Police Infiltration of Protest Groups: READ THE POLICE REPORT|
by Philly Indymedia.org Wednesday September 13, 2000 at 07:09 PM
Now we know why the prosecutors and police wanted to keep these documents secret. They are the most damning evidence of the highly questionable tactics used in Philadelphia to suppress First Amendment activities during the Republican National Convention, " stated Larry Frankel, Executive Director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania. !!! READ THE REPORT !!!!
Sunday September 10, @11:24PM
Affidavit of Probable Cause in Support, Search and Seizure Warrant, #97832
REQUEST FOR SEALING ORDER
SEARCH AND SEIZURE WARRANT
Your Co-Affiants, Corporal Howard W. SHEPPARD and Trooper Gregg J.
KRAVITSKY, being duly sworn according to law, states:
Your Co-Affiant, Cpl. Howard W. Sheppard is a member of the Pennsylvania
State Police (PSP) and has been so employed since May of 1986. I am
presently assigned to the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Criminal Investigation
Assessment (CIA) Unit and serve as the Unit supervisor. I oversee and conduct
behavioral analysis of violent crimes committed in the Commonwealth of
Pennsylvania. Your Co-Affiant, as a member of the Pennsylvania State Police,
has conducted criminal investigations involving violent crimes against persons
and crimes against property. Your Co-Affiant has applied for and assisted in the
application and execution of search and seizure warrants surrounding the
aforementioned criminal investigations involving violations of crimes so
enumerated in Title 18, Pennsylvania Crimes Code. Said search and seizure
warrants have resulted in the arrest of persons and seizure of property
possessed as evidence of a crime.
Your Co-Affiant, Tpr. Gregg J. Kravitsky is a member of the Pennsylvania State
Police (PSP) and has been so employed since April 1988. I am presently
assigned to the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Organized Crime Division
Eastern Task Force. In my present position as an investigator I am responsible
for conducting undercover and covert investigations of corrupt organizations
relating to illegal narcotic, vice, gambling, traditional and nontraditional organized
crime activities throughout the Commonwealth and in particular the Southeastern
portion of Pennsylvania.
In my capacity as a PSP Trooper, I have participated in more than 125
undercover criminal investigations resulting in the arrest of more than 200
persons for their involvement in violations enumerated in the Pennsylvania
Crimes Code. I have written and/or participated in more than seventy-five search
and seizure warrants involving narcotic, vice, gambling and other criminal
offenses. I have received specialized training in the investigation of illegal drug
trafficking and criminal investigation from the PSP, the Office of Attorney General
of Pennsylvania (OAG), the United States Drug Enforcement Administration
(DEA), The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Middle Atlantic Great Lakes
Organized Crime Law Enforcement Network (MAGLOCLEN).
Throughout this affidavit your Co-Affiants will make reference to several terms
and acronyms. The following paragraphs will provide an overview of these terms
and a brief synopsis of some of the activist groups that your Co-Affiants believe
are going to be present and active in the Philadelphia region during the upcoming
Republican National Convention (RNC) scheduled to be held in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania from July 31, 2000 to August 3, 2000.
Republican National Convention (RNC)
Affinity Groups (AG) - small groups of 3-20 people whom share a common
identity or interest and work together during demonstrations/protest.
Direct Action Group (DAG) - group of 2-25 persons who work closely together to
facilitate demonstrations/protests relating to civil disobedience/violence.
Action Spokescouncil - a voting committee made up of representatives from
each .Affinity Group. It coordinates actions, tactics and scenarios and is a
decision making body.
Clusters - formed from two or more Affinity Groups who want to work on a
Police Liaisons - persons designated by their Affinity Group to engage police 'in
Philadelphia Direct Action Group (PDAG) - DAG located in Philadelphia
Training - commonly referred to by activist where they receive instruction in
logistics, action planning and tactics for protest
"Shut Down" - means to disrupt, delay or stop an event from taking place
through the use of protest activities.
