STATE TARGETS THE LEFT
Editor's Note: This is a special edition of Secret Cabal
Sauce brought to you by Exotic Online. There's no way we
could have printed somehting this long in the magazine.
Another good reason for ones and zeroes, IMHO]
environmental activist Craig Rosebraugh knows he's going
to be charged with a federal crime. He just doesn't know
the past three years, Rosebraugh has served as a press spokesman
for the Animal Liberation Front and the Earth Liberation
Front, two underground movements which have sabotaged logging
equipment, raided mink farms, torched meat processing plants
and burned U.S. Forest Serve buildings in the name of the
environment. Rosebraugh has notified the national media
of these acts of so-called eco-terrorism, providing details
which could only come from the people who committed the
of his press work, Rosebraugh has repeatedly been called
before federal grand juries. Each time he has been asked
to name names and provide other details about the vandalisms.
Each time he has refused, citing his Fifth Amendment protections
against self-incrimination. The government let him walk
away the first few times, but now Rosebraugh has been officially
told he is a target of the grand jury currently meeting
in the federal courthouse in downtown Portland.
the very least, Rosebraugh could be thrown in jail for contempt
of court for refusing to answer questions. But he might
also be charged with such federal felonies as obstruction
of justice. Or with aiding and abetting the commission of
a 95 percent chance they'll charge me with contempt,"
Rosebraugh said in mid-April. "But it could be even
more serious. The federal government is frustrated because
they haven't been able to arrest anyone for these acts of
economic sabotage, and they're under pressure to put someone
thought he might be charged with contempt when he refused
to answer questions at the grand jury's April 26 meeting.
Instead, he was ordered to reappear before the grand jury
in late May, when other activists are expected to be grilled,
too. The move against Rosebraugh is part of a new federal
crackdown on activists linked to the growing anti-globablization
movement. This is a major shift in the government's domestic
law enforcement prioritiesa shift from right to left.
most of the last decade, the domestic paramilitary forces
of the National Security state have been battling far-right
political dissidents. Especially since the Oklahoma City
bombing, the FBI, the BATF and numerous state and local
police agencies have targeted the anti-government Patriot
Movement. Law enforcement agents infiltrated militias, Christian
Identity churches, anti-abortion groups and suspected terrorist
to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a well-respected civil
rights watchdog organization, coordinated law enforcement
efforts broke the back of the radical right by the end of
the century. "Where the FBI typically worked about
100 domestic terrorism cases at a time in the early 1990s,
it was investigating close to 1,000 as the millennium came
to a close," the SPLC reported recently. "Hundreds,
if not thousands, were sent to jail as authorities cracked
down on the far right - many in revolutionary conspiracies
that included planned mass murders."
the FBI and other law enforcement agencies have apparently
shifted their focus to left-wing political dissidents. The
shift began in early Summer 1999. That was when a coalition
of labor, environmental, human rights and other liberal
organizations began planning a series of massive demonstrations
for the World Trade Organization meeting set for late November
protesters shut down the WTO meeting and fought the police
in the streets of Seattle. The size and fury of the demonstrations
seemed to catch the authorities by surprise. But, as the
Seattle Weekly reported on December 2, law enforcement
officials had been spying on the activists for months before
the demonstrations. According to the Weekly, "Sources
say ... that police and 30 other local, state, and federal
agencies have been aggressively gathering intelligence on
violent and nonviolent protest groups since early summer
(FBI agents even paid personal visits to some activists'
homes to inquire about their plans). In past weeks, undercover
officers have tailed several groups as they moved about
the city in cars and vans, and were doing so after the WTO
Weekly also discovered that members of the Pentagon's top
secret Delta Force were deployed in Seattle during the demonstrations.
