FBI Target Oregon Activists

Les Schaffer schaffer at SPAMoptonline.net
Tue Dec 19 09:35:42 MST 2000

[ bounced > 30 kB, fwd from Hunter Gray <hunterbear at if.rmci.net>, HTML
snipped and reformatted]

-----Original Message-----
From: john hunter gray <hunterbear at if.rmci.net>
To: Hunter Gray <hunterbear at if.rmci.net>
Date: Tuesday, December 19, 2000 8:47 AM
Subject: previous (http://www.hunterbear.org/camp.htm)

Friends, Fellow Workers, Comrades: We want to very vigorously thank
Comrade Garland T. Williams of the Oregon branch of Socialist Party,
USA for his thoughtfulness in sending out -- a few days ago -- the
very contemporary and illuminating material on the repressive and
anti-civil libertarian Federal/State/Local "lawmen" Task Force which
is presently threatening Portland Oregon and environs -- and which is
one of many that has been quietly developed across the land by the FBI
et al.  Here in Southeastern Idaho, we have been having some very
bizarre experiences of our own and, in due course, came to the
conclusion that such a hydra-headed creation is "operating" --
covertly -- in this setting.  I posted this last summer on my Website
-- www.hunterbear.org -- and I'm now sending out our primary page on
this sorry situation.  It's extremely difficult in this atmosphere to
get confirmation -- but every "poison ivy" sign exists!  We certainly
are not budging an inch -- have no intention of leaving -- and are
fighting on.  Keep fighting -- all of us!  Fraternally and In
Solidarity - Hunter Gray (Hunterbear) (Micmac / St Francis Abenaki /
Mohawk Indian and, for purposes of socialist identification, DSA, CoC,
and a very recent member of SP-USA (sent my dues in just a few days

First, we've done cut and paste re Garland Williams' material.

Then, my Website page on our weird situation follows.

----- Original Message -----
From: Ross
To: sosp at mind.net
Sent: Friday, December 15, 2000 7:06 AM
Subject: FBI Target Oregon Activists FREE SPEECH--IF YOU DARE

Re: FBI Target Oregon Activists

I thought you would find interesting this 12/6/2000 UNDERNEWS ARTICLE.

It affects law-abiding citizens. Anyone

Dec 6, 2000
Washington's most unofficial source
Editor: Sam Smith
1312 18th St. NW #502, Washington DC 20036
202-835-0770 Fax: 835-0779
E-MAIL: news at prorev.com
WEB SITE: http://prorev.com
READERS FORUM: http://prorev.com/bb.htm

[A remarkable memorandum of understanding between the FBI and the
Portland OR police states that the Portland Joint Terrorism Task Force
will "identify and target for prosecution those individuals or groups
who are responsible for Right Wing and/or Left Wing movements, as well
as acts of the anti-abortion movement and the Animal Liberation
Front/Earth Liberation Front."]

OREGONIAN: A coalition of community activists urged the Portland City
Council to rescind its recent support for a joint Portland police and
FBI task force on domestic terrorism. The Portland Joint Terrorism
Task Force, made up of eight Portland criminal intelligence officers,
12 federal agents and three other state law enforcement officers, was
formed in September to investigate "criminal extremist activity." But
some community members are concerned the task force will
inappropriately target special-interest groups. Members of the League
of Women Voters, the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon, the
Portland chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of
Colored People, Portland Copwatch, the National Lawyers Guild and the
Portland Accountability Campaign stood together outside City

Hall to call for its demise. They criticized Mayor Vera Katz, who
serves as police commissioner, and the City Council for issuing
support for the task force last week without public input and wondered
why the task force was formed this fall.

