MEETING NOTES FOR PEOPLE FOR PEACE, JUSTICE, AND HEALING
People for Peace, Justice, and Healing
January 31, 2009
People for Peace, Justice and Healing met Saturday, January 24, 2009, at 10 a.m. at Associated Ministries. Present for check-in were: Sallie, Rob, Mark, Nancy, Sheila, Terry, and Vivi.
1. TACOMA POLICE DATA COLLECTION AND INTELLIGENCE SHARING (Mark).
On Mon., Jan. 26, the Bill of Rights Defense Committee-Tacoma, posted this notice on the PPJH listserv: "The Bill of Rights Defense Committee-Tacoma has confirmed that the Tacoma PD and Port of Tacoma Police have collected and shared intelligence data on various local and regional activist groups such as Hate Free Zone (Seattle), Community-to-Community (Bellingham), People for Peace, Justice, and Healing (Tacoma), the Pierce County ACLU, BORDC-Tacoma, and the Students for a Democratic Society. -- This intelligence has been shared and coordinated with the GEO Group, a private corporation currently operating in violation of Washington State laws at the Northwest Detention Center. -- We will provide more information as it is processed. -- We strongly suggest individuals that are members or associated with these groups to request your individual 'watch file' from the City of Tacoma Clerks Office (for the Tacoma PD) and the Port of Tacoma (for Port Police). You should request any and all documents mentioning you and any associated groups to include email, pictures, video, and any other documents in your file." Discussion of what response to this news is appropriate. To be continued. See below for the Thurs., Jan. 29, News Tribune blog posting by Ian Demsky on this subject.
2. DINNER (Sallie).
Decided to donate proceeds from a dinner and film showing in March or April like last year's successful "Our Dinner with 'My Dinner with Andre'" (this time Alain Resnais's "Mon Oncle d'Amérique" (1980), presented as "Our Dinner with 'My Uncle from America,'" to the Puget Sound Interfaith Youth Camp. Planning: to be continued.
3. GAZA (Nancy).
A student at UPS is working on having a fundraiser on Sat., Feb. 7, to raise money for medical supplies to Gaza but final details are not yet available. Also, there will be a "Fast, Meditation, and Prayer for People of Palestine" at Jean's House of Prayer, 1414 Tacoma Ave. S. (behind Guadalupe House, on the alley) from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Sun., Feb. 8. All are welcome to participate in part or all of this event. "Prayer expresses the soul's longing, and fasting sets the soul free for efficacious prayer." --Gandhi.
1. DIGGING DEEPER READS FINKELSTEIN'S 'IMAGE AND REALITY OF THE ISRAEL-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT' (2nd ed., 2003) (Mark). On Mon., Feb. 2, at 7:00 p.m., UFPPC's study circle, Digging Deeper, will examine Norman G. Finkelstein's Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine Conflict, 2nd ed. (Verso, 2003). Book description: "First published in 1995, this highly acclaimed study scrutinizes popular and scholarly representations of the Israel-Palestine conflict. It begins with a novel theoretical interpretation of Zionism, and then moves on to critically engage the influential studies of Joan Peters, Benny Morris, and Anita Shapira. Carefuly rehearsing the documentary record, Finkelstein also challenges the dominant images of the June 1967 and October 1973 Arab-Israeli wars. In a comprehensive new introduction, he provides the most succinct overview available in the English language of the Israel-Palestine conflict, while in several new chapters he juxtaposes Israeli policy in the Occupied Territories against South African apartheid, and demolishes the scholarly pretensions of Michael Oren's recent bestseller on the June 1967 war." The volume has been praised by Avi Shlaim, Charles Glass, William Quandt, and Noam Chomsky.
LOCAL CIVIL ACTIVISTS A CONCERN FOR HOMELAND SECURITY?
By Ian Demsky
News Tribune (Tacoma)
Political Buzz blog
January 29, 2009
The local civil liberties activists who have been fighting the Northwest Detention Center (among other things) have unearthed a Homeland Security document that raises a few questions about the extent to which the government has been monitoring local political protests and events. A spokesman with the ACLU in Seattle said this week they're trying to figure out what approach to take to get at some of the answers.
The document, which they've posted here, is a calendar from 2006 of events by "various civil activists and extremists groups" that have been flagged as having possible intelligence significance.
But the Bill of Rights Defense Committee-Tacoma and the ACLU want to know what information, if any, the government is collecting on citizens who are exercising their right to assemble and voice political opinions.
While the list contains events for white supremacy groups, the vast majority of groups the government was flagging as gatherings of note were anti-war demonstrations.
This local one was a real head-scratcher -- note the source: ICE FIU stands for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement's field intelligence unit:
Here's a paragraph from the document that suggests what the interest is in the events: "Additionally, follow-up reporting such as; After Action Reports, Spot Reports, Arrests, lessons learned, use of violence and civil disobedience are of significant value in increasing officer safety and awareness of these events. Please forward these reports to Headquarters, FPS Intelligence Branch for analysis and historical review."
Still, the list reminds me of an exposé by the Washington Post from October that showed "[t]he Maryland State Police classified 53 nonviolent activists as terrorists and entered their names and personal information into state and federal databases that track terrorism suspects."
Follow up reporting found "The Maryland State Police surveillance of advocacy groups was far more extensive than previously acknowledged, with records showing that troopers monitored -- and labeled as terrorists -- activists devoted to such wide-ranging causes as promoting human rights and establishing bike lanes."
Doug Honig, a spokesman for the ACLU in Seattle, said the government shouldn't be collecting information on people engaged in peaceful protests unless there's some indication laws are being broken.
Categories: Open Government 4 comments
NineInchNachosII @ 12:48 - Thursday, January 29th, 2009 Email
nice scoop mr. demsky, I would like to see you folks follow up on this! I always suspected the center for women and democracy was involved with islam-o fascist terrorists!!! WTF?
I can rest easy now that I know america has it's own gestapo.
jenyum @ 13:40 - Thursday, January 29th, 2009 Email
Well, it does say right there in the announcement that they will be kicking the governor, doesn't it?
fantum @ 13:42 - Thursday, January 29th, 2009 Email
Sheezzz... there goes my next visit to a Dennis Flannigan fund-raiser at the freakin Swiss!!!!
fantum @ 13:47 - Thursday, January 29th, 2009 Email
Hey ICE MAN... what that behind the fridge!!!!! Ooops got you to look.