FBI Infiltrated U of Iowa Anti-War Group

The Des Moines Register reported an FBI informant and undercover police officer infiltrated a peace organization at the University of Iowa prior to the RNC convention in August 2008.  It is reported that that surveillence began as early as the fall of 2007.

Confidential FBI documents obtained by The Des Moines Register show an FBI informant was planted among a group described as an “anarchist collective” that met regularly last year in Iowa City. One of the group’s goals was to organize street blockades to disrupt the Republican convention, held Sept. 1-4, 2008, where U.S. Sen. John McCain was nominated for president.

The undercover Minnesota deputy who traveled to Iowa City was from the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Department, which infiltrated a group known as the “RNC Welcoming Committee” that was coordinating convention protest activities in St. Paul.

The undercover officer accompanied two activists from the Twin Cities who attended the University of Iowa in April 2008 for a Midwest campus anti-war conference.

The Iowa City Police Department was not aware that an FBI informant was monitoring local anti-war activists last year, Police Chief Samuel Hargadine said. But he confirmed to the Register that he was notified by Ramsey County authorities last year that they were sending an undercover officer to Iowa City.

Read the entire story for more details.  

It is pretty amazing national security resources would go to monitor a peace group in Iowa.  As one of the people in Iowa said, “There are not a lot of bomb throwers in Iowa City.”

Tags: Anti-war, Iraq, Peace

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  • I am not surprised

    The U.S. government has wasted law enforcement time and money on infiltrating peace groups many times in many places.

    Really unfortunate, though.

    Thanks for posting this story.

  • Ok, I was there...

    At some of the Pre-RNC meetings in IC.

    The primary reason I did not continue with the meetings was a disagreement on my part of “diversity of tactics” proposed by some of those in attendance.

    I am a proponent of non-violence, period.  There is no room for the so-called “diversity of tactics” outlined by the young crowd in attendance at the meetings I attended.

    The people I engage with in non-violent resistance to civil authority have an established set of guidelines, as well as being transparent in our intended actions.  There is no room for violent responses to police brutality or violence.

    If the police decide to engage in brutal tactics, it simply reinforces our message of peace.

    To label some of those in attendance as “peace activists” stretches my understanding of the term.

    Unfortunately, most of those expousing the most violent of tactics are simply, in my opinion, arm chair commandos who would never put their ass where their mouth is.