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News :: Police State : Resistance & Tactics

Council votes to continue to do nothing about police spying (again)

the policeman spies
while the council does nothing
a winter leaf falls in the breeze


There was a motion before the city council proposed by councilmember Tony Madrigal to request an independent investigation into police spying. The council perhaps signalled it's intentions by placing the motion on the afternoon agenda of their regularly scheduled Tuesday meeting, rather than the more well-attended evening agenda.

There were a good many public speakers raising issues with the police internal audit and calling for the independent investigation. Additionally, people called for full disclosure of any past spying and for a strong binding ordinance limiting police powers to monitor political and community groups.

The public records contain emails that show that most everyone in the police department management from Chief Howard Skerry to Deputy Chief Kevin Vogel on down to Lt. Rudy Escalante knew about the undercover officers. Additionally, there were communications to and from high-level police from the city manager's office, the downtown development association, and even Mayor Cynthia Mathews herself.

In short, the council voted again to do nothing and trust the police to police themselves. But we will not let up pressure until citizens can express their free speech and free assembly rights without fear that a cop is lurking in their midst.

Audio: FSRN: SCPD Spying Update

Photos: Santa Cruzans Speak Out Against Police Infiltration and for an Independent Investigation

previous coverage: "Just Us" Action Against SCPD Spying || Police Infiltrate Peaceful Parade Organizers
 

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News :: Civil & Human Rights : Government & Elections : Peace & War : Police State

"Just Us" Action Against SCPD Spying

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01/10/06 - Around 100 Santa Cruzans showed up at the City Council today to demand a denouncement and investigation into the Santa Cruz Police Department's infiltration of a local group's organizing meetings.

Far from being limited to the individuals that were spied on, protesters included former mayors, the ACLU, artists, peaceniks, high school students, UCSC Students Against War members that were recently spied on by the Pentagon, and a local man who fled fascist Czechoslovakia.

Audio: Mayor Cynthia Matthews on SCPD Spying || FSRN: Irate Citizens Denounce SCPD Surveillance of Last Night Meetings

From the "Just Us" Campaign and Rally announcement:

"The Santa Cruz Police Department was discovered infiltrating and conducting undercover surveillance of two of the meetings of the organizers of the Last Night DIY Parade, which was a totally peaceful, positive, and creative event in downtown Santa Cruz on New Years Eve!!..."

"This event was organized by 'just us' - 'just us' the people who live here, work here, and try to create positive and peaceful change - if this group can be spied on, so can any of the rest of our groups."
 

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News :: Civil & Human Rights : Police State : Resistance & Tactics

Clarence Ray Allen: Due to be Executed Jan 17, 2006

California is speeding up executions. Clarence Ray Allen is next.

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Clarence Allen is currently 75 years old and will turn 76 one day before his scheduled execution. He is very infirm, has suffered from a heart attack and diabetes and uses a wheelchair. He will be forced to walk the final few feet to the death chamber at San Quentin.

The prosecution's case rests primarily on the testimony of some of the accomplices involved in the second crime. They have all since stated at one time or another that they lied at Mr. Allen's 2nd trial. That, plus the fact that Mr. Allen is an American Indian has some very concerned that his execution is unjust. Others simply say that while there is no excuse for how the victims died, the death penalty is wrong and Mr. Allen should be given Clemency. Governor Schwarzenegger has refused to hold any kind of Clemency hearing for Mr. Allen. [ Who is Clarence Ray Allen? (.pdf) ]

There is a rally planned in San Francisco for Thursday, January 12. There is also going to be a rally at San Quentin on Monday, January 16, night of the execution. [ Fyler (.pdf) ] It is also quite likely that there will be a Death Penalty Focus vigil at the town clock in downtown Santa Cruz on the night of the execution.