This is the same unit which was secretly sent to the Waco
stand-off. As the paper reported in its December 23 issue,
the elite troops set up a command headquarters in a downtown
hotel and operated undercover dressed as protesters. "Some
Deltas wore lapel cameras, continuously transmitting pictures
of rioters and other demonstrators to a master video unit
in the motel command center, which could be used by law
enforcement agencies to identify and track suspects,"
the paper reported. "'These guys are the Army hot shots,
the cowboys,' says [a] former Ranger who shared a few beers
with the unit in Seattle."
of protesters occupied an abandoned office building in downtown
Seattle during the protests. Numerous press reports quoted
police as saying the squatters were being monitored by infiltrators.
months after the protests, the Seattle Police Department
called for the repeal of a city ordinance prohibiting political
spying. The ordinance, passed in the wake of the Watergate
Scandal, prohibits the police from gathering any information
on anyone solely because of their political or religious
beliefs. "The SPD Criminal Intelligence Section contributed
little hard intelligence because of our inability to investigate
any of the individuals or groups that ultimately did the
most damage," the report said.
by then the government had already increased its spying
on the anti-globalization movement which crystallized in
Seattle. Many of the same groups were planning to protest
meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund
in mid-April in Washington DC. Operating under the umbrella
organization Mobilization for Global Justice, they scheduled
mass demonstrations for April 16, 17 and 18. But as these
activists began planning their demonstrations, they were
targeted by federal, state and local law enforcement officials.
The activists found their meetings infiltrated, their public
gatherings disrupted, their phones tapped, and police posted
outside their homes and offices.
April 7, veteran political commentator Sam Smith reported
that police were visiting activists all over Washington
DC. Writing in his Progressive Review newsletter (www.provrev.com),
Smith said, "While the use of informers and agents
provocateurs by the police, military, and intelligence agencies
is not unknown in the capital, open efforts to intimidate
participants prior to an event is virtually unknown."
also reported that police were watching student activists
at Washington's America University, which was scheduled
to hold a series of public forums on the IMF and World Bank
in the days leading up to the mass protests. As Smith discovered,
university officials were cracking down on the activists
at the urging of the police. Here's what UA one student
said: "To our wonderful surprise we found out the metro
police have been tapping our phones and emails and have
been sending spies to our meetings. They found out about
two students leafletting against Marriott and sent 30 plain-clothed
policemen to spy."
Smith also discovered that the police were checking up on
area high schools. He found that school authorities in suburban
Montgomery County were circulated a flyer urging people
to be on the look out for mobilization materials in the
schools, and to report them to the school safety office.
The memo, from the schools' Department of School Safety
reads as follows:
office has received the following information from the Montgomery
County Department of Police, Special Investigations Divisions.
Detective Thomas Cauffiel asked Mr. Douglas Steel, field
security coordinator, to notify school based staff to be
observant for any material referring to the upcoming International
Monetary Fund rallies which are scheduled for April 9-17,
2000 in Washington, DC Police are concerned that a group
named "Mobilization for Global Justice" might
attempt to recruit high school students to join in a planned
rally. The police reported the following: "Splinter
groups, possibly associated with this group, took part in
the recent demonstration in Seattle that turned violent."
If you see any materials on your campus which refer to these
rallies, please contact the Department of School Safety
and Security at 301/279-3066."
of the best reporting on the police harassment was done
by Jason Vest, a former Business Week editor and
Village Voice reporter who now works for the SpeakOut.com
website. Among other things, Vest discovered that activists
at George Washington University were under surveillance.
"We know they're reading our emails, and I'm fairly
convinced my phone is tapped too," GW student Dan Calamuci
told Vest over a phone line replete with loud, regular clicking
noises. "Last week, we did a speakoutjust seven
of us with a bullhornat the corner of 21st and H.
Within a few minutes, five cops showed up, three of whom
were undercover, or trying to be talking into cell
phones saying, "We have three guys and four girls on
the corner and this is what they're saying.'"
also reported that the authorities were harassing people
providing housing to the demonstrators gathering in Washington.