Elves - persons assigned during a protest to provide for the well being of fellow
Legal Teams - persons assigned during a protest to monitor and document
behavior of police and the protestors
Medical Teams - persons assigned to provide first aid to protestors
Jail Solidarity - a conscious and collective effort by arrested activist
to influence the legal system by refusing to cooperate with jail/court
Caribiner - spring loaded metal clip traditional used during mountain climbing
Revolutionary AntiCapitalist Bloc (RACB) anarchists, who are also known as the
"Black Bloc" have claimed responsibility for the agitation and violence which
occurred during protests at IMF/World Bank meetings in Washington, D.C. Their
postings have appeared on both Mid-Atlantic lnfoshop and Independent Media
R2K Committee of the Pennsylvania Consumer Action Network PCAN), AKA
Philadelphia 2000 Welcoming Committee, AKA Philadelphia Freedom Center;
PCAN claims to be a well-established and diverse coalition of consumer,
environmental and organized labor groups. According to a Maldon Institute
report dated 04/07/00, PCAN is a United States conveyor for People's Global
Action (PGA), a self-styled "leaderless" international network of groups opposed
to the global market economy. PGA campaigns use their "direct action"
demonstrations to influence world public opinion against the West's economic
system. They target local symbols of capitalism from stock exchanges to fast
food outlets. Funding for the PGA does not appear to be a problem. Funds
allegedly originate with Communist and leftist parties and from sympathetic trade
unions. Other funds reportedly come from the former Soviet-allied World
Federation of Trade Unions.
Direct Action Network (DAN), AKA Philly Direct Action Group (PDAG), AKA
Direct Action Group; DAN did not exist prior to WTO conference. It is actually a
spin-off of Community Action Network. It has no real organizational structure and
is a loose knit confederation of activists with a variety of perspectives and causes
that came together for WTO. There are no real directors of the organization, but
heads of other activist groups all volunteer within this group. It was successful
beyond even DAN's dreams because of the large number of people affected by
the WTO. Direct Action Group Communications/Web Site contact person,
Terrance McGuckin, was interviewed at a Ruckus Society training camp in
Arcadia, FL. During the interview, he was identifier as being a member of
Kensington Welfare Rights Union (KWRU), aka Union of the Homeless, AKA
Pennsylvania Welfare Rights Union (PWRU); Founded in 1991, the group has a
long history of nonviolent protests and civil disobedience. KWRU organizer, Cheri
L. Honkala champions "peoples' rights vs corporate rights." Ms. Honkala has
publicly stated that official plans calling for a "demonstrators' park" or free speech
zone" at Roosevelt Park, is not acceptable for her group's exercise of its
constitutional right of free speech. According to an Associated Press news article
dated 02/05/00, a march by KWRU, scheduled for 07/31/00, will end at the First
Union Center. Executive Director Cheri Honkala stated she "would not rule out
disrupting traffic or public transit" as part of the march.
Anarchists; (a generic name for several groups) Intelligence indicates that there
are 25 Anarchist Groups in the Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington area. Local
membership is unknown but presumed to be small. The Anarchists have a long
history of disruptive behavior. In Philadelphia, small groups, usually numbering
less than ten, have supported other groups during nonviolent protest or
demonstrations, Several embers have been arrested for acts of civil
disobedience in the Philadelphia area. Major media sources report that violent
acts committed during the WTO in Seattle and the IMF in Washinaton, D.C. were
committed by anarchists in an attempt to incite other demonstrators. Anarchists
Ruckus Society; Formed in October 1995, the Ruckus Society provides training
in the skills of non-violent civil disobedience to help environmental and human
rights organizations achieve their goals. Ruckus also aids and abets a growing
number of organizations in action planning, logistics, tactics, staff preparation
and volunteers for high-profile direct actions.
