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  1. #1

    jex's Avatar

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    FBI, police visits to young people rile ACLU official

    Warnings precede party conventions

    FBI, police visits to young people rile ACLU official

    By Karen Abbott, Rocky Mountain News
    July 24, 2004

    Law enforcement officers visited several Denver young people Thursday to warn them against committing violence at the Democratic and Republican national conventions.

    "This is part of an ongoing FBI investigation with the Joint Terrorism Task Force," Colorado FBI spokeswoman Monique Kelson said Friday. "That's all that we can comment right now."

    The Joint Terrorism Task Force includes officers from local law enforcement agencies.

    Mark Silverstein, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Colorado, said young people living at two locations in Denver reported the visits to the ACLU and that similar visits have occurred elsewhere in the United States in recent days.

    He said officers told the Denver young people that they were visiting "protesters and anarchists."

    "It's an abuse of power, designed to intimidate these kids from exercising their constitutional right to protest government policies and associate with others who want to protest government policies," Silverstein said.

    Denver police public information officers referred inquiries to the FBI on Friday night.

    Sarah Bardwell, 21, said six officers arrived about 4:30 p.m. Thursday at the Denver home she shares with four other young people. Two houseguests also were there, she said.

    The six officers identified themselves as four FBI agents and two Denver police officers, but declined to give their names after the young people declined to give theirs, Bardwell said.

    One officer said he took the young people's refusal to give their names as "noncooperation" and said he would have to use "more intrusive efforts to get his job done," Bardwell said.

    "We had really no idea what was going on," she said.

    "They told us in a joking way that they were doing community outreach and getting to know the neighbors," she said.

    Then the officers said they were "doing some preventative measures and investigating," she said.

    She said the officers asked three questions: Are you planning to be involved in any criminal acts at the national conventions? Do you know anybody who is? Are you aware that if you assist or know anybody planning any criminal acts and do not report them, it's a crime?

    "We declined to answer," Bardwell said.

    She said she refused to answer on principle, not because she's hiding anything. She said she doesn't plan to attend either party's national convention.

    "I would normally be completely open," Bardwell said.

    Silverstein said law enforcement officers made a similar visit to another Denver home, occupied by four or five young people.

    Bardwell said she and her housemates believe they were visited because they have participated in protests in the past - including one the day before against the recent shooting death of a 63-year-old disabled man by a Denver police officer who was looking for someone else and mistook a soda can the man was holding for a gun.

    Other causes in which she has been active include protests against Columbus Day as a celebration of oppression of native people, work with an organization that collects food donated by grocery stores for homeless people and anti-war protests, Bardwell said.

    She is an intern with the American Friends Service Committee, which won the Nobel Peace Prize in the 1940s for its work against violence. AFSC also advocates for prisoners' rights.

    "I think it was an intimidation tactic and it was designed to threaten people who are analyzing our current government and its policies and the system in the United States - an intimidation tactic that is used to crush any form of resistance or dissent or public expression of disapproval," Bardwell said.

    She said the visit from law enforcement officers motivated her to learn more about her rights and to be "even more active in my community."

    http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drm...061282,00.html
    Jex.


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  3. #2

    USN_Squid's Avatar

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    Re: FBI, police visits to young people rile ACLU official

    Yeah just another example of the man oppressing our rights....

    One of the things they are urging their "followers" to do is throw marbles in the path of the police-mounted horses or to throw them at the horse. Obviously to spook the horse. Another plan is to go to a shooting range an hour before going to the convention and then get on a train or subway. The residue will distract the bomb sniffing dogs and they will have to shut down the subways and trains and will probably have evaucate the whole area.


    Sounds like they have more in common with Al Qaeda than "American Friends". There's nothing wrong with peaceful protest, but I doubt the FBI is harrassing this girl because she raises money for homeless shelters.
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    Re: FBI, police visits to young people rile ACLU official

    Quote Originally Posted by USN_Squid
    Yeah just another example of the man oppressing our rights....

    One of the things they are urging their "followers" to do is throw marbles in the path of the police-mounted horses or to throw them at the horse. Obviously to spook the horse. Another plan is to go to a shooting range an hour before going to the convention and then get on a train or subway. The residue will distract the bomb sniffing dogs and they will have to shut down the subways and trains and will probably have evaucate the whole area.


