Today’s New York Times has this story about police surveillance of protest groups and activists:
Undercover New York City police officers have conducted covert surveillance in the last 16 months of people protesting the Iraq war, bicycle riders taking part in mass rallies and even mourners at a street vigil for a cyclist killed in an accident, a series of videotapes show.
In glimpses and in glaring detail, the videotape images reveal the robust presence of disguised officers or others working with them at seven public gatherings since August 2004.
The officers hoist protest signs. They hold flowers with mourners. They ride in bicycle events. At the vigil for the cyclist, an officer in biking gear wore a button that said, “I am a shameless agitator.” She also carried a camera and videotaped the roughly 15 people present.
And while this may make some people uncomfortable, I ask.. so?
I do not want law enforcement interfering or attempting to steer the course of these events, which some allege in this article.
However, I have zero problem with them collecting intelligence information. Some of these groups are disruptive – and were disruptive during the political conventions in 2004 – in both Boston and New York. Shouldn’t the police be investigating to determine if there’s going to be a threat?