According to a news article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, dated 02/24/00, John
Sellers of the Berkeley-based Ruckus Society, which helped organize the Seattle
march and is helping with IMF protest, said the Washington demonstrators could
encourage more protestors to go to Philadelphia. While an anti-globalization
message is the catalyst for planned Washington demonstration, activists say, in
Philadelphia it will be the influence of corporations in government. Sellers related
some demonstrators expect and may hope for some violent reaction from police
in both Philadelphia and Los Angeles, site of the Democratic Convention. Sellers
is quoted "If we can't get a couple thousand nonviolent protesters' asses kicked
in Philadelphia and Los Angeles, we haven't learned a thing." On 05/24/00 John
Sellers was interviewed during a Channel 6 News Special Report entitled
"Professional Protestor." During that report Sellers was interviewed at a Ruckus
training camp in Arcadia, FL. In that interview Sellers stated "A confrontation is
brewing and it's coming to Philadelphia." Channel 6 also conducted an interview
of Terrence McGuckin of ACTUP Philadelphia. McGuckin stated "We're training
to direct action at the Republican Convention." McGuckin is also listed as
as the Communications contact for the Philadelphia independent Media Center.
As of July 2000, McGuckin has been identified as a key figure in PDAG.
Ruckus has sponsored training in Philadelphia for both the IMF and RNC.
Aids Coalition To Unleash Power (ACTUP); According to their mission
statement, "ACTUP is a diverse, non-artisan group of individuals united in anger
and committed to direct action to end the aids crisis." The organization has been
a frequent participant in demonstrations in the Philadelphia area. There is a
history of confrontation and civil disobedience. Philadelphia ACTUP was among
group of 500 protestors from the Philadelphia area who traveled to the IMF
protests in Washington, D.C. One of the leaders was Kate Sorenson. Sorenson
is a R2K representative, and is also a member of ACTUP, 2000 Queers and the
Philadelphia Direct Action Group. Sorenson has made statements indicating that
if ACTUP members were arrested they would not give their real names. Instead
they would use code names such as "Mary Cheesecake" and would be prepared
to stay in jail " flooding the system until they (law enforcement authorities) gets
tired of us," There is an indication that this group intends to protest at the RNC.
However, it is not known if the group will organize their own protests, or join the
R2K coalition. The organization has a long history of demonstrating at political
events in Philadelphia.
International Concerned Friends and Family of Mumia Abu-Jamal; This coalition
of groups supports former Black Panther and radio personality, Mumia Abu-
Jamal. Jamal is imprisoned for the 1981 murder of Philadelphia Police Officer
Daniel Faulkner. The coalition has demonstrated in cities throughout the
United States and in foreign countries. On 06/16/1999, 1,000 supporters blocked
a major intersection in the city of Philadelphia at Broad and Spring Garden
Streets. The International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal is
supported by numerous subgroups throughout the United States and abroad.
Intelligence indicates two of those groups, The National People's Campaign, and
Refuse and Resist, are considering demonstrations at the RNC and DNC.
National People's Campaign (NPC), AKA All People's Congress (APC), AKA
International Action Group; A front group of the Workers World Party, the
Organization has been known by a number of names which included the
All People's Congress, the People's Anti-War Mobilization and the International
Action Center. The name National People's Campaign was adopted in 1995 in
order to combat the Republican's Contract with America which they regarded as
a "threat to the rights of workers, people of color, women, immigrants, lesbian,
gay, bi-sexual, transgender community, and other disenfranchised groups." The
NPC is the primary organizing entity in New York City in support of Mumia Abu-
Jamal. NPC was instrumental in organizing the demonstration and civil
Disobedience at the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia on 07/03/1999 in which there
were 96 arrests. They also claimed to have organized the demonstration and
civil disobedience which occurred at the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. on
02/28/00 in which there were 185 arrests. NCP has announced that they are
planning for major demonstrations at both conventions calling for a new trial for
Mumia and opposing the death penalty. 250 demonstrators were arrested during
the IMF protests in Washington, D.C. They were marching under the auspicious
of the International Action Group and were protesting the Death Penalty.
Independent Media Center-Philadelphia; The Independent Media Center mission
statement states, in part, "Coordinate coverage by teams of independent video,
audio, photo and print journalists, producing a sophisticated web site, television
and radio programs, and print media. The focus will be on what happens outside
the convention center: the impact on the city and its people lives, and the diverse
range of perspectives that will be represented in a variety of protest marches,
rallies and other events during convention week." Independent Media Centers
were established in Seattle during the WTO protests and in Washington, D.C.
during the IMF protests. They focus on the protest marches, rallies and what
they perceived as police misconduct and brutality. Information indicated that
members of the IMC conducted counter surveillance of law enforcement. They
also monitored broadcasts of police radio communications and provided real ttme
broadcasts of same over the Internet. The IMC provided communications
between groups of demonstrators and orchestrated their movements.
