FBI, Police ‘Visited’ Activists’ Homes Ahead of the Republican National Convention

In another step towards the fascist state Donald Trump has warm dreams envisioning, FBI agents and Cleveland police officers “visited” the homes of local activists in an attempt to gather intelligence on possible planned demonstrations surrounding the Republican National Convention. Such actions step over the line of information gathering into the realm of seeking to chill free speech.

Activists said they viewed the visits as intimidating. A spokeswoman for the local branch of the FBI acknowledged only that “community outreach” took place as law enforcement officials try to ensure the GOP convention is a “safe and secure” event. During their visits, officials asked activists about past addresses, political and social affiliations, and plans for the RNC. The questions appear on their face of dubious constitutionality.

A spokesperson for the National Lawyer’s Guild, a group prepared to defend those arrested for exercising their First Amendment rights outside the convention, first reported the visits by teams of federal and local law enforcement officials.

Some of the activists are involved with groups planning RNC demonstrations, while some aren’t, the spokesperson said. She also said that some of the people who were visited were among the 71 people who were arrested in May 2015 in the aftermath of protests that broke out following the acquittal of Michael Brelo, a then-Cleveland police officer who had been charged with voluntary manslaughter in connection with the 2013 shooting deaths of two Cleveland motorists following a police chase.

The FBI and police made no attempts to hide what they were doing; in fact, quite the opposite.

For example, in a June 8 public hearing, Deputy Police Chief Ed Tomba told members of City Council’s public safety committee that Cleveland police have “a real, real good idea of who we think is coming here and what their objectives are. And if we can deter those objectives, that’s what we’re going to do.”

Cleveland purchased a $10 million “protest insurance” policy to protect against civil rights lawsuits resulting from the convention.

Peter Van Buren blew the whistle on State Department waste and mismanagement during Iraqi reconstruction in his first book, We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People. His latest book is Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the #99 Percent. Reprinted from the his blog with permission.

7 thoughts on “FBI, Police ‘Visited’ Activists’ Homes Ahead of the Republican National Convention”

  1. Unless Trump has mysterious time-travel powers, he’s not the one who sent the FBI. Therefore it’s not his dream they’re enforcing.

    1. Nah, but he probably gets a kick out of it. Just from prior performances on the Trump RoadShow. What of the Governor of Ohio calling for reinforcements? And, yeah, they do the same for the DNC. If I were a little bit more paranoid, but not by much, I’d think in terms of Vote Suppression.

      What would be a cool experiment, notwithstanding it would be rather late, is how many Feds of all stripes actually resign in protest over which ever of the presumptive Two wins.

      Do you remember when voting Communist was considered a “Protest vote” and “throwing away your duty to choose!”? In 36 they made a really strong showing. Even Lucille Ball voted red. Probably our best bet at getting anything real from electoral action is with State legislators and governors. Or vote Red… or Green.

    2. Oh, and I have no idea of his real dreams and/or nightmares. The “take america back” bullpoo is racist throughout. His stated foreign policy, re-avowed recently, would be to “screw” other nations the way he did Gadafi. That’s a nice little warning label. I wonder, when he “screws” somebody in a business deal, is he Top or Bottom?

  2. FBI and other bureaucrats are immune from prosecution and really, from being fired. And nobody in the world votes them into office.

    J Edgar Hoover took office as Director of the Bureau of Investigation in 1924, before it took the “Federal” surname. Herbert Hoover became president in 1929 and left office in 1933. J Edgar (cousins? hmmm.. hoover isn’t a very common name…) died in office in 1977. That’s a hell of a lot of power being in the hands of one man for five decades.

    Exactly none of the candidates or those already in elected office are calling for a cutback on Police Power. Trump is the only one stupid enough to advocate internment, deportation, and torture on American citizens who are “subversive”.
    I still think both major parties are trying to throw the election in order to not have the blame for World War Last.

    1. or, and this sounds paranoid even to me… What if it’s to be a pre-approved coup? Killy Hillie gets into office, loud wails of protest from the farthest right, demanding her ouster. OR vice versa.

      “They” approve of coups all over the globe. There were TWO presidents of South VietNam. One was killed in a coup and ‘tother got out ahead of the VietMinh invasion. That would be the one who Our Benevolent Empire allowed to kill the first. How many others? I lost count. Duvalier then Aristide… Doroteo Arango (“pancho villa”), Emiliano Zapata, those were the ones closest to home… Some people have become more insistent there should be a coup here. I bet Kissinger kept a list of all the ones he had offed during his unnecessarily long tenure as unelected “statesman”

      What role, if any, would the Fibbers (haven’t used that one in a while) play in such actions?

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