START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x
Group Discussions
'It Was Time to Do More Than Protest': Activists Admit to 1971 FBI Burglary That Exposed COINTELPRO
8 months ago

'It Was Time to Do More Than Protest': Activists Admit to 1971 FBI Burglary That Exposed COINTELPRO

.

http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/it-was-time-do-more-protest-activists-admit-1971-fbi-burglary-exposed-cointelpro-0?paging=off&current_page=1#bookmark

.

Democracy Needs Whistleblowers — That's Why I Broke into the FBI in 1971
8 months ago

Democracy Needs Whistleblowers — That's Why I Broke into the FBI in 1971

.

http://www.alternet.org/activism/democracy-needs-whistleblowers-thats-why-i-broke-fbi-1971

.

Why I Broke Into the FBI in 1971
8 months ago

Why I Broke Into the FBI in 1971

.

http://occupywallstreet.net/story/why-i-broke-fbi-1971

.

I vividly remember the eureka moment. It was the night we broke into an FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania, in March 1971 and removed about 1,000 documents from the filing cabinets. We had a hunch that there would be incriminating material there, as the FBI under J Edgar Hoover was so bureaucratic that we thought every single thing that went on under him would be recorded. But we could not be sure, and until we found it, we were on tenterhooks.

.

A shout went up among the group of eight of us. One of us had stumbled on a document from FBI headquarters signed by Hoover himself. It instructed the bureau's agents to set up interviews of anti-war activists as,

'it will enhance the paranoia endemic in these circles and will further serve to get the point across there is an FBI agent behind every mailbox.'

That was the first piece of evidence to emerge. It was a vindication.

.

READ ON ...

Forty Years Before Snowden, Burglars Blew the Roof Off Illegal Domestic Spying
8 months ago

Forty Years Before Snowden, Burglars Blew the Roof Off Illegal Domestic Spying

.

http://www.nationofchange.org/forty-years-snowden-burglars-blew-roof-illegal-domestic-spying-1389537170

.

Article image

.

“I was surprised at what I found. For instance, a document spelled out that a core goal of the FBI was to enhance paranoia and make people think there was an FBI agent behind every mailbox. Other files described massive surveillance of African-Americans at nearly every place they gathered. Agents were required to have at least one informer reporting to them on the activities of black people every two weeks.”

.

In 1971, as opposition to the Vietnam War peaked and civil unrest rattled America, activists knew they were being watched, infiltrated and undermined by the FBI. But they didn’t know the extent of the agency’s efforts, nor how far J. Edgar Hoover’s agents would go to suppress dissent.

.

That would change one night in March, when eight men and women broke into an FBI satellite office in Media, PA. They absconded with nearly every piece of paper they could find, sifted through it and anonymously sent various documents detailing the agency’s spying and dirty tricks to major media organizations.  While some outlets were initially reticent about reporting on the documents, the revelations would ultimately unleash a torrent of investigative reporting, shining a light on Hoover’s efforts to destroy Martin Luther King and the agency’s now-notorious COINTELPRO program.

.

The burglars then faded into obscurity until this week, when it was revealed that five of them had agreed to be interviewed for a new book by Betty Medsger, a former Washington Post reporter who was one of the first to receive the stolen documents.

.

“At first the media barely noticed,” Medsger said on a conference call with reporters on Tuesday. “Two days afterwards, little two-paragraph stories began to appear in various papers. The FBI confirmed the break-in and said that just a couple of files were missing. Two weeks later, we learned that they’d taken everything.”

.

Medsger would soon receive a package of documents at her office. “I was surprised at what I found. For instance, a document spelled out that a core goal of the FBI was to enhance paranoia and make people think there was an FBI agent behind every mailbox. Other files described massive surveillance of African-Americans at nearly every place they gathered. Agents were required to have at least one informer reporting to them on the activities of black people every two weeks.”

.

Bonnie Raines was one of the burglars. She described coming to Philadelphia and meeting like-minded young people fighting to end the war. She and her husband, John, had raided a draft board office in one of a number of actions designed to disrupt the conscription of mostly poor young men in the City of Brotherly love. “Philadelphia was a center of anti-war dissent,” she told reporters. “And we realized that Hoover’s FBI was using illegal and heavy-handed surveillance and infiltration to squash dissent. That was widely known but could not be proved – no one in Washington or law enforcement could confront Hoover.”

.

She and her husband, along with several other activists trusted for their discretion, were then invited to the home of William Davidon, a professor of physics at Haverford College and a prominent figure in anti-war circles. Davidon had a plan to break into an FBI office and secure a smoking gun that could leave no doubt as to what the FBI was doing. The group called themselves the Citizens’ Commission to Investigate the FBI. “Because my husband and I, and our three children lived in a big old house in Germantown, Pa., much of the planning and casing was conducted there,” recalled Bonnie Raines. The group would carefully stake out the office for weeks before the break-in.

.

John Raines told reporters that he joined the group after years of involvement in the civil rights movement. He was a Freedom Rider in 1961, took part in the Freedom Summer in Mississippi in 1964 and marched with Martin Luther King from Selma to Montgomery in 1965. “Throughout those activities, it became clear that J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI was not at all interested in protecting American rights,” he said. Raines saw it all as part of the same struggle. “If Hoover had succeeded, that would have meant that legalized segregation in the South would have continued.”

.

READ ON>>>

After 43 years, activists admit theft at FBI office that exposed domestic spying
8 months ago

After 43 years, activists admit theft at FBI office that exposed domestic spying

.
http://investigations.nbcnews.com/_news/2014/01/06/22205443-after-43-years-activists-admit-theft-at-fbi-office-that-exposed-domestic-spying?lite

.

An FBI sketch of the female "college student," which was actually Bonnie Raines in disguise.

Burglars Who Took On F.B.I. Abandon Shadows
8 months ago

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/07/us/burglars-who-took-on-fbi-abandon-shadows.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

PHILADELPHIA — The perfect crime is far easier to pull off when nobody is watching.

So on a night nearly 43 years ago, while Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier bludgeoned each other over 15 rounds in a televised title bout viewed by millions around the world, burglars took a lock pick and a crowbar and broke into a Federal Bureau of Investigation office in a suburb of Philadelphia, making off with nearly every document inside.

They were never caught, and the stolen documents that they mailed anonymously to newspaper reporters were the first trickle of what would become a flood of revelations about extensive spying and dirty-tricks operations by the F.B.I. against dissident groups

The burglary in Media, Pa., on March 8, 1971, is a historical echo today, as disclosures by the former National Security Agency contractor Edward J. Snowden have cast another unflattering light on government spying and opened a national debate about the proper limits of government surveillance. The burglars had, until now, maintained a vow of silence about their roles in the operation. They were content in knowing that their actions had dealt the first significant blow to an institution that had amassed enormous power and prestige during J. Edgar Hoover’s lengthy tenure as director.

John and Bonnie Raines, two of the burglars, at home in Philadelphia with their grandchildren. Mark Makela for The New York Times

“When you talked to people outside the movement about what the F.B.I. was doing, nobody wanted to believe it,” said one of the burglars, Keith Forsyth, who is finally going public about his involvement. “There was only one way to convince people that it was true, and that was to get it in their handwriting.”

Mr. Forsyth, now 63, and other members of the group can no longer be prosecuted for what happened that night, and they agreed to be interviewed before the release this week of a book written by one of the first journalists to receive the stolen documents.

READ ON >>>>

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/07/us/burglars-who-took-on-fbi-abandon-shadows.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

This thread is archived. To reply to it you must re-activate it.