    Sounds like they have more in common with Al Qaeda than "American Friends". There's nothing wrong with peaceful protest, but I doubt the FBI is harrassing this girl because she raises money for homeless shelters.
    Al Qaeda wants to destroy the American way of life.

    From the sounds of it, the FBI is doing more in that direction than this girl ever could. :-/

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    Re: FBI, police visits to young people rile ACLU official

    LOL. Yeah that's what the FBI is doing.

    Of course their actions have to sneak past the judicial system, and they have legislative oversight with which to contend, and of course there's the LA and NY Times just falling over themselves to write up something negative about Bush. No I think the FBI is probably more busy trying to make sure a city doesn't suddenly evaporate than figuring out ways to execute their grand plan for world domination.

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    Re: FBI, police visits to young people rile ACLU official

    I think the point is that the police shouldn't be getting involved with harrassing people who may protest. Once you start to do that you start to step on peoples right to peaceful protest. There are plenty of country's out there that we frown upon when it comes to political suppression - how come we don't scream when it's our own country?
    Jex.


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    Re: FBI, police visits to young people rile ACLU official

    Quote Originally Posted by jex
    I think the point is that the police shouldn't be getting involved with harrassing people who may protest. Once you start to do that you start to step on peoples right to peaceful protest. There are plenty of country's out there that we frown upon when it comes to political suppression - how come we don't scream when it's our own country?
    Who was oppressed? Police warning citizens not to commit violence is oppression? You've got a seriously skewed sense of reality if you believe that...

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    Re: FBI, police visits to young people rile ACLU official

    Quote Originally Posted by jex
    I think the point is that the police shouldn't be getting involved with harrassing people who may protest. Once you start to do that you start to step on peoples right to peaceful protest. There are plenty of country's out there that we frown upon when it comes to political suppression - how come we don't scream when it's our own country?
    She didn't have to open the door or say a word to those agents....Quite different from being arrested for speaking your mind in Cuba.

    Law Enforcement, especially in a post 9/11 world, should look to prevent criminal acts not wait until they happen and then figure out why we should have known better and commission a hearing to rake those responsible over the coals. What am I missing?
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    Re: FBI, police visits to young people rile ACLU official

    Quote Originally Posted by IceCold
    Who was oppressed? Police warning citizens not to commit violence is oppression? You've got a seriously skewed sense of reality if you believe that...
    So you think that policemen should come around your house and tell you how you should express your views. This is an idle threat, a bully tactic used to scare pepole from not making a scene. Why are the police telling them not to commit violence when they've never done so before? Why is the state getting involved in your right to protest? You have a seriuosly skewed sense of reality if you see nothing wrong here.
    Jex.


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  17. #9

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    Re: FBI, police visits to young people rile ACLU official

    Quote Originally Posted by jex
    So you think that policemen should come around your house and tell you how you should express your views. This is an idle threat, a bully tactic used to scare pepole from not making a scene. Why are the police telling them not to commit violence when they've never done so before? Why is the state getting involved in your right to protest? You have a seriuosly skewed sense of reality if you see nothing wrong here.
    Why do you think they singled out this person to visit?
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    Re: FBI, police visits to young people rile ACLU official

    Quote Originally Posted by USN_Squid
    Why do you think they singled out this person to visit?
    Let's presume something in her past led law enforcement to believe that this person may commit a crime in the future.

    That said, unless that thing in her past is a crime for which she did not already pay restitution (in jail, in dollars, or in time), then the police should have stayed back. "Contemplating a crime" and "Committing a Crime" are in fact two different things, and even in the post-9/11 world, where proactive actions may be the norm, walking up and bullying someone with six law enforcement officials at their door is AT BEST poor form for tipping thier hat, and AT WORST schoolyard thuggery.

    The law is there to enforce ACTIONS, not thoughts. I can THINK about something illegal, like driving to New York and beating people senseless with a giant red sock, but until I actually DO that (or at least, make actions like I WILL be doing that next; you don't wait for the guy pointing the gun at folks to pull the trigger before taking action), then the police can kindly stay the hell away from me, as I've done nothing wrong.