From November 30 through December 3, 1999, a four day World Trade
Organization (WTO) conference was held in Seattle, Washington. The
conference brought together 5,000 delegates, government officials and
journalist from 135 countries. The purpose of the conference was to
launch a new round of global talks.
The WTO conference was disrupted by persons whose stated and well
publicized intention was to "shut down" the WTO. One method of civil
disobedience used by the protesters in Seattle was street blockades, in
which groups of individuals blocked passage through streets. The
protestors employed specially crafted tools and implements of a crime to
successfully block the streets. The legitimate flow of pedestrian and
vehicular traffic in and around private and/or public buildings were
blocked. These activities resulted in several days of violence and led to a
declaration of a state of emergency by the Mayor of Seattle. The city of
Seattle sustained, as a result of the disturbances, 3 million dollars in
property damage to the city.
Source: Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department
Among the specially crafted tools and implements used by the protestors
in Seattle, Washington to block streets was a device known as the
'sleeping dragon" or "lock box." The purpose of this device is to facilitate
the blocking of pedestrian and vehicular traffic. It is constructed in two
varying ways: the first is a four inch wide steel pipe cut to a length of three
to four feet. A steel rod is then welded into the middle of the pipe. Two
persons then place their arms within the opposite openings of the pipe,
using spring clips to attach each of their respective wrist to secure
themselves together inside of the pipe. The second method utilizes,
instead of steel pipe, Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) pipe. Used in a manner
similar to the steel pipes, the PVC pipe is encased with metal wiring,
concrete or tar. The purpose of the tar is to gum up any power tool
utilized to extract persons from the device. Once the pipe has been
specially modified as described, its only known use is as an
device/implement to block passage through the streets.
On April 16-17, 2000, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund
(IMF) served as co-host in Washington, D.C. to a semi-annual meeting of
delegates to each of the international bodies. Various protest
organizations had publicized their intention, as in Seattle, Washington, to
"shut down" the conference. The organizations had publicly stated that
they had begun preparations to achieve their goals.
Through investigative efforts, law enforcement officials in Washington,
D.C. identified specially crafted tools and other implements of a crime
being built or stored by the protestors as having the same design and/or
type used in Seattle, Washington.
Pre-emptive law enforcement measures were carried out through the
execution of search and seizure warrants by law enforcement authorities
which resulted in the seizure of the aforementioned specially crafted tools
and other implements of a crime. As a result, property damage caused by
the disturbances were minimized.
A review of newspaper articles printed in the Philadelphia Inquirer, USA
Today, Bucks County Courier Times, Philadelphia Daily News,
Philadelphia City Paper and the Associated Press covering the RNC was
conducted. The information printed in the articles revealed a consistent
theme relative to protest activities regarding the WTO in Seattle
Washington in 1999 and the IMF in Washington DC in April of 2000. The
information contained in the articles indicated that the protestors intent is
to "shut down" the RNC through the use of methods employed through
Direct Action Groups that were used at the WTO and IMF.
A review of a publication titled "Mobilization for Global Justice, Action
Guide, Washington D.C." was conducted. The guide provides definitions
of and tactics to be used by designated groups of protestors assigned
specific task to include: Affinity Groups (AG), Clusters, Action Elves,
Blockades, Police Liaisons, Legal Observers, and Medical Teams. The
guide provides instruction in the efforts to overcome police intervention
during a disturbance and how to invoke "Jail Solidarity" after being
The Republican National Convention (RNC) is scheduled to be held in
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania starting on July 31, 2000 and continuing to
August 3, 2000.
