display/17491/index.php

images.indymedia.org/imc/santacruz/image/4/large/surveillance_4-20-05.jpg
Videotaping the demonstration at the Santa Cruz County Building
 

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.

 

Pentagon to review spy files after NBC report

Pentagon to review spy files after NBC report
santacruz.indymedia.org/mod/otherpress/display/666/index.php

The Pentagon says it views with the greatest concern possible misuse of a classified database of information about suspicious people and activity in the United States. An NBC News report on Tuesday said the database listed activities of anti-war groups and referred to at least 20 U.S. citizens or others inside the U.S.

Pentagon spokesmen declined to discuss the matter on the record but issued a written statement Wednesday evening that implied — but did not explicitly acknowledge — that some information had been handled improperly.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE IS SC-IMC's OTHERPRESS:
santacruz.indymedia.org/mod/otherpress/display/666/index.php
 

Re: Students Denounce Pentagon Surveillance of Counter-Recruitment Activities

resolution-052104.pdf
Resolution-052104.pdf (89 k)
http://senate.ucsc.edu/caf/Resolution 052104.pdf

UCSC police and administrative spying on student protesters may be in violation of the following clauses of a resolution the Academic Senate unanimously passed in May, 2004 against the PATRIOT Act:

"d. refrain from engaging in the surveillance of individuals or groups of individuals based on their participation in activities protected by the First Amendment, such as political advocacy, the practice of a religion, unless a valid court order is produced"

...

"f. refrain, whether acting alone or with federal, state, or local law enforcement officers, from collecting or maintaining information about the political, religious or social views, associations or activities of any individual, group, association, organization, corporation, business or partnership unless such information is kept in the ordinary course of business, or unless a valid court order is produced"

...

The resolution also urges to Chancellor to ensure that the Administration "seek periodically from federal authorities the following information":

"c. without disclosing the names of specific surveillance targets or other specific investigative information, the extent of electronic surveillance carried out on the UCSC campus under powers granted in the PATRIOT Act"

and

"d. without disclosing the names of specific surveillance targets or other specific investigative information, the extent to which federal authorities are monitoring political meetings, religious gatherings or other activities protected by the First Amendment within the UCSC campus"

Has the UCSC Faculty Senate and Administration been too caught up trying to quell student radicalism that they have forgetten their own morals and resolutions?
 

Re: Students Denounce Pentagon Surveillance of Counter-Recruitment Activities

Has the UCSC Faculty Senate and Administration been too caught up trying to quell student radicalism that they have forgetten their own morals and resolutions?
I guess this tells us how serious they were. For the record, they don't speak for me. I'm rather disappointed with, but not at all surprised by, their response (or lack thereof), and have written a brief commentary about this, here.
 

Re: Students Denounce Pentagon Surveillance of Counter-Recruitment Activities

“The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth becomes the greatest enemy of the State.?
— Dr. Joseph M. Goebbels
 

Re: Students Denounce Pentagon Surveillance of Counter-Recruitment Activities

lol - peaceful protesters? need I remind you that a number of SAW members were clearly violent at the April 5th protest, commititng unprovoked assaults on 3 different students during the course of the protest.

And the fact that the SAW protesters slashed the tires of the cars of the Military Recruiters shuold justify it being deemed a credible threat.
 

Re: Students Denounce Pentagon Surveillance of Counter-Recruitment Activities

Dear Matt -

What makes you think SAW members committed unprovoked assaults? Where's the proof? The only assaults I saw at the action was the undercover police officer grabbing and pushing students.

Yes, the military recruiters' car got its tires slashed, but it wasn't by SAW folks. Who knows who it was, but just because something is in opposition to military recruiters doesn't neccessarily mean SAW is responsible for it. Every time someone says a racist comment on campus, I don't claim that they're a member of the College Republicans.

You should reconsider making generalizations about things you did not personally witness.
 

Re: Students Denounce Pentagon Surveillance of Counter-Recruitment Activities

Military recruiters are part of the military, and as such have so much blood on their hands already that they deserve to have their tires slashed, and a lot more too. That's called justice. No one deserves to be arrested for an act of real justice.
 

The Pentagon Spied on Anti-war Protest in Hollywood.

The Pentagon Spied on Anti-war Protest in Hollywood.
http://la.indymedia.org/archives/archive_by_id.php?id=948&category_id=3

Excerpts from a 400 page DOD document obtained by NBC News reveals that the Pentagon spied on this year’s anti-war protest in Hollywood. The sentence reads: One “incident? included in the database is a large anti-war protest at Hollywood and Vine in Los Angeles last March that included effigies of President Bush and anti-war protest banners.

