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In a blatant attempt to intimidate peaceful protesters and discourage First Amendment-protected activities, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agents reportedly visited the homes of peaceful activists and community organizers in Cleveland, Ohio, asking about their plans for the Republican National Convention.

Read and sign our petition to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees.

It will be delivered by our allies in the Defending Dissent Foundation.

The FBI and DHS have conducted ongoing surveillance of nonviolent social justice activists and political organizations for years. They have engaged confidential informants, infiltrated groups, interrogated organizers and used social media to create dossiers on activists with Black Lives Matter, School of the Americas Watch (SOAW), Occupy Wall Street and anti-Keystone XL Pipeline groups.

Sign the petition: Investigate FBI and DHS surveillance of activists.

Despite these revelations – and demands for an investigation from over 60 civil society organizations – Congress has so far refused to fulfill its oversight duty and rein in these attacks on our civil liberties.

With some Congress members seeking to use the tragedy in Orlando to make it easier for the FBI to spy on Americans without a warrant, the potential for expanded surveillance powers increases the threat to political groups and activists. And details of the FBI and DHS surveillance activities show a pattern of abuse.

  •     The FBI infiltrated SOAW for 10 years with confidential informants using “counterterrorism authority” — despite acknowledging the group had no relationship to terrorism.
  •     It engaged in similar “counterterrorism” surveillance of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
  •     DHS used social media to prepare detailed reports about peaceful Black Lives Matter protests for “situational awareness.”
  •     FBI agents interrogated Keystone XL pipeline activists, cultivated informants, and created dossiers.

The use of counterterrorism authority to monitor peaceful social justice organizations and organizers is an attack on politically-protected activity, and is a threat to civil society. Congress must find out who is being spied on, why it keeps happening and take steps to make sure it never happens again.

Tell the House and Senate Judiciary Committees: Investigate FBI and DHS surveillance of activists.

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-- The RootsAction.org Team

P.S. RootsAction is an independent online force endorsed by Jim Hightower, Barbara Ehrenreich, Cornel West, Daniel Ellsberg, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Klein, Bill Fletcher Jr., Laura Flanders, former U.S. Senator James Abourezk, Coleen Rowley, Frances Fox Piven, Lila Garrett, Phil Donahue, Sonali Kolhatkar, and many others.

Background:
> "FBI and Police Knocking on Activists' Doors Ahead of Republican  Convention," The Intercept.
> "Invoking Orlando, Senate Republicans set up vote to expand FBI spying," Reuters.
> "Recap: What We’ve Learned About Surveillance of Black Lives Matter," Bill of Rights Defense Committee / Defending Dissent Foundation.


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