Audio: Rockin' the Boat: CA Revs Up Death Chamber as Support for Capital Punishment Declines || FSRN: California Considering Death Penalty Moratorium

Indybay Coverage: Governor Says No Clemency Hearing for Clarence Ray Allen
 

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News :: Police State

Police Infiltrate Peaceful Parade Organizers

Undercover Officers Spying on Grassroots Santa Cruz New Year's Parade Meetings

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Santa Cruz, CA, December 31st, 2005: As the nation reels from fresh revelations about domestic spying, local law enforcement agencies are caught infiltrating local groups. Undercover officers from the Santa Cruz Police Department have been spying on peaceful parade organizers since September of this year. Two plainclothes officers attended small organizing meetings held in private homes, giving false names, phone numbers, and email addresses to hide their identity while they monitored meetings and profiled organizers.

The officers participated in meetings, asked questions and even made suggestions. "In no way did they indicate that they were police. They came off as just a couple of local surfer dudes," said Rico Thunder, one of the people who came together to help plan the parade.

The infiltrated group was organizing the Last Night Santa Cruz Parade and Celebration, a people’s parade, a do-it-yourself celebration that goes beyond the city-sponsored First Night event, canceled this year due to money problems. The Last Night website (lastnightdiy.org) states: “Last Night is a completely organic event, organized and put on at a grassroots-level. No city-sponsorship. No corporate donors. It’s a do-it-yourself parade and celebration. We make it happen together.?

"Since 9/11, we've created a culture in which security is more important than liberty." said Thunder. "The NSA is tapping your phone calls and email. The Pentagon is infiltrating your peace march. Actions at the federal level have a trickle down effect that has emboldened local law enforcement. When the president says 'Safety at any cost,' local cops take that to heart." [Read more]

see also: An open letter to the Santa Cruz City Council in protest of police infiltration: || Police Infiltration of Parade Politically Motivated

LastNight comments: Our sources within the department say City Manager Richard Wilson and Deputy Chief of Police Kevin Vogel are the persons most responsible. The city council has little say in day to day operations of this kind. Make your demands to the city council that the city manager and the police chief be held accountable.
 

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Commentary :: Civil & Human Rights : Education & Youth : Police State

Law School As Activist Revenge

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We need to go to law school. Seriously. As activists, we are absolutely dependent on an industry of law that we know very little about and have very little influence in. Prison is serious stuff and to have so little available help within our own ranks is not acceptable or safe. Our friends and lovers are shuffled around in a system that leaves them wondering what they were actually charged with and/or convicted of and what exactly the evidence against them was. Our family are left in utter darkness about procedures and are reduced to begging for legal information from attorneys paid $200 an hour. I seriously believe we need more activist attorneys. NOW. [read more]

see also: The Environmentalist Witch Hunt 2005 || Support for Political Prisoners

No one is free when others are oppressed...

A movement that doesn't support it's political internees is a movement destined to fail.
 

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Articles

Commentary :: Police State

Making Sense of "Anna's" Posts

A few educated guesses into the meaning of Anna's posts.
 

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Commentary :: Civil & Human Rights : Police State

Unfathomed Dangers in Patriot Act Reauthorization

Fight the Patriot Act NOW! This article criticizing it comes from a former Reagan official!
 

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LOCAL News :: Civil & Human Rights : Government & Elections : Police State

FSRN: SCPD Spying Update

While the Bush admininistration defends its use of wiretapping to monitor the activities of US citizens, city officials in Santa Cruz, CA are coming under fire over revelations that undercover police were caught spying on locals planning a Do-It-Yourself New Year's parade. The case raises serious questions about the legality of the surveillance, and has city residents and civil libertarians shook up. FSRN's Vinny Lombardo has more.
 

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LOCAL News :: Police State : Resistance & Tactics

Council votes to continue to do nothing about police spying (again)

the policeman spies
while the council does nothing
a winter leaf falls in the breeze
 

Read the full article...   (12 comments)

LOCAL Announcement :: Police State

"Just Us" Campaign against SCPD spying update

 

Read the full article...   (7 comments)

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