DISSENT IN PERIL (Indymedia)

Mike Friedman mikedf at amnh.org
Wed Feb 12 16:55:41 MST 2003


DISSENT IN PERIL	Feb 12 2003
Federal Judge Lets NYPD Relax Handschu
Two days after a federal appeals court agreed that the city could ban
anti-war demonstrators from marching near the United Nations, Federal
Judge Charles Haight ruled today to accept a New York Police
Department (NYPD) request to relax restrictions on political
surveillance in New York City. Since 1985, the Handschu Agreement has
stipulated rules for police spying on political groups.
http://www.cnn.com/2003/LAW/02/11/nypd.surveillance.limits/

Meanwhile, Gov. George Pataki yesterday forced an "anti-terrorism"
bill through the New York State Senate. According to the New York
Times, a hasty vote of 52 to 8 - which came "without a public hearing
or even the normal three-day waiting period" - would give local
police and prosecutors broad new powers similar to those enjoyed by
federal authorities. The bill would also " create several new
felonies with stiff sentences."
http://www.nytimes.com/2003/02/12/nyregion/12SENA.html

And rounding out the local-state-federal 1-2-3 punch to New Yorkers'
civil liberties, of course, is the Bush sequel to the PATRIOT Act, or
PATRIOT Act II, which according to the Center for Public Integrity,
"gives the government broad, sweeping new powers to increase domestic
... law enforcement prerogatives, and simultaneously decreases
judicial review and public access to information."
http://nyc.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=46082

But in light of reports that, "All municipal and state laws that
regulate police spying on domestic groups would become invalid" under
PATRIOT II, according to Democracy Now, one wonders why state and
local governments are fighting so hard to pass their own extreme
surveillance measures.

Spying: NYPD Seeks to Free Itself From Handschu Restraints, from Oct.
Indypendent
(http://nyc.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=37286&group=webcast)
[ Big Brother Arrives: from the Dec. Indypendent
(http://nyc.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=39653&group=webcast)
| Democracy Now coverage
(http://www.webactive.com/pacifica/demnow/dn20030210.html )| The Real
Threat to Peace: US Terror Infrastructure
(http://nyc.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=43796&group=webcast )]
--
Michael Friedman
Ph.D. Candidate in Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Behavior
City University of New York

Molecular Laboratory
Department of Invertebrate Zoology
American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West at 79th Street
New York, NY  10024
(212) 313-7646

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