FBI COINTELPRO Documents
What We Can Learn From the Files Themselves
Many people in the United States have a hard time understanding why so many political dissidents, labor organizers, immigrants, and activists in communities of color warn about government repression and the erosion of civil liberties. These are people who have good reason to worry--they are in groups that have been targeted repeatedly by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies for who they are, or what `they believe, rather than anything they have done.
We hope that this archival collection of COINTELPRO documents will assist in educating the public about the need to defend dissent and protect civil liberties for all. Of special interest is the documentation of a network of federal, state, and local police and intelligence agencies that shread information with corporate, commercial, and right-wing security and intelligence-gathering organizations and individuals. This network, which was illegal during the period of the FBI COINTELPRO operations, is now being legalized piece-by-piece.
This collection of documents is being unveiled to remind us that protests of government policies, such as those at the political conventions Denver and Minneapolis/St. Paul , are protected by the Bill of Rights, unless there are specific criminal acts for which specific individuals can be charged. Caging demonstrators, clearing streets with preventitive detention sweeps, and indiscriminate arrests violate the spirit and the letter of the Constitution of the United States.
See list of COINTELPRO documents in the archive of Political Research Associates - listed by program and then city or other location
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