The NYPD apparently feel like there’s a connection between protesting bike messengers and the rise of militant islam. Or something.
It’s apparently important enough to infiltrate their organization, then stage a mock arrest (!?) of one of their agents provocateurs to get everyone stirred up.
Beyond collecting information, some of the undercover officers or their associates are seen on the tape having influence on events. At a demonstration last year during the Republican National Convention, the sham arrest of a man secretly working with the police led to a bruising confrontation between officers in riot gear and bystanders.
Well, clearly, since it was the RNC, y’know, uh… law and order, y’know….
Can anyone come up with some reason to do this other than a replay of Cointelpro?
COINTELPRO used a broad array of methods, including:
1. Infiltration: Agents and informers did not merely spy on political activists. Their main purpose was to discredit and disrupt. Their very presence served to undermine trust and scare off potential supporters. The FBI and police exploited this fear to smear genuine activists as agents.
2. Psychological warfare from the outside: The FBI and police used myriad other “dirty tricks” to undermine these movements. They planted false media stories and published bogus leaflets and other publications in the name of targeted groups. They forged correspondence, sent anonymous letters, and made anonymous telephone calls. They spread misinformation about meetings and events, set up pseudo movement groups run by government agents, and manipulated or strong-armed parents, employers, landlords, school officials and others to cause trouble for activists.
3. Harassment through the legal system: The FBI and police abused the legal system to harass dissidents and make them appear to be criminals. Officers of the law gave perjured testimony and presented fabricated evidence as a pretext for false arrests and wrongful imprisonment. They discriminatorily enforced tax laws and other government regulations and used conspicuous surveillance, “investigative” interviews, and grand jury subpoenas in an effort to intimidate activists and silence their supporters.
4. Break-ins: The FBI conducted “black bag” jobs against the targeted groups and their members.
Extralegal force and violence: The FBI instigated violence, and its paid informants carried out assaults, beatings, and, in one case, a murder.
Infiltration and harassment of (1st Amendment protected!) protest groups are just one more reason to suspect the motives of a government hell-bent on suspending constitutional protections in the interest of “security.” It looks a lot more like “stifling of dissent” to me.