"Last Tuesday [April 11], Bettie Hoover, the head of
the DC chapter of the American Friends Service Committee
and a veteran social justice activist, was surprised to
learn that two Howard Country police detectives were casing
her Maryland farm," Vest wrote. "One of my family
found these detectives walking around my property,
says Hoover, who had listed her farm on the a16 [April 16]
organizing Web site as a camping haven for protesters. I
said, Excuse me, who told you to come by, but
they never really did tell me. But they did threaten me
with zoning violations if I let people camp. This guy didn't
know diddly he didn't know what the regulations were
and I didand I said to him, I don't appreciate
this harassment. He said, Oh, no, ma'am, we're
not harassing you, we're just here to help."
also discovered the city tried to shut down a homeless shelter
when protesters were staying."In all the years he's
run the homeless shelter at 11th and M streets in Northwest
Washington, Harold Moss has never had the fire marshal show
up demanding to inspect the premises," Vest wrote.
"Never, that is, until last week. Moss opened his doors
to the Midnight Special Legal Collective, a handful of progressive
activist lawyers from Seattle in town for the massive protests
against the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
Suddenly, the fire marshal was interested in going over
the place with a fine-tooth comb. I couldn't prove it one
way or another, but in all probability, he showed up because
of [the protesters] being here,' said Moss, who has managed
to stave off the inspector inspection."
the establishment media reported the government was harassing
activists in the days leading up to the mass protest. "Some
protesters think they are being watched. They are correct."
the Washington Post reported on April 10.
Assistant Washington Police Chief Terrance W. Gainer confirmed
the police were infiltrating the protest groups. "If
it's an open meeting and it says, 'Come on over,' then anybody's
welcome," Gainer told the paper.
the Post printed this account of an encounter between
police and activist. After Detective Neil Trugman of the
intelligence unit got word that an organizer named Adam
Eidinger was planning to lead six crews to hang protest
posters around town, he and his partner stopped by for a
talk. "Eidinger said the detectives identified themselves
and said he didn't have to speak to them," the paper
reported. "Eidinger agreed anyway, and they talked
on the stoop. The detectives, Eidinger recalled, said they
hoped there wouldn't be any violence, and Eidinger said
he hoped so, too. Then the detectives warned him against
hanging posters, saying protesters could be arrested. 'I
felt intimidated,' Eidinger said."
few days later, on April 13, USA Today reported government
agents were going undercover online to thwart the protesters.
"[T]hey have been monitoring 73 internet sites where
the groups have been exchanging messages to learn more about
their plans. Sometimes, officers have even gone online posing
as protesters," the paper said.
to USA Today, law enforcement agents were physically
following suspected anarchists throughout the capitol city.
"They have been monitoring the movements of nearly
two dozen self-proclaimed anarchists who have arrived in
Washington," the paper reported, adding that police
had been reviewing "dozens of videotapes" from
the Seattle protests, identifying suspected leaders and
plotting riot-control strategies.
did the law enforcement agencies learn? That's a secretbut
they reacted like it was a prophesy for the end of the world.
Police agencies all around the Washington area were mobilized.
All 3,500 DC police officers were put on alert, along with
unknown number of law enforcement agents from 12 federal
and state agencies, including the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol,
Tobacco and Firearms. The authorities spent over $1 million
on new body armor and bullet-proof shields. They set up
three mass detention centers where arrested protesters would
be taken. They removed 69 mailboxes where bombs could be
ain't burning our city like they did in Seattle," Police
Chief Charles Ramsey told USA Today. "I'm not
going to let it happen. I guarantee it."
authorities started cracking down on the activists the weekend
before the IMF/World Bank meetings were scheduled to begin.
On April 9, administrators at American University abruptly
canceled the town hall meeting on globalization set for
Wednesday. As Vest reported, "Carrie Ferrence, an AU
student activist, says she asked David Taylor, chief of
staff to AU's president, for the rationale behind the cancellation.
According to Ferrence, Taylor replied that Washington's
Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) told him that 'they
had information from both on and off campus sources that
this event would be targeted for some kind of disruption,'
but that 'they said they wouldn't provide any security for
April 13, three days before the protests were scheduled
to begin, seven activists driving to a planning meeting
were pulled over by the police. According to a Washington
Post account of the incident, the Secret Service frisked
one passenger, showing him a photo that had been taken of
activists were charged with possession of the implements
of a crime. The National Lawyers Guild protested the arrests.
