The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts is seeking FBI files on behalf of four advocacy groups and 10 activists it believes have been targets of surveillance because of their politics, the Boston Globe reports. Carol Rose of the ACLU said several activists believe they have been under surveillance for at least a year, including around the time of the Democratic and Republican national conventions last summer.
The ACLU is trying to obtain records of alleged spying on activists who oppose the war in Iraq, the USA Patriot Act, and other government policies. The Washington Post reports today that new FBI documents show that questioning by antiterrorism agents of antiwar protesters last summer in Denver did not lead to any information about criminal activity. Keith Harvey, director of the New England office of the American Friends Service Committee, says that black SUVs and black sedans were parked outside his group’s office last summer, and a helicopter often hovered overhead and even appeared to follow one employee home to Dorchester. When Harvey asked a man in a sedan to identify himself, he said he worked for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and, “Keith, I’m just doing my job.”