The news comes as no surprise to long time anti-war activists, but it is still disturbing. It is thought by many pentagon observers to be just a small part of a much larger program of spying by government agencies on US citizens. This anti-war march in Hollywood was widely reported on this site as a peaceful exercise of the constitutional right to free speech and the right to peaceably assemble. It is not clear why the military would consider this peaceful protest a threat to any of its facilities. From the newswire: Repost of NBC News story on Pentagon spying -|- Pentagon spying on Americans?

AUDIO: Anti-war Activist Ian Thompson on Pentagon Spying -|- AUDIO: Jim Lafferty of the National Lawyers Guild on Pentagon Spying

 

Re: Students Denounce Pentagon Surveillance of Counter-Recruitment Activities

"What makes you think SAW members committed unprovoked assaults? Where's the proof? The only assaults I saw at the action was the undercover police officer grabbing and pushing students.

Yes, the military recruiters' car got its tires slashed, but it wasn't by SAW folks. Who knows who it was, but just because something is in opposition to military recruiters doesn't neccessarily mean SAW is responsible for it. Every time someone says a racist comment on campus, I don't claim that they're a member of the College Republicans.

You should reconsider making generalizations about things you did not personally witness."

That's a rather blithe statement - regardless - if acts of violence and/or vandalism do occur at a protest, then that does indicate it warrants further attention - regardless of who you think comitted the violent acts.
 

Re: Students Denounce Pentagon Surveillance of Counter-Recruitment Activities

wake up and look at the real issue here.

the issue is not about whether anyone used vandalism at a protest. the issue is about the pentagon spying on americans before any sort of protest even occurs. this isn't just about SAW but about every person in this country that chooses to use their constitutional right to protest.

why do you keep trying to justify fascist moves by the government?

that's like the wackos at WWP/ANSWER justifying the tieneman square massacre because the protesters were 'counter-revolutionary.' regardless of what you think of SAW or actions at UCSC, you should still have the spine to know when the military's gone too far.
 

Re: Students Denounce Pentagon Surveillance of Counter-Recruitment Activities

The police have done it for decades - investigating protestors is nothing new - I'd say what the military does with the information once it has it is what is important.

Protests are always going to be filmed by law enforcement, it's a very common practice. If that information is later used for harrassment purposes, or something of that sort then certainly the military has gone too far.

But I don't think there are any laws that prohibit the military from monitoring and recording public protests... The article is very vague about the "spying" that occurs, so I'm not really sure if it's much of anything beyond standard practices at protests.
 

Re: Students Denounce Pentagon Surveillance of Counter-Recruitment Activities

What kind of info could the possible gain from monitoring some college group? I don’t see SAW as a group that is making an impact out of a few small circles within the area. Seems like a waste of time to watch them in my opinion, but what do I know.
 

Re: Students Denounce Pentagon Surveillance of Counter-Recruitment Activities

There's a big difference between police surveillance and Pentagon surveillance. While police surveillance can be very problemmatic and should be consistently condemned, the military is not supposed to spying on Americans. There is a very large difference. Military involvement in domestic protests has tended to be an indicator of the rise of fascist and dictatorial governments.

What especially concerns me is the fact that on numerous protests listed on the Pentagon database, nonviolent student protestors have been physically attacked by police. The most extreme example of this was a protest by the City College of NY last spring. Don't tell me there's not a connection. If the Pentagon tells local police that there's going to be a protest that's a "threat" to military recruitment, the police come out more anxious with their batons. In their eyes, they turn a bunch of kids with picket signs into 'terrorists.'

I'm still waiting for you to admit the Pentagon has stepped over the line of what is just.
 

