New York City Council Header
File #: Res 0134-2004    Version: * Name: Condemning the FBI for collecting extensive information on the legal and constitutional activities of anti-war demonstrators and protestors who have been exercising their human rights against an illegal and unjust war being waged in Iraq.
Type: Resolution Status: Filed
Committee: Committee on Public Safety
On agenda: 2/26/2004
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: Resolution condemning the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for collecting extensive information on the legal and constitutional activities of anti-war demonstrators and protestors who have been exercising their human rights against an illegal and unjust war being waged in Iraq.
Sponsors: Charles Barron, Maria Baez, Robert Jackson, Allan W. Jennings, Jr., Margarita Lopez, James Sanders, Jr., Helen D. Foster, Letitia James, Larry B. Seabrook
Council Member Sponsors: 9

Res. No. 134

 

Resolution condemning the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for collecting extensive information on the legal and constitutional activities of anti-war demonstrators and protestors who have been exercising their human rights against an illegal and unjust war being waged in Iraq.

 

 

By Council Members Barron, Baez, Jackson, Jennings, Lopez, Sanders, Foster, James and Seabrook

 

Whereas, It was recently revealed through a leaked Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) memorandum that the FBI has collected extensive information on the tactics, training and organization of anti-war demonstrators and has advised local law enforcement officials to report any suspicious activity at protests to its counter-terrorism squads; and

 

Whereas, In the memorandum, the FBI advocates spying on peaceful protesters and indicates that protesters who engage in civil disobedience or other disruptive acts should be treated like potential terrorists; the memorandum confirms that the government has monitored the actions of peaceful protesters and wants intelligence about protesters to be reported to the nearest FBI field office or terrorism task force; and

 

Whereas, Such monitoring by government agents is frightening, illegal and completely contrary to the values enshrined in the Bill of Rights; and

 

Whereas, On the local level, such outrageous government behavior was reflected in the New York City Police Department (NYPD) policy of questioning arrested anti-war protestors about their political affiliations; and

 

Whereas, The blatantly unconstitutional tactics of the FBI and local law enforcement hearken back to the days of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, who routinely abused government surveillance and other powers by spying on political protestors such as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr; and

 

Whereas, The discredited tactics of the Hoover Administration to harass and intimidate lawful political protest and dissent resulted in tight restrictions on the FBI’s investigation of political activities; and

 

Whereas, In the name of the war against terrorism, however, the Bush Administration and Attorney General John Ashcroft have decided to relax these sensible restrictions and collect information on individuals who exercise their First Amendment right to protest and voice their opposition to government policy; and

 

Whereas, Such a coordinated, nationwide effort to collect intelligence regarding demonstrators chills free speech, harasses law-abiding citizens who wish to express their displeasure with government policy, and speaks to the general intolerance in this country for opposing points of view; now, therefore, be it

 

Resolved, That the Council of the city of New York condemns the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for collecting extensive information on the legal and constitutional activities of anti-war demonstrators and protestors who have been exercising their human rights against an illegal and unjust war being waged in Iraq.