I'm continuing to look for real stories that don't get enough attention as the media wallows and bathes in only one story. This is from Great Britian's Socialist Worker:
Undercover cops no secret in movement
Few activists will be surprised at the news that undercover police officer Mark Kennedy infiltrated environmental groups in Britain, travelling abroad masquerading as a professional climber and campaigner.
Undercover cops and agent provocateurs are not new—they have been consistently used by the state to spy on political activists.
The new category, “domestic extremists”, is used to scare activists and provide an excuse for the police to intimidate, smear and spy on protesters—privately and publicly.
Campaign groups have historically been seen as the enemy within. In the run up to the G20 protests in 2009, the Metropolitan Police systematically raided squats and social centres. In the days following many activists were arrested and their houses raided.
Police infiltration was common knowledge among activists during the Miners’ Strike of the 1980s.
But it is police, not activists, who have something to hide.
They dropped the charges of six activists connected to Kennedy—not because the case would collapse, but because it would have forced the police to open up files to the courts on the use of undercover officers.
The reality is that ordinary people and the state, of which the police are a crucial part, are often in conflict.
The state wants to preserve the status quo, protecting the profit and property of the rich while keeping the rest of us in our place.
Anything that threatens that order is considered a threat.
The bigger and stronger our movement, the harder it will be for the police to intimidate and harass us.
© Socialist Worker (unless otherwise stated). You may republish if you include an active link to the original.
There's a lot at the Socialist Worker, by the way. I really enjoyed an article about bankers who were walking away with millions of the people's money. Enjoyed? Yeah, it's not just happening in the US. It really underscores how this was a steal the wealth grab not just something that just happened. Too bad the press here can't focus on stories like that. Now from the cops to prisons, this is from the National Lawyers Guild:
National Lawyers Guild Calls for End of 21-Year Solitary Confinement of Pennsylvania Inmate Russell Maroon Shoatz
The National Lawyers Guild called on Superintendent Louis S. Folino to support the Program Review Board’s recommendation to release Russell Maroon Shoatz into general population at SCI Greene in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania.
Russell Maroon Shoatz has been incarcerated since 1972, the past 21 years of which have been spent in solitary confinement at SCI Greene. He is 67 years old and has not committed an infraction in 21 years. In addition to his record of good conduct, members of the Pennsylvania Prison Society who visit Mr. Shoatz regularly attest to his peaceful disposition. While in prison, Mr. Shoatz has re-educated himself and undergone a profound spiritual transformation.
The Program Review Board meets on January 5 to consider moving Mr. Shoatz into general population. A copy of the full letter sent to Superintendent Folino is available below.
The National Lawyers Guild, founded in 1937, is the oldest and largest public interest/human rights bar organization in the United States. It has defended the rights or prisoners for over 70 years and its members have brought litigation aimed at raising awareness of and correcting unconstitutional practices in correctional facilities. The Guild’s headquarters are in New York and it has chapters in every state.
Hopefully next week we'll get to hear some other news on our radio and see it on our TV stations. There's a ton of important stories out there. By the way, Monday? I'll probably do a little post of some sort. But there won't be a snapshot and most people will be taking off. Not C.I. She'll be doing some posts. Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"