History and Theory of Political Repression
Feature Articles by PRA
Repression and Ideology:
||How Police Justify Labelling Demonstrators as "Terrorists"
by Chip Berlet and Matthew N. Lyons
One key to litigating against government prosecution of dissidents is
understanding the underlying assumptions...
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This article originally appeared in Police Misconduct and Civil Rights Law Report
Vol. 5, Nos. 13-14, Jan-Feb., and March-April 1998.
The Hunt for Red Menace
A major study of the structures and institutions of political repression
in the U.S. since WWII
By Chip Berlet
Following the end of World War II, a
coalition of conservative, ultra-conservative, right-wing and liberal
anti- communist political movements and groups organized support
for high levels of military spending, promoted the use of covert
action abroad, and cultivated the acceptance of obsessive governmental
secrecy, surveillance and repression at home. In the domestic public
sphere this coalition shaped an overwhelming willingness among citizens
to trade real civil liberties for illusionary national security safeguards.
Some observers of this phenomenon see it as having fueled Cold War
antagonisms and resulted in what they term the "National Security
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What is the Maldon Institute and Who is John Rees?
A Case Study of One Right-Wing Private Intelligence Network
By Chip Berlet
There have been a series of revelations about the role of private
right-wing countersubversion groups--such as the Maldon Institute--in circulating concepts and information used to justify law
enforcement intelligence abuse. Repression against demonstrators make more sense if one explores the history
and background of public and private countersubversion networks.
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Structure Research v. Conspiracism and Paranoia
By Matthew N. Lyons
What's the difference? Find out in this essay.
Cold War fears of Red Menace subversion have been recycled as warnings of impending terrorist attacks
Who is a Terrorist?
These two selections relate to the issue of government use of terminology to
demonize dissent. The first is the government's attempt to include under the
term "terrorism" a variety of methodologies, some of which are not even violent.
A selected response critical of that ploy follows.
Louis J. Freeh (Director Federal Bureau of Investigation),
Congressional Statement on the Threat of Terrorism to the United States
before the United States Senate Committees on Appropriations,
Armed Services and Select Committee on Intelligence, May 10, 2001,
full text at http://www.fbi.gov/congress/congress01/freeh051001.htm
Reclaim the Streets: "Is Dancing Terrorism?" by PB Floyd in Slingshot,
Urban75 Action News, July 1, 2001 at http://www.urban75.com/Action/news137.html
- Caignon, Denise and Gail Groves. (1987). Her Wits About Her:
Self-Defense Success Stories by Women. New York: Perennial Library.
- Center for National Security Studies. (1996). Terrorism
Law Is Major Setback for Civil Liberties. Report. Washington,
DC: by the author.
- Chang, Nancy. (2002). Silencing Political Dissent: How Post-September
11 Anti-Terrorism Measures Threaten Our Civil Liberties. New
York: Seven Stories.
- Churchill, Ward and Jim Vander Wall. (1988). Agents of Repression:
The FBI’s Secret Wars Against the Black Panther Party and the American
Indian Movement. Boston: South End Press.
- Churchill, Ward and Jim Vander Wall. (1989). COINTELPRO Papers:
Documents from the FBI's Secret Wars Against Dissent in the United
States. Boston: South End Press.
- Cunningham, David. (Forthcoming). "State vs. Social Movement: The
FBI's COINTELPRO Against the New Left" In Jack Goldstone, ed., States,
Parties, and Social Movements. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University
- Davis, James Kirkpatrick. (1997). Assault on the Left: The FBI
and the Sixties Antiwar Movement. Westport, CT: Praeger.
- Dempsey, James X. and David Cole. (1999). Terrorism & The
Constitution: Sacrificing Civil Liberties in the Name of National
Security. Los Angeles: First Amendment Foundation.
- Donner, Frank J. (1980). The Age of Surveillance: The Aims and
Methods of America’s Political Intelligence System. New York:
Alfred A. Knopf.
- Donner, Frank J. (1990). Protectors of Privilege: Red Squads
and Police Repression in Urban America. Berkeley: University
of California Press.
- Feldman, Jonathan. (1989). Universities in the Business of Repression:
The Academic-Military-Industrial Complex and Central America.
Boston: South End Press.
- Fijnaut, Cyrille and Gary T. Marx. (1995). Under Cover: Police
Surveillance in Comparative Perspective. The Hague: Kluwer Law
- Gelbspan, Ross. (1991). Break–Ins, Death Threats and the FBI:
The Covert War Against the Central America Movement. Boston:
South End Press.
- Glick, Brian. (1989). War
at Home: Covert Action Against U. S. Activists and What We
Can Do About It. Boston: South End Press.
- Goldstein, Robert J. (1978). Political Repression in Modern America,
1870 to Present, 2nd edition. Rochester VT: Schenkman Books,
- Herman, Edward and Gerry O'Sullivan. (1989). The “Terrorism” Industry:
The Experts and Institutions That Shape Our View of Terror. New
- Karp, Walter. (1988). Liberty Under Siege: American Politics
1976-1988. New York: Henry Holt & Co.
- Keller, William W. (1989). The Liberals and J. Edgar Hoover.
Princeton: Princeton University Press.
- Kovel, Joel. (1994). Red Hunting in the Promised Land: Anticommunism
and the Making of America. New York: Basic Books.
- Lyon, David. (1994). The Electronic Eye: The Rise of Surveillance
Society. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
- Mackenzie, Angus. (1997). Secrets: The CIA's War at Home. Berkeley:
University of California Press.
- Marx, Gary T. (1988). Under Cover: Police Surveillance in America.
Berkeley: Twentieth Century Fund/University of California Press.
- Nelson, Jill, Ed. (2000). Police Brutality: An Anthology.
New York: W.W. Norton.
- O’Reilly, Kenneth. (1983). Hoover and the Unamericans: The FBI,
HUAC and the Red Menace. Philadelphia, Pa: Temple University
- O'Reilly, Kenneth. (1988). “Racial Matters:” The FBI's Secret
File on Black America, 1960—1972. New York: Free Press.
- Scher, Abby. (2001). "The
Crackdown on Dissent." The Nation, Jan. 19, 2001, pp.
- Schultz, Bud and Ruth Schultz. (1989). It Did Happen Here: Recollections
of Political Repression in America. Berkeley: University of California
- Staples, William G. (2000). Everyday Surveillance: Vigilance
and Visibility in Postmodern Life. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
More Extensive Bibliography:
Reading List on Intelligence
Agencies and Political Repression