Thursday, July 10, 2014

US Spying on American Indians and Muslims

By Brenda Norrell
Denver Columbus Parade protest 2007

Today's news focuses on the revelations that the US is spying on prominent Muslims in this country. The fact that the US is spying on activists is of course nothing new -- even Martin Luther King, Jr., was spied on by the US, up to the day he was assassinated. What is new today, is the extent of the spying on prominent Muslims, including attorneys and one person who worked at Homeland Security.

Long before Snowden exposed NSA syping, the secret Denver police spy files exposed police spying on Native Americans.

The US spy files on American Indian activists became public in Denver more than a decade ago. It was old news to the American Indian Movement. AIM always knew they were out there somewhere listening. The facts were made public in a Denver court case. The spying didn't stop in Denver. It extended to Big Mountain Navajos, and beyond. Even an 82-year-old in Denver was targeted, just because the grandmother had a Leonard Peltier bumper sticker on her car.

The Denver police also spied on Arab Americans who supported American Indians. In 2002, I interviewed former Senator James Abourezk for the Lakota Journal in South Dakota.
“I didn’t like it and I think there should be a law against it. It should be stopped,” said Abourezk, an attorney in Sioux Falls.
Abourezk, who served on the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, said he doesn’t have a clue why he was spied on, even though he now has a copy of the file. The documents simply indicate his name and that Denver police were watching him.
Abourezk said years ago he encouraged the formation of the Anti-Defamation League of American Indians in Denver and supported formation of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee in Washington, a civil rights group.
“I haven’t been in Denver in 15 years,” Abourezk said.

Here's an excerpt of an article I wrote earlier:

The revelation was that Denver Police within the Intelligence Bureau, were spying on American Indians, attorneys, at least one senator and peace activists. Not only were they spying on them then, but they had been for decades.
As the secret files were made public, the truth became clear: Police were spying on American Indians and peace activists all over the United States.
Glenn Morris, professor, AIM member and Columbus Day protest organizer said, “It seems that Indians, and Colorado AIM in particular, have been targeted in the ‘spy files.’”

“We are not sure with whom else the files have been shared, but in Russell Means’ and my file there are references to some sharing with the FBI,” Morris said.

Morris was targeted, along with Russell Means, Vine Deloria, Jr., Wilma Mankiller, Winona LaDuke, John Echohawk, John Mohawk, George "Tink" Tinker, Wallace Coffey, Ward Churchill, Dennis Banks, the Leonard Peltier Support Group, Big Mountain Support Group, Colorado AIM, and Indian staff and attorneys at the Native American Rights Fund.
“This is the Indian equivalent of having a police spy database in the Black community that consisted of files on WEB DuBois, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, Fannie Lou Hamer, Thurgood Marshall, Jesse Jackson, NAACP, the Black Panthers, Cornell West, John Hope Franklin and Angela Davis, all at the same time,” Morris said.
Spy files were kept on great leaders, including Wilma Mankiller, John Echohawk, and former South Dakota Sen. James Abourezk.

Anti-war activists have been the target of US spying. Buffy Sainte Marie was put out of business in the US by US presidents, because of her song Universal Solider.

Americans are in fact very naive. The students at the University of Arizona in Tucson probably know little about how the university spies on students when they are online. The university also developed a global cyber spy program targeting Muslims, and proclaimed it.

This week in the news, it was exposed how universities are being used to spy on activists, from Cornell and the University of Washington, to Arizona State University in Tempe. Read more:

Even the American Indian media is now involved. Recently the Ho-Chunk Nation, which owns the online Native American news website, received a huge spy contract from the Pentagon for domestic and international spying.
Read more:

Who controls the news you are reading? US spies, casino billionaires or the coal industry?

In the news:
Watch today's DEMOCRACY NOW! about spying on prominent Muslims:

Please share this link from Indigenous Resistance: US spying on American Indians and Muslims