In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, NLG President
Karen Jo Koonan said the "implements of a crime"
were materials and tools for building signs and banners.
According to the Post, the police seized 256 PCV pipes,
45 smaller pipes, 2 rolls of chicken wire, 50 rolls of duct
tape, gas masks, bolt cutters, chains, an electrical saw,
and lock boxes. "These activists construct signs, puppets,
sound stages, and other tools for expressing their political
views," Koonan wrote. "They were in fact arrested
for possession of implements of First Amendment activity.
We have been told by an MPD officer that the FBI directed
them to make this arrest."
also complained that the authorities had turned Washington
DC into an armed camp: "The Foggy Bottom neighborhood
resembles an occupied city. Streets are closed, and public
sidewalks are open only to people with acceptable identification.
An officer with a video camera sands on the roof of the
PEPCO building at all times, and other officers wander the
area taking still photographs and video of people in the
area, even if they are not attempting to enter the restricted
zone. Anyone wearing buttons or carrying signs is given
especially close scrutiny. The result is a chill on the
expression of political views."
Denis Moynihan of the Mobilization for Global Justice, "Despite
assurances to the contrary, we are beginning to see an escalation
of police tactics similar to the gross violations witnessed
short time later, Vest reported a follow-up to his original
stories. "Since then, a number of other activists and
organizers (as well as a few journalists) have also been
subjected to measures ranging from surveillance, implicit
threats and bureaucratic intransigence apparently designed
to marginalize the effectiveness of their mission,"
he wrote. "What makes the situation all the more maddening
is that such actions are apparently being taken based on
the ridiculous view that every protester or activist is
an anarchist time bomb waiting to go offa view apparently
buttressed by unspecified police 'intelligence' that may
or may not be true."
the morning of April 15, law enforcement authorities unexpectedly
raided a warehouse that served as the demonstrators' headquarters.
According to eyewitness accounts, the agencies involved
in the raid included the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco
and Firearms, the Washington Metropolitan Police Department
and the Washington Fire Department. Claiming the warehouse
violated fire codes, the authorities threw all the activists
out and closed the building. Police claimed they found a
Molotov cocktail in the building, a charge denied by the
activists. "They found a plastic bottle that had rags
in it that were being used to get paint off of people's
hands," organizer Eidinger said.
short time later, the Troy Skeels of the Independent media
Center reported that the authorities were preventing them
from printing and distribution their publications. "As
we are attempting to go to press with the 'Blind Spot,'
IMC's print publication due to hit the streets tomorrow,
we are confronting a serious technical difficulty: Citing
'riot activity' the Kinkos print shops in the area are either
closed already or thinking about it." Skeels wrote.
"I learned about this turn of events this afternoon
as I and some people I was trading literature with were
asked to leave a Kinkos near the White House. The employee
at the Kinkos we were at was polite as he asked us to leave,
but explained that our presence was putting his shop in
danger of being closed. Continuing our discussion on the
sidewalk, I learned that other Kinkos had already been closed
at police direction."
Skeet, "Philip, from Oberlin College, Ohio, sporting
a box of freshly printed pamphlets told me that he had left
one Kinkos (24th and K street) that closed after police
came in and harassed people printing up pro-demonstration,
or simply anti-IMF literature. There was of course, no riot
activity in sight. At least three Kinkos have already closed.
It remains unclear how long the other popular '24 hour'
printing outlets will remain open."
the events unfolding in the Capitol, Smith wrote, "Illegal
sweep arrests. Print shops intimidated into closing by police.
Universities canceling public forums under pressure from
officials. Homes of opposition leader' broken into and ransacked.
Headquarters of the opposition raided and closed by police.
These were the sort of things by which we defined the evil
of the old Soviet Union. These were some of the reasons
we said we had to bomb Yugoslavia. And now they have become
characteristics of the federal government's handling of
the current protests.
the morning of Saturday the 16th, the police had blocked
off 50 blocks around the headquarters of the World Bank
and the International Monetary Fund. The first mass arrests
happened that afternoon when thousands of protesters marched
toward the headquarters of the two financial institutions.
