Surveillance of Black #CivilRights movements predates Hoover’s #FBI | #BlackLivesMatter on Blog#42

BlackLivesMatter is now taking donations through @ColorOfChange to expose the FBI’s ongoing surveillance efforts. Please contribute do what you can, no matter your race, gender, or class affiliation. Our government should be ours, working for, and not against us! When government surveils a civil rights movement, it not only violates that group’s most basic constitutional rights, but every American’s.

Black civil rights and religious movements, historically, not only have been under surveillance by police forces and the FBI, but were also infiltrated and subverted, since before J. Edgar Hoover, by police departments. Native American civil rights movements, traditionally, have also been the targets of surveillance.

Starting in the 1920’s the Garvey movement and every other Black nationalist movement from then on, including Malcolm X while he was a member of the Nation of Islam and later, when he formed his own. It happened to Martin Luther King and all the civil rights organizations affiliated with him.

It happened to the Black Panthers. Not only were they under surveillance, but they were infiltrated and subverted.

Now, as Black men and women are being killed by police and a new civil rights movement rises, so does the FBI, right in lockstep. With the knowledge we have, thanks to Edward Snowden, about NSA surveillance of every single American, one has to wonder why the extra effort and what it actually consists of?

We heard of FBI surveillance of Black Lives Matter last May, when the FBI itself was questioned about its activities ahead of verdict announcements in Cleveland, Ohio:

However, Giuliano mentioned nothing about the details of this case or how the FBI may be mandated to investigate the state agents involved depending on the outcome. Instead, he mentioned other activities in which the FBI was engaged in the lead up to the Brelo verdict that are far outside of the FBI’s mandates, and possibly in violation of those mandates, against U.S. citizens engaged in First Amendment activity.

At a time when both the Attorney General and the FBI’s chief, both, have spoken on civil rights of Black citizens and transparency in government, it is disheartening to see that nothing has changed with respect to activities within the time frame of their own tenures, but going back a century. Attorney General Lynch gave a very disappointing interview to Chuck Todd of MSNBC last week. Watch it here, along with my transcript and comment. I’ve previously reported about FBI Director Comey here and here. As I point out in my recent piece on Lynch’ interview, different parts of the Obama administration are working at cross-purposes and in ways that defy logic. This Department of Justice and this FBI should be reforming the system’s longstanding record of civil rights violations and not perpetuating it.

The fight for civil rights needs to be a collaborative effort with whites joining their fellow Black Americans in the fight to establish a society in which every American’s rights are respected, and Democracy is restored. While our laws may say one thing, de facto , the opposite is being done all the while Americans are still being killed. According to the The Guardian’s The Counted page, 889 891 Americans have been killed, so far in 2015. The FBI should be conducting its surveillance in the nation’s police departments, not movements for civil rights.

Please make your contributions via this secure ColorOfChange petition via ActBlue.

Thank you.

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