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Antiwar protests monitored by the U.S. Military

Ron Brynaert

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A secret Department of Defense database obtained by NBC News reveals that the Pentagon kept close tabs on nearly 50 antiwar and counter-recruiting demonstrations from November of 2004 to May of 2005, and labeling them potential "threats" and "suspicious incidents."

NBC's report (Is the Pentagon spying on Americans?) details a few of the monitored protests, including a meeting held at a Quaker Meeting House in Lake Worth, Florida by the group Truth Project. An examination of the database by RAW STORY sheds new light on some of the other protest groups singled out, including a well-known gay and lesbian activist group.

An anti-nuclear rally at Offut Airforce Base, Nebraska - home of the Strategic Nuclear and USA Military Space Commands - to mark the 59th anniversary of the atomic bomb dropped in Nagasaki was considered a "credible" threat on August 9, 2004, and, in fact, resulted in the arrest of Des Moines Catholic Worker Elton Davis, for crossing the property line. Davis was charged with misdemeanor trespassing and later served a 90-day sentence at Leavenworth Detention Center.

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On November 21, 2004 approximately thirty demonstrators held an anti-torture rally across the street from the US Army Intelligence Center's interrogator school at Fort Huachuca in Sierra Vista, Arizona. The peaceful protest, which resulted in no arrests, had also been listed as a "credible" threat.

Military recruiters interviewing candidates for the Judge Advocate General Corps (JAG) of the U.S. Navy at New York University Law School last February 4 were picketed by a crowd of protestors including students affiliated with the Campus Antiwar Network (CAN). The DoD database noted that the planned protest "may involve OUTlaws."

OUTLaw is an organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender members of the law school community with chapters at NYU and Yale, among other schools, who have actively protested the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy excluding gay men and women from serving in the military.

For unspecified reasons, the Department of Defense concluded that the February 4 protest was a "not credible" threat.

(Note: Lakeland was accidently substituted for Lake Worth, Florida)

Originally published on Wednesday December 14, 2005

 


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