Cops Spying on HoneyBaked Ham Protestors and Peace Activists

by Will Potter on August 4, 2008

in Surveillance,Terrorism Court Cases

Homeland Security Spying on Vegans Protesting Honeybaked HamsTwo activists who handed out vegan pamphlets outside of a HoneyBaked Ham store– and were harassed, spied on, and arrested for it– can proceed with a lawsuit against the cops, a federal appeals court recently ruled.

Caitlin Childs and Christopher Freeman were leafletting in an Atlanta suburb in 2003. Here’s much more from the ACLU, including photos by the Department of Homeland Security. The complaint has a good rundown of the events.

And recently, there was strikingly similar news out of Baltimore that Maryland State Police Division of Homeland Security and Intelligence had coordinated a massive spying operation against peaceful activists for 14 months. Check out the great gallery of articles by the Baltimore Sun. From the Washington Post:

The agent, called Analyst Sparwasser in police records, detailed the meeting’s activities in a single-space log, ending: “No other pertinent intelligence information was obtained.” The log was included in a database of reports on at least 27 meetings of peace activists and death penalty opponents that police infiltrated over 14 months in 2005 and 2006.

The surveillance, documented in 46 pages of records released last week to the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland, contained no reports of illegal activity.

Clearly, there’s no greater priority for “terrorism” investigations than vegans and death penalty opponents. Here’s a thought: perhaps the Feds should be investigating people who are encouraging violence, not opposing it.

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