‘Pure Intimidation’ — Community Activists Targeted By Federal Agents

“They didn’t want us to have that rally.”

[Editor’s Note: Free nation? Don’t believe it for a moment. This is ‘Just-Us’ Department American fascism. — Mark L. Taylor]

By Chris Brooks
The Intercept (6/12/20)

“I’ve never had any run-ins with the cops before. I’ve never been to jail and have no criminal record, so when the FBI showed up to my workplace, it scared the piss out of me,” says Katy, a 22-year-old who works for a custodial services company in Cookeville, a small college town in middle Tennessee. “I really thought I was going to lose my job. The whole experience was terrifying.”

Moved by the video of the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Katy — who requested she only be identified by her first name — and a friend had created a Facebook event for a Black Lives Matter rally in Cookeville’s public square on Saturday, June 6. She soon connected with several other Cookeville locals who wanted to help with planning the event, and enthusiasm grew as word of the rally spread.

“I’ve never organized a rally before, I was just winging it,” Katy said. “I didn’t expect a lot of people to show up, but overnight 600 people had RSVP’d on Facebook.”

“…we saw this happen before during the McCarthy era, when the FBI and other various agencies investigated activists with the purpose of discouraging or chilling free speech.”

Counter-protesters organized their own Facebook group, Protect Cookeville Against Looters, which quickly swelled to over 1,000 members. Some of the members of this group determined that Katy was the main organizer of the upcoming rally and began posting her personal information and making violent threats.


“The event for the rally had been up for about four days when we started getting death threats,” Katy said. “It was too much. I was overwhelmed.”

Katy eventually backed out of the rally — and a group of local high school students took over planning — but she had already gotten the attention of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, or JTTF, a federally coordinated network of local law enforcement officers who work under the direction of the FBI to gather intelligence about terrorist threats.

On June 4, agents turned up unannounced at Katy’s work, pulling her off the job and into a large truck in the gravel parking lot to question her about her connections to the upcoming rally and to antifa — the loose anti-fascist movement recently labeled as a terrorist organization by President Donald Trump. Katy had never heard of them.

As The Intercept has previously reported, FBI agents have been questioning arrested protesters about their political beliefs, apparently at the behest of U.S. Attorney General William Barr. Barr, following Trump’s repeated false assertions that there is a sophisticated, national network of antifa operatives infiltrating local protests against police brutality to enflame violence, announced that antifa is a domestic terrorist organization on May 31.

Barr also directed the JTTF to “identify criminal organizers and instigators,” even though antifa has no organizational structure and the FBI’s own internal assessments don’t support the claim that antifa is somehow weaponizing protests

The following week, over the span of four days, Katy and at least three other activists in Cookeville, whose population is just 34,000, received unannounced visits by agents who questioned them about their political affiliations and whether they had information about outside agitators planning to hijack local protests. …

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Hooligans: Videos Show Cops Slashing Journalists’ Car Tires At Protests In Minneapolis

By Julia Lurie
Mother Jones (6/6/20)

After long nights of tear gas and rubber bullets, some protesters, news crews, and medics in Minneapolis last weekend found themselves stranded: The tires of their cars had been slashed.

In a city upended by protests about police brutality after the death of George Floyd, many assumed protesters were to blame. But videos reveal a different culprit: the police.

In the videos, officers puncture tires in a K-Mart parking lot on May 30 and a highway overpass on May 31. Both areas briefly turned into police staging grounds near protest hot spots.

The officers appear to be state troopers or county police, though it’s not clear from the videos. Neither the Minnesota State Patrol nor the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office responded to requests from Mother Jones. The Minneapolis Police Department and Minnesota National Guard denied involvement.

“They had grins on their faces.”

The gray car in the video above was the rental car of Luke Mogelson, a New Yorker writer who typically covers war zones and is now stationed in Minneapolis to write about the protests. As the protest on Sunday evening turned hairy, with law enforcement tear-gassing peaceful groups soon after curfew, Mogelson went to check on his car, showing his press pass to officers along the way. (Media were exempt from the curfew.) One officer took a picture of his press pass and said he would “radio it up the chain so everyone knew that car belonged to the press,” said Mogelson. When he came back later that evening to retrieve his car, officers informed him that the tires were punctured. “They were laughing,” Mogelson recalled. “They had grins on their faces.”

Mogelson was among many journalists who came back to flat tires after the protests. …

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Glen Ford Of ‘Black Agenda Report’ Describes How The Current Unrest Is The Final Stage Of Corrupt American Capitalism

By Chris Hedges
On Contact / RT (6/13/20)

On the show today, Chris Hedges discusses the George Floyd protests erupting in over 140 American cities with Glen Ford, executive editor, Black Agenda Report.

Link To 28-Minute Video

Link To ‘Black Agenda Report’ HERE.