The police blocked their way, then isolated and arrested
approximately 635 activistsfar more than the 525 protesters
arrested during a full week of demonstrations in Seattledeclaring
their march illegal.
authorities quickly revealed that they were obsessed with
identifying the protesters. As the Associated Press reported,
those who provided identification were fined $50. Those
who didn't were fined $300. Of course, all of the names
provided to the police were quickly entered into the vast
web of computer databases used by law enforcement organizations
across the country.
clashed with police all Sunday. The activists were not able
to prevent the international finance ministers from meeting,
but the protests were still the most direct challenge to
global capitalism ever seen. Even the police admitted the
activists had gotten their message out. "The media
is here, and that's how I gauge success," a uniformed
captain told the NBC Evening News.
Sunday evening, the Establishment Opinion Cartel was clearly
worried. "Police said they must keep the World Bank
and IMF open at all costs," CNN reporter Bob Franken
said with a straight face.
Monday it was apparent that these global financial institutions
are more important than the U.S. government itself. Because
of the protests, most downtown federal workers were given
the day off. At the recommendation of federal and local
law enforcement officials, nonessential workers at the State,
Treasury, Commerce and Interior departments, and other key
agencies in the area around the World Bank/IMF headquarters,
were told to stay home. "This is obviously a decision
that we don't take lightly. It's very unusual and very rare,"
a spokesman for the Office of Personnel Management said.
a result, the anti-globalization protesters forced a partial
shut-down of the federal governmentsomething the Patriot
Movement has not achieved after nearly a decade of bombings,
shoot-outs, armed confrontations and rallies.
declared victory even before the protests ended. "A
few days ago most Americans didn't know the first thing
about the World Bank or the IMF," Patrick Rensborough,
a spokesman for Mobilization for Global Justice, told the
New York Times on Sunday. "These institutions
can't survive public scrutiny. This is the first step toward
shutting them down."
Economopoulos of Mobilization for Global Justice agreed.
"In Seattle on November 29th, nobody had heard of the
World Trade Organization and the impact that it had on the
degradation of the environment and people's lives on the
planet," she told reporters early Monday. Now folks
can tell you about the World Bank and the International
Monetary Fund, its violations of human rights, its degradation
of the environment and lowering of labor standards."
the IMF released a communique which acknowledged the protesters
had made its policies a matter "of growing public debate."
As the ABC Evening News reported on Monday, "The demonstrators
outside the building did their best to be heard. The delegates
inside the building said they got the message."
day after the demonstrations ended, organizers announced
plans to keep their growing movement alive by staging large
protests at this summer's Republican and Democratic presidential
conventions. The Republican convention, set to run from
July 31 to August 3 in Philadelphia, the fifth-largest U.S.
city, could draw the largest protests since 50,000 demonstrators
shut down the World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle.
The Democratic convention is scheduled for August in Los
Angeles. Police officials from both cities were in Washington
DC to watch the IMF/World Bank demonstrationand to
gather intelligence on the organizers and their followers.
the Seattle and IMF protests, which dealt mainly with world
trade issues, the Republican and Democratic conventions
are expected to draw activists on a range of issues involving
women, gays, minorities, and health care access," the
Reuters news agency reported on April 18. "Both cities
are likely to see disruptive civil disobedience protests,
especially Philadelphia where convention organizers have
given the Republican National Committee first call on most
areas big enough to stage protests, including areas around
the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall.
of the things we're trying to do is create a progressive,
unified movement coming out of the election cycle that will
be able to work on a lot of things,' said Mike Morrill,
who heads the Unity 2000 coalition of more than 100 activist
organizations. "As more groups come on board, it's
going to be something significantly different.'"
why the anti-globalization protesters are the new Public
Enemy Number One. And why anyone associated with themincluding
Portlander Craig Rosebraughare going to start paying
a price for their activism.