We Will Not Be Intimidated By Pentagon Spying

We Will Not Be Intimidated By Pentagon Spying
sandiego.indymedia.org/en/2005/12/112539.shtml

The Department of Defense database on domestic dissent released by NBC News shows that the DoD has engaged in widespread intelligence gathering aimed at thousands of people engaged in constitutionally protected political speech. The excerpt from the database that was made available by NBC includes one entry from San Diego: a report on a support demonstration for war resister Pablo Paredes during his Court Martial at the 32 nd Street Naval Station last May. Other entries had to do with ‘counter-recruitment’ activities and anti-war protests around the country.

read the full statement at:
sandiego.indymedia.org/en/2005/12/112539.shtml

Democracy now reports "The list included: counter-military recruiting meetings held at a Quaker Meeting House in Lake Forth, Florida. Anti-nuclear protests staged in Nebraska on the 50th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Nagasaki. An anti-war protest organized by military families outside Fort Bragg in North Carolina. And a rally in San Diego to support war resister Pablo Parades."

sandiego.indymedia.org/en/2005/12/112419.shtml
 

Bush Admits Authorizing NSA to Spy on US Citizens

Bush Admits Authorizing NSA to Spy on US Citizens
www.indybay.org/news/2005/12/1791761.php

audio mp3:
www.indybay.org/uploads/bush_admits_nsa_spying.mp3

President Bush over the weekend acknowledged that he authorized the National Security Agency to tap into international phone calls and read the emails of US citizens without a court order. Today, Bush told reporters that he had the legal authority to do it. But some lawmakers on Capitol Hill are indicating that Bush broke the law. Mitch Jeserich has more from Washington. (4:24)

Free Speech Radio News

Monday, December 19, 2005

www.fsrn.org/news/20051219_news.html
 

Re: Students Denounce Pentagon Surveillance of Counter-Recruitment Activities

I'm afraid that monitoring people in public is not something I find illegal.

The police and/or military are perfectly free in a legal sense to monitor these protests.

Certainly how they gather other information and how they use it is subject to law, but in this case...

How is it useful, Oscar? Well, look at a post made earlier in this thread...

"Military recruiters are part of the military, and as such have so much blood on their hands already that they deserve to have their tires slashed, and a lot more too. That's called justice. No one deserves to be arrested for an act of real justice."

advocating violence against recruiters and also the vandalism of their vehicles, and that is why it could prove to be useful. With statements like that being made, I find it a little odd that people are complaining about the authorities gathering information.

There's never been an issue about the legality of it.
 

Re: Students Denounce Pentagon Surveillance of Counter-Recruitment Activities

I agree that the vandalism of vehicles is wrong and I hope the college folks who did it get caught and pay the price. I also think that a number of comments made on this site our way out there.

However, I think that watching over a few college kids who are playing weekend revolutionary is not of the utmost importance. I do think it is perfectly legal to have police monitoring a protest, but I don’t see what they could learn from it that a little good questioning wouldn’t get. I think that we make groups like SAW feel more important than they are when we monitor them at all. I am sure it gives a number of folks a kick to think that they are enemies of the state.

I say we just sit back and let them dig their own hole. It’s only a matter of time before their rhetoric turns off everyone but their key 50 supporters.
 

They are afraid of democracy

Oscar, perhaps I'll make you feel more important than you are by responding to you.

The U.S. government spies on, disrupts, and uses violence against the left for one reason: They are afraid of democracy.
 

Re: Students Denounce Pentagon Surveillance of Counter-Recruitment Activities

Honestly, I think they are more afraid of thugs who feel they are above the law.
 

A Protest, a Spy Program and a Campus in an Uproar

A Protest, a Spy Program and a Campus in an Uproar
santacruz.indymedia.org/mod/otherpress/display/691/index.php

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - The protest was carefully orchestrated, planned for weeks by Students Against War during Friday evening meetings in a small classroom on the University of California campus here.
So when the military recruiters arrived for the job fair, held in an old dining hall last April 5 - a now fateful day for a scandalized university - the students had their two-way radios in position, their cyclists checking the traffic as hundreds of demonstrators marched up the hilly roads of this campus on the Central Coast and a dozen moles stationed inside the building, reporting by cellphone to the growing crowd outside.

"Racist, sexist, antigay," the demonstrators recalled shouting. "Hey, recruiters, go away!"

Things got messy. As the building filled, students storming in were blocked from entering. The recruiters left, some finding that the tires of their vehicles had been slashed. The protesters then occupied the recruiters' table and, in what witnesses described as a minor melee, an intern from the campus career center was injured.

Fast forward: The students had left campus for their winter vacation in mid-December when a report by MSNBC said the April protest had appeared on what the network said was a database from a Pentagon surveillance program. The protest was listed as a "credible threat" - to what is not clear to people around here - and was the only campus action among scores of other antimilitary demonstrations to receive the designation.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE IS SC-IMC's OTHER PRESS
santacruz.indymedia.org/mod/otherpress/display/691/index.php
 

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