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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Activist Groups Plan Rally: Say No to the JTTF!

Posted by Denis C. Theriault on Wed, Mar 9, 2011 at 5:53 PM

Tomorrow's planned Joint Terrorism Task Force hearing (née vote) has long been canceled, but a rally backed by several groups who remain vigorously opposed to the city's JTTF dalliance is still on, the Oregon Progressive Party has announced.

They're telling people to show up outside City Hall at 12:30 PM and loudly urge the Portland City Council not to rejoin "the FBI's domestic spying program." Mayor Sam Adams' office remains in back-and-forth talks with the FBI and U.S. Justice Department over what the city's relationship with the FBI might look like.

This is from their announcement:

Opposition groups have continuously faced delays from the Mayor's office rescheduling of the proposed vote and final public hearing. Activist groups have been closely following the JTTF discussion and have participated in public conversations since this became an issue last December. Many local groups strongly oppose joining the JTTF because of the continued evidence and facts surrounding issues of racial and religious profiling, wiretapping, spying and arresting of activists in organizations and immigrant/Muslim communities in Portland and many other U.S. cities.

A key reason for former Mayor Tom Potter's original historic decision to have Portland be the only U.S. city to leave the JTTF was attributed to the fact that selected Portland Police officers were given special FBI clearances and duties, but the mayor did not have the ability or clearance to effectively monitor or supervise these officers. Many have proposed that if full clearance was given to the mayor an alliance with the JTTF would be acceptable but it is our position that any agreement with the JTTF endangers the civil liberties of Portlanders and is unacceptable.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation discovered over 40,000 violations by the FBI of U.S. citizens' constitutional rights since 9/11. In September 2010, the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Justice found the FBI to have consistently violated civil liberties by actively investigating peace groups, animal rights activists, Palestinian rights activists, environmental groups and anti-war protesters, without any evidence of crimes.

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