Saturday, July 01, 2006


California Keeping Tabs on Dissenters

There isn’t any surprise to this story, other, maybe, than some law enforcement types who say that tracking dissenters is a bad idea. The LA Times discovered that the governor’s office ordered the monitoring of various groups opposed to government policies...well, opposed to Republican policies, that is.
Governor's Office Tracking Political, Anti-War Groups
By Peter Nicholas
The Los Angeles Times

Friday 30 June 2006

Sacramento - Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's office in charge of protecting California against terrorism has tracked demonstrations staged by political and antiwar groups, a practice that senior law enforcement officials say is an abuse of civil liberties.

The Times obtained reports prepared for the state Office of Homeland Security in recent months that contain details on the whereabouts and purpose of a number of political demonstrations throughout California.

The source of the information is listed in some cases as federal law enforcement agencies, including the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, an investigative arm of the U.S. Homeland Security department.

Political activities cited in the reports include:

An animal rights rally outside a Canadian consulate office in San Francisco to protest the hunting of seals.

A demonstration in Walnut Creek at which U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-Martinez) and other officials spoke against the war in Iraq.

A Women's International League for Peace and Freedom gathering at a courthouse in Santa Barbara in support of an antiwar protester - a 56-year-old Salinas woman - facing federal trespassing charges.

California Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer's office learned of the homeland security activity more than two months ago. On Friday, a spokesman condemned the actions, saying they violated the groups' constitutional right of free speech.

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