Police, always on my back
Where's the police infiltrator?
Police infiltrating protest groups
BY DARYL KHAN AND ROCCO PARASCANDOLA
August 11, 2004
The Police Department has been watching protest groups that have used unlawful tactics in the past in hopes of controlling disruptive activities at the Republican National Convention, police sources say.
Officers masquerading as corporate-bashing Bush haters have been attending rallies and meetings to learn the groups' tactics and plans for the upcoming convention, which begins Aug. 30, the sources say.
"Our guys got in there without them knowing it," one source said. "It helps us keep track of what they're doing."
Police have, in the past, kept an eye on groups known to break the law during protests, as well as those that have publicly announced their intentions to do so.
Some protest groups have suggested they will block streets and Madison Square Garden to prevent delegates from entering the convention.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and Mayor Michael Bloomberg have said any protesters breaking the law will face arrest. Bloomberg stressed that people who gather in Central Park in groups of 20 or more will be arrested. Despite the repeated warnings, protesters have been organizing a march to the park, through e-mails and word of mouth.
Police officers also are being taught about special holds and sensitive pressure points in the body, in an effort to make moving unruly and stubborn activists easier and safer, a police source said.
The department also has produced videos specializing in First Amendment rights.
Police sources would not say which groups the department has successfully monitored, nor would they reveal the number of officers involved. But they did say the initiative has allowed police brass to get a handle on what to expect.
The department also made extensive preparations for processing large numbers of arrests they anticipate.
So when the the hippie next you whips out a badge and arrests you, well, don't say you weren't warned.
Look, as long as you obey the law, you should be safe, but the fact is this is more scare tactic than anything else. They want to disuade protest, they want a quiet city. As long as you don't destroy property, and behave orderly, things should be cool.
Bloomberg isn't going to risk a riot in Central Park. And if he tries to arrest people for that, he knows that is exactly what will happen. Forget the paranoid fear, a riot in New York during the RNC would be a nightmare for Bush and Rove. They don't want the attention taken away from the President and the party and this will do just that. UFPJ is families, is middle class people with kids. It is not the Ruckus society. If the cops go haywire on them, the whole city will react badly. Bloomberg's popularity isn't high now, chasing yuppie families down 79th St is not something people want on TV or on the cover of the Daily News.
posted by Steve @ 7:54:00 PM