Blog of Rights

Using "Terror" to Squash Dissent

By Jenny Egan at 1:24pm

Word is going around Minneapolis that the FBI is looking for a few good spies to break up the dangerous world of vegan potlucks. That's right — the nation's newest terrorist threat is not from explosives or Al Qaeda — you should be worrying about the imminent threat of soy dogs and tasteless, overly dry chocolate cake.

The FBI is actually looking for moles to infiltrate the not-so-shady world of bicycle enthusiasts and vegetarians to learn more about protests planned for the 2008 Republican National Convention. The problem with this infiltration is that they aren't just seeking to disrupt crime, they are trying to stop the protests altogether. At the 2004 RNC convention in New York, the police cracked down on political speech, protest, and dissent. The NYCLU has tons of great documents that chronicle how the NYPD went about using fear over "terrorism" to justify squashing free speech. This summer's conventions, in Minneapolis and Denver, are shaping up to be a redux of the 2004 debacle — anyone else remember the "free speech zone" cages? —where the FBI used the guise of Joint Terrorism Task Forces to suppress speech.

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