The FBI has similar task forces set up in 30 of its 56 divisions
nationwide, said Gordon Compton, FBI spokesman in Portland . . . "We
want to be proactive and keep these things from happening," Compton
said. Much of the community concerns arose from the initial wording of
the City Council ordinance. It said the group's mission was to
"identify and target for prosecution those individuals or groups who
are responsible for Right Wing and/or Left Wing movements, as well as
acts of the anti-abortion movement and the Animal Liberation
Front/Earth Liberation Front." . . . Commissioner Charlie Hales called
the wording "something out of the Nixon administration." In the
adopted ordinance, unanimously approved Nov. 22, the wording was
altered to restrict task force activity to the investigation of
"criminal terrorism.". . . But those speaking out said the task
force's mission is too broad.

They are concerned law enforcement will investigate anyone who engages
in political activity or associates with an activist group . . . The
task force's mission statement, signed in late September by David
Szady, special agent in charge of Oregon's FBI, and Portland Chief
Mark Kroeker, still holds that it will identify and target individuals
or groups who are responsible for acts of "criminal terrorism within
the traditional criteria of the Right Wing or Left Wing movements, as
well as acts of criminal terrorism committed by special interest
groups, such as the anti-abortion movement and the Animal Liberation
Front/Earth Liberation Front."

When Do Demonstrators Become--Terrorists?

by, Ross Regnart

The Anti--Terrorist Act of 1996 appears aimed at public dissent: The
ACT contains language which can charge law--abiding citizens of being
agents or affording support to terrorist organizations: Broadly
written--intent to commit terrorist acts is defined: (Appeared To Be
Intended Toward Violence or Activities Which Could Intimidate or
Coerce a Civilian Population; or To Influence the Policy of a
Government). (18USC Sec.  2331): Any picket line or demonstration,
alleged by police to have blocked or obstructed public access, could
qualify as "Terrorist Activities" to intimidate or coerce a civilian
population: Terrorist charges make it possible for police to forfeit
attending demonstrators92 homes used for meetings and the vehicles
they used for transportation to the event. Concern: Police agencies
may selectively charge a person or organization with either a low
level offense, or terrorist offense, for the same illegal act:
Example: A fist fight between union demonstrators and persons crossing
a picket line, can be upgraded by police to charge union members with
(Terrorist Activity).  The 1996 Anti-Terrorist Act, broadly97redefined
"Terrorist Acts as involving any violent act or acts dangerous to
human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United
States or any state." The violent or physical act need not cause
bodily harm:

The Act can be used by police to target any group of persons that
would dare demonstrate for or against any issue.


As the Red Scare mounted in the U.S. of the latter 1940s,
reactionaries and their Congressional allies moved to enact blatantly
repressive legislation.  An early example was the viciously anti-labor
Taft-Hartley Act of 1947.  Witch-hunting Federal and state
anti-radical "hearings" mushroomed.  The Attorney General's
"Subversive List" -- summarily and arbitrarily outlawing hundreds of
organizations -- was quickly initiated.  Criminal prosecution for
simple beliefs multiplied rapidly.

In 1950, the Internal Security Act -- named the McCarran Act after
Senator Pat McCarran of Nevada [who was also known as the "Senator
from Spain" for his undying admiration of the Fascist Franco] -- was
enacted with much flag-waving and drum-beating.  Among its many
provisions was the infamous Subversive Activities Control Board -- and
another provision provided for the concentration camp incarceration of
radicals or suspected radicals during any one of several
President-decreed states of "national emergency."  Old concentration
camps -- i.e., those used to hold Japanese-Americans during World War
II -- were reactivated; new camps were built.  Full rosters of camp
personnel were hired.

The FBI quickly began to feather out its existent radical lists -- and
to develop a variety of new ones.  Many, many thousands of Americans
were placed on these lists.

All of these -- and other poisonous fruits of this hideous epoch --
constituted blatant and massive violations of the U.S. Bill of Rights
at every point.

Under U.S. pressure, the Canadian government moved in a similar
witch-hunting direction.

In early October, 1952, the U.S. Senate Internal Security Subcommittee
which worked very closely with J. Edgar Hoover et al. -- and which
included Pat McCarran and racist U.S. Senator Jim Eastland of
Mississippi and others of that ilk -- came to Salt Lake City to
conduct "hearings" designed to attack Mine-Mill and its leadership.