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    Re: FBI, police visits to young people rile ACLU official

    Why should I assume that she did anything in the past? How about sent an email or IM'd her friend yesterday talking about how they're going to have so much fun throwing marbles under horses' feet at the RNC?

    I haven't seen any claim that the cops were off the mark here, just that her rights had been violated because a cop knocked on her door and asked her a few questions.

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    Re: FBI, police visits to young people rile ACLU official

    Quote Originally Posted by jex
    So you think that policemen should come around your house and tell you how you should express your views. This is an idle threat, a bully tactic used to scare pepole from not making a scene. Why are the police telling them not to commit violence when they've never done so before? Why is the state getting involved in your right to protest? You have a seriuosly skewed sense of reality if you see nothing wrong here.
    No, police officers should not come to my house and tell me how to express myself. On the otherhand, it is completely within their rights to come to my house and remind me that while expressing my views, violence will be entirely unacceptable. The police didn't tell them they COULDN'T protest, nor did they threaten them if they DID protest. They simply drew a very clear line of when they would be more than happy to take action. I think that is fair, and I applaud their efforts in prevention instead of brute force in the face of violence.

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    Re: FBI, police visits to young people rile ACLU official

    Quote Originally Posted by Pokerface
    Let's presume something in her past led law enforcement to believe that this person may commit a crime in the future.

    That said, unless that thing in her past is a crime for which she did not already pay restitution (in jail, in dollars, or in time), then the police should have stayed back. "Contemplating a crime" and "Committing a Crime" are in fact two different things, and even in the post-9/11 world, where proactive actions may be the norm, walking up and bullying someone with six law enforcement officials at their door is AT BEST poor form for tipping thier hat, and AT WORST schoolyard thuggery.

    The law is there to enforce ACTIONS, not thoughts. I can THINK about something illegal, like driving to New York and beating people senseless with a giant red sock, but until I actually DO that (or at least, make actions like I WILL be doing that next; you don't wait for the guy pointing the gun at folks to pull the trigger before taking action), then the police can kindly stay the hell away from me, as I've done nothing wrong.
    So lemmie get this straight by proposing a hypothetical situation.

    Say the FBI had a feeling a group of guys were planning a terrorist plot to jam some airplanes into the World Trade Center. Based on what you have said, the ONLY point where they could validly take action is by what, waiting until the guys got on the actual planes? A visit to them saying we know what you may be up to and will take action if you attempt to follow through seems to me to be a rather effective preventative measure. It sure beats bomb squads and chaos.

    It seems to me that you would rather break out the bomb squad and rush someone's home because you waited them out until they "acted", when a simple knock on the door a little earlier on could have saved them a huge headache (not to mention, saved them a ton of public dollars).

    I'm not understanding you, I don't think. Can you clarify this for me?

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    Re: FBI, police visits to young people rile ACLU official

    Quote Originally Posted by =luna=
    They simply drew a very clear line of when they would be more than happy to take action. I think that is fair, and I applaud their efforts in prevention instead of brute force in the face of violence.
    Hear Hear !

    Todays(post 9-11) law enforcement is going to have to be ever more procative in their approach, rather than reactive

    ...Imagine if the police horses were startled/disturbed, and passer-bys got trampled to death,... and law enforcement said " hey...we couldn't do anything until they did something first " ....that'd go over like a lead balloon !

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    Re: FBI, police visits to young people rile ACLU official

    Quote Originally Posted by jex
    So you think that policemen should come around your house and tell you how you should express your views. This is an idle threat, a bully tactic used to scare pepole from not making a scene. Why are the police telling them not to commit violence when they've never done so before? Why is the state getting involved in your right to protest? You have a seriuosly skewed sense of reality if you see nothing wrong here.
    You know what they said in Grosse Pointe Blank... "If I show up at your door, chances are you did something to bring me there."

    I don't think they did anything terribly wrong. Nobody's rights were violated. Since when is it a violation for a cop to knock on your door and ask you some questions? People need to stop being so sensitive. This is not oppression.

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