Pennsylvania law enforcement authorities monitored the aforementioned
events in Seattle, Washington and Washington, D.C. Based on this
measure, information was obtained relative to the disturbances and the
persons who engaged in the unlawful activities. The conclusion based on
these observations were; the activities that resulted in disturbances posed
a significant safety risk to persons and property, without lawful intervention
these disturbances will arise during the RNC as publicly stated in the print
Information obtained during the month of July, 2000 from electronic
messages indicated that person(s) and/or groups are advocating Direct
Action in the form of non-permitted marches, pledges of disrupting the city
of Philadelphia by blockading the streets, blocking delegates, protestors
chaining themselves to shuttle buses, references to "black bloc", and
trashing police cars as ways of disrupting and/or delaying the RNC.
A review of an anarchist publication out of State College, Pennsylvania
titled "Red Spirit" was conducted. The publications' Statement of Purpose
advocates, in part, the total annihilation of government, including the
police. Information has been obtained that anarchist activist will be in
Philadelphia for the RNC.
Review of a Eugene Police Department bulletin detailing anarchist activity
in Eugene, Oregon during the "Seven Week Revolt" in June 2000 was
conducted. The report indicates that anarchist, during protest marches,
had concealed gasoline soaked rags between the signs and stick/handles.
Anarchist had referred to these as tiki torches. The torches were made
from bamboo sticks, approximately three feet long with a tin can taped to
the end. A gasoline or oil soaked rag was placed inside the can and liton
fire. This device was used to fling the burning rags at police during the
protest. Additionally, references are made to anarchist using u-shaped
Kryptonite locks to secure doors to businesses and financial institutions
that the anarchist protest against and eggs filled with etching solution
which contains buffered hydrofluoric acid, which can be harmful or fatal to
humans, were thrown during the protest.
Information received on 07/26/00 confirmed prior information relative to
the Black Bloc anarchist group. During a training session, members
openly conveyed their intent is the destruction of property against
capitalist enterprises and the destruction of police vehicles during the
RNC. Training instructors demonstrated techniques to be used against
police intervention during protest by breaking police holds, freeing persons
taken into custody and group marches against police lines. Members
further indicated that it is their intention to destroy property as an action,
not a reaction during the protest. Training instructors provided training on
jail solidarity in terms of giving false information to police. Training
instructors were identified as xxx, AKA Fuzzy Wuzzy, Hugie and
Dave Onion. xxx, Onion and Hugle are known members of PDAG.
The following paragraphs will detail a series of events and actions
that have been revealed through this investigation that will illustrate the
significant role that several convergence sites, in the Philadelphia region,
have played and are continuing to play in the organization, planning,
control and training of several activist groups planning to engage in direct
actions of civil disobedience during the time the RNC is being held in
An extensive review was conducted of information obtained through
investigative efforts to identify activities that support prior illegal protest
activities. Based on this review, it was determined that persons engaged
in illegal protests in Washington, D.C. have voiced a concern over police
intervention at one specific "convergence center." Specifically, law
enforcement authorities in Washington, D.C. had identified the protestors
meeting at one central location and had store specially crafted tools or
implements of a crime to be used during the protest. Through the single
police intervention, the illegal activities were diminished. The information
obtained indicates that multiple "convergence centers" are being utilized
by the protestors to defeat police intervention during the RNC.
In a newspaper article titled "Philadelphians Host Activist Convergence"
published in an activist newspaper called the, Unconvention dated July 29,
2000, Skylar FEIN, of the Philadelphia Direct Action Group (PDAG), was
quoted as saying, " We're learning lessons from the D.C. convergence,
where the police shut down the convergence center before
This investigation is utilizing several Pennsylvania State Troopers in an
undercover capacity that have infiltrated several of the activist groups
planning to commit numerous illegal direct actions. Disclosure of this
affidavit could endanger the lives and well being of these law enforcement
Undercover law enforcement officers have revealed that on 07/24/00 at
approximately 9:30 PM, information was conveyed to them by persons
engaged in activist activities relative to the RNC who were meeting at the
William Way Center, 1315 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, Pa. Undercover
law enforcement officers were told to contact Jodi who was identified as
the contact person at the Puppet Warehouse and was provided a
telephone number of 215-xxx-xxxx. Undercover law enforcement officers
overheard a group of anarchist at 48th and Spruce streets, west
Philadelphia state that the Puppet Warehouse, also known as Ministry of .
