Friday, August 12, 2016

FOIA Request Probes Extent of Government Spying on Climate Protesters

Citing an investigation that revealed federal agents went undercover to spy on environmental activists, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) on Thursday filed nine Freedom of Information Act requests seeking information on surveillance of peaceful protests at federal fossil fuel auctions.
As they wrote at The Intercept in July, journalists Lee Fang and Steve Horn obtained emails showing that in May, local law enforcement and federal agents monitored and infiltrated a "Keep it in the Ground" protest at a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) auction in Lakewood, Colorado.  "The emails, which were obtained through an open records act request, show that the Lakewood Police Department collected details about the protest from undercover officers as the event was being planned," they wrote. "During the auction, both local law enforcement and federal agents went undercover among the protesters."  What's more, The Intercept reported:
The emails further show that police monitored Keep it in the Ground participating groups such as, Break Free Movement, Rainforest Action Network, and WildEarth Guardians, while relying upon intelligence gathered by Anadarko, one of the largest oil and gas producers in the region.
Now, CBD wants to know not only what happened at the Lakewood protest, but whether similar surveillance strategies have been pursued at other fossil fuel auction protests...more

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