The Union courageously put, among other places, this advertisement in
the Salt Lake City Tribune of October 6, 1952.

The Internal Security Act was finally repealed in 1971.

But, bluntly, there isn't any reason today (2000) to believe that the
FBI itself, which has pursued political repression as a primary
priority since its origins early in the 20th Century, has in any way
stopped its pursuit of radical dissidents -- especially those of the

And there is much to indicate that the FBI, and some other agencies,
however covertly, are doing just that.

Think about this: We've lived in Pocatello, Idaho for three years.  A
few examples of our very strange experiences here:

As soon as we moved into our new home, we found ourselves the
recipients of unusual and on-going official (and otherwise) scrutiny:
obvious surveillance.  This is continuing.

A man was suddenly across the street one day -- taking photos of our
house.  He left very quickly when I emerged.

An ostensible cable t-v repairman appeared in our back yard one
afternoon.  Minutes thereafter, our cable went out.  The cable company
-- this was stated by two company officials to us -- knew absolutely
nothing of the man and had no workmen scheduled anywhere in the
vicinity of this neighborhood.

A very odd person -- a woman or a man dressed "cleverly" as a woman --
appeared at our doorstep at 2 a.m.  The person, who we invited in, was
extremely curious about the insides of our home and gave us a story
about being kicked out of an unspecified nearby house, and thus
needing a cab. [This is a 'way up high, relatively isolated,
on-the-edge setting and none of this fit.] The next day, I thoroughly
investigated "her" story -- and nothing checked out anywhere.

Our garbage has been dumped and searched with obvious intricacy.

A Protestant clergyman suggested that, with my extensive background in
race relations, I join a Pocatello citizens' police advisory committee
of which he was a member.  Having chaired for years the Mayor's
Committee on Police Policy at Grand Forks, N.D. [ scroll down Index,
or click, for the section entitled, But Some Very Good Words -- UND,
Mississippi, Grand Forks N.D.], I was quite agreeable. I immediately
sent him some relevant material on my background and work.  And then
there was silence.  I never heard from him again.  A year and a half
later, while giving a talk, I mentioned this to a person active in the
local NAACP -- and did so in the context of our very strange Pocatello
experiences.  "We'll certainly get you on that committee," she said.
And, not surprisingly, I never heard another word on that from anyone.

I am, after all, a retired full Professor with a vast amount of
teaching and related activity under my belt -- to say nothing of rich
and extraordinary field experiences in Native rights, labor, civil
rights, and race relations.  Efforts to develop any interest of any
kind in me at Idaho State University (here at Pocatello) -- by myself
or by others --have consistently failed to strike even a single note
of resonance.  One faculty member, learning of my background via one
of my children, became very interested in my giving talks at ISU and
possibly teaching a class. He came congenially to our home twice.
Suddenly he became visibly afraid, practiced overt avoidance many
times, and I never heard from him again.

There is more.

Much more indeed.

For virtually the entire period we've lived in Pocatello, our mail --
USPS -- has taken inordinate periods of time to reach us.  Many things
come to us by Priority Mail which should normally take only two to
three days -- but which, in our case, has almost always been very late
and has sometimes taken up to eight or nine days!  Many of these items
have had holes poked in them and at least one packet -- Overnight USPS
-- mailed by me early this Spring at a local Post Office where I am
known and sent by me to a history professor at a well known higher ed
institution -- was subjected to substantial tampering and some damage.

On January 13, 1999, I sent a long, detailed complaint to the Postal
Inspection Service at Seattle and attached dozens of envelopes and
package wrappings.  I never received any response from the Inspection
Service -- eventually getting only what proved to be an in-the-dark
and non-helpful phone call from the local postmaster.  Our situation
improved briefly and then once against worsened. I wrote again to the
Postal Inspection Service at Seattle on January 26 2000. Receiving no
response, I once again wrote -- March 13 2000:

"On January 26 2000, I wrote you . . .with respect to bizarre mail
delays that we have been experiencing here.  A year earlier, I had
also written to Postal Inspection Service, Seattle, on the same
matter.  Now, as then, I've received no response of any sort from the
Inspection Service.  Improvements in our mail service as a result of
these communications are, at best, unpredictable and speculative --
and the basic questions as to who, why, and what's being done remain
completely unanswered from our perspective.

