Citizens' Intelligence Agency

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A bold reification of the David Brin dream of a surveillance world where all watch all, the subjects observing the rulers with the same tools and techniques as the rulers watch the subjects–or a silly prank? You make the call, as the Northeast Ohio Antiwar Coalition turns the tables outside a federal building in Cleveland:

Some two dozen members of NOAC and other groups affiliated with the coalition dressed in exaggerated spy gear to protest government surveillance of a NOAC meeting in Cleveland last November, and similar monitoring of other peace groups, including the Quakers.

NOAC member Sarah Morton said the demonstration was intended to plant a covert tongue in a very serious cheek—matching a perceived government gaffe with an equally ludicrous gesture. To "make people think about the ridiculousness of this federal action," as Morton said.

The "spies" were bracketed by Homeland Security cars parked behind them, and security keeping a watchful eye in front of them….

[Link via Rational Review.]

NEXT: The Gibberish of "Genuine Struggle"

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  1. This looks like an obvious case of eavesdropping by these protestors. Will they be arrested on site, or will the cops break down their doors?

  2. Speaking of protests, a strange thought occurred to me as I watched a few dozen screaming anit-Bush protesters march through downtown Chicago last night.

    It was the fact that there must have been one cop for every 3 protesters, escorting the march.

    And I thought, Well I guess they feel they have to make sure that people don’t get run over or anything. Then a second thought: Or are they monitoring them? Not just to make sure they don’t set any more Bush statues on fire, but in a more intimidating sense of “watch your back, we’re watching you!”

    I really need to lay off the H&R. It’s making me paranoid. 🙂

  3. I was actually invited (indirectly, via a friend’s email list) to participate. Below is the invitation I received (although, I did not attend…I was in Detroit (what? Detroit!) that night):

    Hello, friends!

    You’ve heard of sit-ins, sleep-ins and die-ins…

    You are invited to do your patriotic duty and join us for a:

    SPY-IN
    Federal Building
    1240 East Ninth Street
    Monday, January 30, 7:30 AM
    Downtown Cleveland

    The feds (specifically the Department of Defense) in November, 2004 spied on the Northeast Ohio Anti-War Coalition (NOAC). Now it’s time we spied back!!

    Dress in spy gear (trench coats. black suits/fedoras (a la Abramoff), sunglasses etc. Bring cameras (toy or with no film if you don’t want potential hassle), note pads, binocs, telescopes, shoe phones, etc. Look the part!!

    – Why aren’t the feds investigating their own — those who lied about going into Iraq, those who say they don’t need to get approval from anyone to spy on US citizens, those taking illegal campaign “contributions” from lobbyists?

    – Why are the feds doing more into looking into all the overpriced war contracts, the disappearing millions/billions of taxdollars, the undone work to repair and rebuild Iraq?

    – Why can’t we sit in on THEIR planning meetings, THEIR discussions, take pictures of THEM going in and out of the federal building (after all, they are paid with OUR tax dollars and are ultimately accountable to US)?

    Is this action ridiculous? Sure it is. But so is the Pentagon spying on US citizens and groups (as well as illegal) with no history of violence or threats to anyone. Our intent is to spoof the spooks! Humor is a powerful form of noncooperation.

    For more information, contact NOAC: 216-736-4716 http://www.noacinfo.org

  4. The above invitation was cut ‘n’ pasted. I meant to add this correction (for clarity) in bold:

    – Why are (sic) the feds doing more into looking into all the overpriced war contracts, the disappearing millions/billions of taxdollars, the undone work to repair and rebuild Iraq?

  5. Below is the invitation I received (although, I did not attend…I was in Detroit

    Tho’ I wouldn’t’ve attended anyway, even if I had been in Cleveland…

  6. Smacky,

    Did you go to a show at the Majic Stick in Detroit?

  7. linguist,

    Yes! I saw Low and His Name is Alive. How did you guess? Don’t tell me you were there, too!

  8. Humor is a powerful form of noncooperation.

    Sadly, I think they’ll find that federal employees have no sense of humor, especially if it undermines their “authority”.

  9. His Name is Alive was here?? I missed it!

  10. Smacky, I used to live directly behind the Majestic/Magic Stick! It was my local hangout!

  11. linguist,

    What a coincidence. It would have been cool if you were at the show, too! It’s funny, I was just wondering what kind of people would live in that neighborhood, and what sort of area it was. I guess you answered my first question (cool people do!). We parked on the street next to the Magic Stick, behind the club, and were approached by exactly one bum (the can and bottle-collecting kind).

    wellfellow,

    Not only did you miss the show, you missed seeing me play back-up percussion for His Name is Alive (along with other people in the crowd)!

  12. We parked on the street next to the Magic Stick, behind the club, and were approached by exactly one bum (the can and bottle-collecting kind).

    Yup, you were probably right in front of my old building. It was cool and ancient. Really enjoyed it. Fewer bums there than in other places in Detroit…except for the times when we’d get escapees from the VA Hospital a block away. You probably realized you were right on WSU’s campus, where I did my MA. Used to be pretty tight with the Majestic/Majic Stick’s owner, too. Ah, memories. :-0

    See, EVERYONE should visit Detroit!

  13. linguist,

    Yes, funny you mention that: I actually did see WSU, and I remembered you said you had gone to school there! I like the Magic Stick a lot, as far as concert venues go.

  14. Smacky, Linguist, next time you’re in Detroit, write me an email and we can have a beer!

  15. This is clearly some kind of plot by Allah to overthrow our God and celebrate abortion. They should have been shot on sight with tanks. No, nucular bombs!

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