[sixties-l] Fwd: FBI to Monitor European Activists

From: radman (resist@best.com)
Date: Fri Aug 11 2000 - 22:39:27 CUT

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    >FBI to Monitor European Activists
    >Ezekial Ford, Freezerbox
    >August 8, 2000


    >Once upon a time the FBI investigated leftists at home, and the
    >CIA subverted them abroad. This started to change in the 1960s,
    >when crack intelligence squads from the CIA were required to stamp
    >out domestic 'threats to stability.' The Black Panthers, anti-war
    >groups and the American Indian Movement were all targeted by the
    >CIA, which according to its own charter was restricted from doing
    >so. Once the precedent was set, it was a smooth transition to gun
    >running and drug smuggling onto private US airstrips in the 1980s,
    >when the agency wiped its patriotic rear with the Constitution and
    >helped turn Black America into a nation of crack zombies in order
    >to illegally fund the Contras.
    >If the 1960s saw the CIA cut in on the FBI's turf, then recent
    >years are witnessing the opposite trend. The FBI has caught
    >globalization fever, and is currently dotting Central Europe with
    >offices to complement its already impressive network of 43 centers
    >operating off US soil. Along with one in Budapest, the US Federal
    >Bureau of Investigation is launching an office in Prague. According
    >to Czech State Television, FBI chief Louis Freeh met with Czech
    >Interior Minister Stanislav Gross to finalize arrangements and
    >discuss an agenda for the joint US-Czech project, which is to
    >include at least one agent and an administrative force. Although
    >the training and intelligence gathering center is supposed to be
    >fighting organized crime, the Central and Eastern European Review
    >reports that one of the "main topics of discussion during Freeh's
    >visit was the upcoming joint IMF/World Bank annual meeting in Prague
    >in September."
    >Something tells me that those Albanian heroin rings aren't going
    >to be out in full force next September 26th during the protests.
    >No, the FBI is colluding with the Czech police to gather information
    >on citizens exercising their constitutional rights. Not that anybody
    >should be gasping at this.
    >In terms of practical obstruction, it is not clear what a bunch of
    >G-men can accomplish. They can plant moles, monitor the listserves,
    >collect names, and forward everything to the mother database in
    >Washington; but they can't stop tens of thousands of European
    >activists from trying to get into the country and filling the
    >streets. It is no secret where activists are organizing in Prague,
    >and anybody can join the email list offering detailed information
    >about the protests. The FBI will basically be eavesdropping on an
    >open conversation.
    >The FBI may be convinced, along with Czech political elites, that
    >the "largest threat to stability in the country is the extreme
    >left" (Czech Prime Minister Milos Zeman), but they should not be
    >surprised to find no bomb making materials in opposition quarters.
    >Unlike the extreme right, which actually kills people and has
    >explicit political ambitions, the Czech anarchists, whose political
    >expression is limited to an annual street party powered by a couple
    >of diesel generators, are harmless. A minority of militants hold
    >a penchant for breaking the occasional window and many of them
    >fancy shocking imagined bourgeois sensibilities with pierced faces
    >and various flavors of self-imposed disfigurement, but their actions
    >cannot be anticipated or controlled by anyone, not even their fellow
    >In short, they are isolated, unpredictable and largely unaffiliated.
    >If the FBI is after an imagined clique of well organized Fidelistas
    >buried deep within some Molotov cocktail factory, they are wasting
    >their time.
    >A more cynical and dystopic view of FBI involvement posits that
    >global elites are merely integrating their intelligence networks
    >as part of a long-term project in countering international movements
    >for economic and social justice; which is to say, in countering
    >the pan-European Left. Just as these movements gathered force in
    >the 1960s and challenged traditional structures of power, it is
    >possible that we are moving toward a similar era at the dawn of
    >the new century.
    >The Battle of Seattle -- followed by Mayday demonstrations around
    >the world and the IMF protests in Washington -- was a wake up call
    >to those interested in seeing popular struggle against the reign
    >of capital stunted or reversed. We must remember that the 1960s
    >were viewed by elites not as a flowering of consciousness or a
    >period of liberation for subjected groups, but constituted a "crisis
    >of democracy," according to the Trilateral Commission, the collective
    >voice for elites in the US, Europe and Japan. Networks of activists
    >involved in the struggle against the investor-centric model of
    >globalization may become future targets of state repression, just
    >as they were in the 60s and 70s. And the FBI is apparently doing
    >the preparatory fieldwork.
    >Attempts to undermine or track these activist networks will be more
    >difficult than in the past. They are extremely decentered. They
    >extend beyond both national and hemispheric boundaries. They overlap.
    >They have excellent communication systems. But perhaps most
    >importantly, it is extremely difficult to garner popular approval
    >for repression against them. For they are overwhelmingly nonviolent
    >and support causes with widespread support. Unlike the Black
    >Panthers, which worked out of a lone office and had an arsenal of
    >guns aimed against 'whitey', the new protest organizations cannot
    >be so easily raided and shut down. They can try, as they did in
    >Washington, but it is all to little effect.
    >Clearly, the groundswell of global opposition to corporate tyranny
    >-- as represented by the policies of the IMF/World Bank -- is bigger
    >than the FBI, or any other organization for that matter. Even within
    >the limited context of a single protest, I cannot see how their
    >function can be anything but symbolic. Given the thousands of people
    >who will descend on Prague in September -- from Germany, Spain,
    >England, Poland -- the image of a handful of ear-wired US FBI
    >officials in their three room office is almost laughable.
    >What isn't laughable are the priorities of those in power, who feel
    >that democratic opposition to fascist structures of world governance
    >should take law enforcement precedence over serious criminal
    >syndicates operating in Central Europe. For there are in fact well
    >funded and well organized cliques who warrant international
    >cooperation between intelligence operatives in the US and Europe.
    >But these cliques are not interested in sustainable development or
    >debt relief, however. They have other interests, like the abduction
    >and forced prostitution of teenage Ukrainian girls, kilos of heroin,
    >cases of Kalishnakovs, and little vials of weapons grade Strontium.
    >I say let the FBI worry about these things, and let the citizens
    >of the world take care of the IMF. But if the Bureau is really
    >worried about us activists, they can start their files with me.

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