Puppetganda, located at 4100 Haverford Ave., Philadelphia, Pa. will be
the action spot and everything is going to happen there.
On 07/27/00 undercover law enforcement officers arrived at the Puppet
Warehouse to assist in the construction of props to be used during protest.
Undercover law enforcement officers observed 4 Schedule 40 PVC pipes,
approximately 3 feet long, 3 small rolls of chicken wire and 1 piece of
plastic material resembling fencing. Said items were not there as of 30
minutes past midnight that morning when undercover law enforcement
officers had departed the warehouse.
On 07/28/00 undercover law enforcement officers observed at the Puppet
Warehouse a Dodge or Plymouth mini-van bearing New Jersey
registration # EJ442A, arrived at that location and approximately 15-20
pieces of 1 inch PVC pipe and bamboo sticks, approximately 8 feet in
length, were unloaded. Undercover law enforcement officers also
observed in the bed of a Ford pick up truck bearing Texas registration
SR0199 approximately 15-20 additional pieces of PVC pipe and bamboo
of the diameter and length previously described.
On 07/30/00 undercover law enforcement officers were at the Puppet
Warehouse. Discussions were held that indicated that the puppets made
at the Puppet Warehouse would be used as blockades. Specific
reference was made to the "pig" and "Anti-Sam" puppets as blockades.
Furthermore, discussions centered on using the puppets to hide "lock
On 08/01/00 at approximately 12:30 AM undercover law enforcement
officers observed a Volkswagen Rabbit bearing Arizona registration
846DNX depart from 4100 Haverford Ave. loaded with bundles of PVC
pipe and lock boxes. The vehicle was followed to A-Space, 4722
Baltimore Ave. Philadelphia, Pa. and 25-30 persons approached the
On 08/01/00 at approximately 2:15 AM undercover law enforcement
officers observed inside the Puppet Warehouse, 4100 Haverford Ave.,
lock boxes consisting of two plastic/rubber trash cans, approximately 40
gallons, black in color with exterior handles filled with 5" to 10 " of
concrete from the top. Inside the center of the concrete was a piece of 4"
Schedule 40 PVC pipe. Persons were practicing moving the concrete
filled cans. Also observed on the second floor was a person assembling
caribiners and u-bolts to sections of dog chain. A meeting was also being
held, which consisted of 150 subjects, sporting Mohawk style haircuts,
discussing organizing into 5 teams of 3 persons to engage in "lockdowns"
in sectors of the city of Philadelphia. Observed with these people were
trashcans containing concrete as described above. Undercover law
enforcement officers also attended a meeting consisting of 70-80 persons
inside the Puppet Warehouse. Persons discussed using the puppets to
allow them to gain access to sectors of the city and then use them as
blockades. Further discussions focused on tactical coordination of
persons to arrive at Eakins Oval and 11th and Pine streets at 3:00 PM.
Present at the meeting was a person known by under cover law
enforcement officers as a Direct Action activist from Washington D.C. who
was arranging to have the tunnel where delegates will be boarding buses
at the PA Convention Center to be lockdown by blocking the entrances.
Persons will arrive by vehicle at the designated location(s) already lock
together in "lock boxes" in the rear of the vehicle so they can be deployed
quickly from the from vehicle. Also discussed was the issue of criminal
acts in that when someone wanted to participate in a criminal act, the
protestors would chant "cheese" so people would clear away from the
subject committing the act to avoid mass arrest. Persons indicated they
would be throwing pies, bottles and cardboard boxes filled with water at
the police. During the discussions the organizers of the protest indicated
that the "direct actions" would occur between 3:00 P.M. and 5:00 P.M.
On 8/l/00, Highway Patrol officers observed a fourteen (14) foot U-Haul
van, white and orange in color, KY tag# 9BA229, leaving 4100 Haverford
Avenue from the garage area. Refer to Search Warrant #97824
This affidavit has been reviewed and approved by Assistant District
Attorney, Richard Negrin, Major Trials Unit.