The crudity of the whole thing does raise the possibility of some sort
of local and/or state law enforcement approach -- functioning "under
color of law" [to use a phrase we used a great deal when I was a civil
rights organizer in Mississippi and other parts of the Deep South from
1961-1967] -- but very possibly without any bona fide legal basis.
The absence of any response from the Postal Inspection Service
certainly lends toward this explanation.

In any event, I concluded my letter of January 26 2000 to you with the
statement, "With respect to my original letter of January 13 1999 [
copy enclosed -- along with a contemporary civil rights clipping
involving interviews with me by the regional newspaper], what action
has Postal Inspection Service taken and what can we expect from it in
this current continuation of the situation?"

I reiterate that, and hope to hear from Postal Inspection Service
quite soon indeed."

This has secured no response whatsoever -- simply silence. While our
mail service seems to be more "normal," I sure as hell wouldn't count
on it. [NOTE August 10 2000: Our mail situation has become even more
weird and this is continuing.] Tampering with the mail, as I have
always understood it, absent any ostensibly "legal" basis, constitutes
a felony crime.  The possibility of a direct Federal connection in
this situation looms increasingly large.

We have had almost continually weird telephone experiences. [NOTE
August 10 2000: Our telephone situation has become even stranger and
this is continuing.]

A telephone bill -- U.S. West -- in February 2000 indicated a string
of calls billed to our phone from a person and phone number completely
unknown and unrelated to us.  These were made over a period of several
days. In addition, an AT&T bill received concurrently, indicated
something comparable.  Together the calls totalled almost $90.00.  A
telephone company person, when we called all of this in, used the term
"tap" as a possibility.  Telephone people subsequently checked and
said no tap was found [at the time of the subsequent checks.]

It's worth pointing out that, in the 1980s, I secured 3,000 or so
pages from my FBI files -- some of these as then recent as 1979 --
and, in addition, there are several hundred other pages FBI refuses to
give me on grounds of "national security," etc.

Other very strange things have been happening to us.

My experiences as a primary target of witch-hunters go back into at
least the mid-1950s.  This is my best, reflective analysis of the
current state of Federally-based repressive methodology at this point
in the Nation's history -- and I give it this July 11 2000:

It seems very likely indeed that the FBI and related Federal law
enforcement agencies are presently using, in formal and semi-formal
frameworks, selected and ostensibly "trained" local and state lawmen
in their covert activities against the activist Left.  Among other
things, this approach would quietly broaden the contact/support base
of these particular Federal agencies but, much much more to the point,
would -- cunningly -- officially maintain revelatory distance between
themselves and their "grassroots" anti social-justice and anti
Native-rights and anti civil-libertarian and anti environmentalist
(and frequently downright illegal) projects.  And, certainly, this
would greatly minimize potentially embarassing FOIA and other

I remember the words of an old friend of mine, courageous Professor
Jim Silver, History, University of Missississippi (Oxford) -- author
of Mississippi: The Closed Society (New York: Harcourt, Brace, and
World, 1964) -- right after the violent and tragic upheaval organized
and led by Mississippi authorities in their unsuccessful effort to
prevent the admission of the first Black student, Mr. James Meredith.
Jim Silver, one of the very few faculty at Ole Miss to befriend
Meredith, was subjected -- as he had been off and on for years -- to
all sorts of harassment.  A reporter from the North asked him, "Why do
you stay here?"

"Hell, I like it here," Jim told him.

As always, we keep right on fighting.

"Speak Up, America!" is as relevant a cry today as it was a half
century ago.

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