The United States government has a long history of spying on and targeting groups they feel are potentially dangerous. Proof of this can be found in records documenting the FBI’s COINTELPRO (Counter Intelligence Program) efforts.
Now the question is, are government officials targeting and spying on the Black Lives Matter movement?
Evidence of the Department of Homeland Security spying on Black Lives Matter activists was recently discovered. Activist group Color of Change has filed an official Freedom of Information Act request to obtain documentation of the government’s surveillance activity.
On Wednesday’s edition of NewsOne Now, Roland Martin asked Rashad Robinson, Executive Director of Color of Change, what led the organization to ascertain documentation about Black activists was being surveilled by government officials.
Robinson told Martin, “it was a mix of the history” of the American government’s activities and “some things that have started to happen.”
“We’ve seen how certain cell phones have not worked or been tapped. And so we really brought together a number of Black Lives Matter Activists — A number of folks who agreed to allow themselves to be put forward and to get the Freedom of Information Act documentation,” said Robinson.
He added, “Part of this is not just getting who’s monitored, but how they’re being monitored. How local law enforcement is working with the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense to watch folks in the movement — what are they getting and how are they using that information.”
“It’s one thing that we have our federal government spying on us, also that they are giving permission to local law enforcement — which we saw in Ferguson — and don’t have any experience in how to use technology in that way,” Robinson said.
The Black Lives Matter activists are trying to uncover the “truth of how tax dollars are being used in this moment to not help advance the issues we have on the table around criminal justice, but to spy on and watch young people trying to raise their voices in this moment.”
Watch Roland Martin, Rashad Robinson, and the NewsOne Now panel discuss Big Brother and the Black Lives Matter movement in the video clip above.
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