Your Co-Affiants respectfully submit that probable cause exist to believe
that the location of 4100 Haverford Ave., Philadelphia, Pa. is being utilized
by various activist groups and their associates in committing offenses
Your Co-Affiants believe that all of the information in this Affidavit of
Probable Cause to be true and correct to the best of their knowledge and
Your Co-Affiants respectfully request that the affidavit of probable cause be
sealed for good cause shown in the following paragraphs pursuant to P.A. R.C.P.
As stated previously in this affidavit law enforcement authorities are currently
conducting an ongoing criminal investigation into several activist groups planning
to engage in illegal direct actions of civil disobedience in connection with The
Republic National Convention currently being held in Philadelphia.
This investigation is utilizing several Pennsylvania State Troopers in an
undercover capacity that have infiltrated several of the activist groups planning to
commit numerous illegal direct actions. Disclosure of this affidavit could
endanger the lives and well being of these law enforcement officers.
Through this current investigation law enforcement authorities have learned that
the activist groups involved in these illegal activities have an extensive
intelligence, counter-intelligence and communications network in place to
coordinate and direct their planned illegal activities. They are cognizant of law
enforcement efforts to thwart their illegal activities in the past. As a result of this
knowledge they have shown to be covert and fluid in there planning of these
illegal activities in an effort to thwart law enforcement's ability to stop them.
Disclosure of this affidavit of probable cause at this time would compromise law
enforcement's ability to act in a proactive capacity to ensure that public safety
and property damage is not endangered or committed as a result of the illegal
activities planned by these groups.
ACLU Denounces Police Infiltration of Protest|
by Philly Indymedia.org Wednesday September 13, 2000 at 07:11 PM
Sunday September 10, @11:44PM
ACLU of Pennsylvania
125 South 9th Street, P.0. Box 1161
Philadelphia, PA 19105-1161
fax: (215) 592-1343
James D. Crawford
ACLU DENOUNCES POLICE INFILITRATION OF PROTEST GROUPS
Larry Frankel, Executive Director (215) 592-1513 extension 118
Stefan Presser, Legal Director (215) 592-1513 ext. 116
American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 7, 200O
PHILADEPHIA, PA -- The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania denounced the use of state police to infiltrate political activist groups that planned protests at the Republican national Convention. Evidence that such undercover tactics were used was disclosed yesterday when legal documents filed on,August 1,2000, were finally unsealed more than five weeks after they were filed with the court.
"Now we know why the prosecutors and police wanted to keep these documents secret. They are the most damning evidence of the highly questionable tactics used in Philadelphia to suppress First Amendment activities during the Republican National Convention, " stated Larry Frankel, Executive Director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania. "We can now add this constitutionally suspect collaboration between the Philadelphia police and the state police to the list of disturbing abuses of the criminal justice system to intimidate protestors."
Frankel noted that even before yesterday, "we had learned that the police had improperly spied on protest organizers. City building inspectors were used to shut down an activist studio in Center City. People who were arrested were subjected to unconscionable delays prior to being released. Extraordinarily high bail was set for many protestors."
The information that was revealed yesterday was contained in the affidavit of probable cause used by the police to obtain a search warrant that led to the raid of the puppet warehouse at 4100 Haverford Avenue on August 1,200O. That affidavit had been sealed at the special request of the Philadelphia District Attorney's office. Stefan Presser, Legal Director for the ACLU of Pennsylvania noted that the Philadelphia police are specifically barred from engaging in inflitration as a result of a 1987 mayoral order. Presser went on to explain the dangers of such undercover operations: "The First Amendment gives all individuals advocating for social change the right to be able to meet and plan without fearing that police are spying on them. The Bill of Rights, taken a s a whole, surely guarantees that individuals may not be preventatively detained. This is a matter deeply woven into the fabric of our society since the tragic preventative detention of Japanese Americans over half a century ago. It is a sad commentary that Philadelphia, the origin of our Constitution, should have been the site of so many violations of protestors' rights during the Republican National Convention."