You may have seen recent news reports that the famed photographer of the Civil Rights movement has been "outed" as an FBI informer. Yes, Ernest Withers was a paid FBI informer who not only documented the Civil Rights movement of the 60's. He was a close friend (?) to the likes of Dr. King and the other main players of the struggle for equal rights in America. He was there the day that Dr. King was killed.
That such an intimate of the struggle for civil rights was at the same time an FBI informant should not be a great surprise to us now. We have become much more cynical since that time. At least I certainly have. The 60's was a time of great change in America. It was the height of the Vietnam war and the protests over that imperial war. It was a time of great struggle for equal rights also.
That the FBI had informants in just about every group is now common knowledge. That the same outfits, and now the newer ones, use informants should not be a surprise to any who actually read the news. No, not the idiot box we call the TV set, but real news. By real news, I mean the news one has to search out on the internet since even the "real" newspapers today in America no longer report the "news".
What should bother us all is that the Feds are using informants in any group that even mildly protests anything now days. That they have infiltrated such :organizations" as Quaker anti-war groups should be highly disturbing to any true American. Dissent IS patriotic. Yes, that is a bumper sticker, but it IS the truth also. Even such a "great" leader as Teddy Roosevelt made the statement that it was OK to not support the president in everything. I don't have the exact quote handy.
The First Amendment of the US Constitution guarantees us all the RIGHT to freedom of speech. It is not un-patriotic to oppose any war.
Another misuse of informants by the Feds and various state governments is the use of such people to infiltrate groups who oppose the drilling of the Marcellus Shale for the natural gas that may be in that strata of our soil in New York and Pennsylvania. Why spy on these folks? Well, it now seems that the State, at ALL levels, is going to spy on any group who may interfere in the profit of big corporations. Yes, the government is going to try an shut down any and all protest against big business and the profits that big business might make. Protest a corporation and you are now subject to government spying. Welcome to the "new" America.
Not only does the government spy on us and our groups, they have these informants push these groups into actions that might be unlawful. Yes, the government informers are, at times, instigators of violence.
I would suggest that this method could have serious long term effects on free speech and any sort of protest, no matter how non-violent the group is. When have the Quakers ever been violent in recent memory?
As a former US Marine and a veteran of the imperial war in Vietnam, I refuse to allow any government to limit my freedom of speech. I will, however, be wary of those who want to take any protest I am involved with to a level of any physical violence. I refuse to throw rotten eggs at a sign or any other such actions. Throw an egg, go to jail. Even talk of throwing that egg could get one extra surveillance by some agency of the government today.
If a member of your group starts to advocate any physical actions, tell that member they are no longer welcome in your group. Keep the protests peaceful. No doubt that may not be enough to keep from being reported to the Feds, but it still seems to be the best way to go.
Carry signs, talk to everybody, write letters and emails to your representatives, but keep it non-violent. Of course one could end up under investigation any way. Since we now live in the "post 9/11" world, we are all at risk of government interference at any time. The reasons for this? Well, just because "they" can. Since "9/11 changed everything", any reason, even one that is made up, will do. I honestly think the government IS paranoid. Don't think so? OK, then explain to me why we have TWO defense departments then.
YES, I said TWO defense departments. WHat else is the Department of Homeland Security if NOT a defense outfit? Until 9/11, one would have thought that the "defense" of the United States of AMerica was THE main job of the Defense Department. Well, what the hell did I ever know about such things? Not much it would seem. No sir, we now have a second department of defense. All thanks to 9/11, al-Qaeda, bin Laden, and W. Shrub and his crew of Constitution shredders. All the better to increase the obscene profits of the "defense" contractors, of course. Oh, and never, ever, forget the "too big to fail" crew. THEY must have their piece of the pie, naturally you know.
Any way I look at recent events, all I see is increasing surveillance of the "average" person in our country. We ARE well on the way to becoming a police state.
The other day, I was at the doctor to check on my sinus trouble. In the waiting room, they had the TV set on, it was actually NOT tuned to Faux Noise. Wow, imagine that, a station other than Faux. Well, that was a nice change, they had CNN on the tube. Nearly as bad, but still better than Faux.
The "story" they were reporting on was some school district that was thinking of using finger prints of the school kids in order for them to get their school lunches! What!??!! The kids were going to be fingerprinted so they could have school lunches??!!?? Since when was that a part of the American way of life? I was totally surprised by that story. Unfortunately, I was called back to the exam room before the report was finished, so I missed the school district that was "thinking(??)" about this vile action. Need to do a search of that no doubt. Call me lazy, as I have not done so yet.
Being cynical old me, I had a "second" thought about that story on the tube. That thought was, why not do this? Sure, the kids would suffer the indignity of being fingerprinted, but hell, it is for their own good. Yep, it would keep the "bad guys" from sneaking into the lunch line to get free lunches. Can't have them getting away with "free lunch" ya know. Got to teach them early that there is no "free lunch". The earlier the better.
Also, by having to be fingerprinted before you get your school lunch, you get an early indoctrination into Police State America. It sure as hell looks to be on the way folks. Informants all around us, fingerprinting school kids, being arrested for taking holiday snap shots, all manner of police checkpoints for various reasons. Welcome to the "new" post 9/11 America.
For the record, I am not paranoid about any of this. I will continue to exercise my freedom of speech. If that gets me a visit from the "authorities", well, they will be in for a long session. Ask anybody who has known me for a long time, I can talk for days on end about most any subject. As for giving up names, well, let me see, there is always the likes of "dead eye" Dick, W. Shrub, etc to give to the feds. Let them slog through interrogating me. They will get very frustrated, long before I get tired of talking. That what I would say would be of little or no "real" use is their problem.
In short, resist the coming police state. Do not allow yourself to be silenced because the Feds use informants. If you suspect you have one in your group, feed that person some false information and wait to see what happens. If you have proof that you have an informer in your group, well, out the bastard. Just please, do not stop protesting, do not let anybody silence you. Don't get so paranoid that you quit, if you do, they win, and that would be a huge loss for us all.
A good article on this subject can be found at;
Mr. Salisbury shows just how far we have come towards being a police state. I highly recommend this article to all. Pass it around to your family and friends, it is that good, my opinion.