End the abuse of counter-terrorism authority to target social justice organizing!
I am writing to demand that Congress hold investigative hearings and impose restrictions to stop the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, Fusion Centers, and other federal intelligence and law enforcement agencies' abuse and misuse of their "counter-terrorism" funding and authority to target peaceful social justice organizing and dissent in the United States. It makes the country not a bit safer, while hitting at the very core of democratic life. It treats everyone with a dissenting view as a potential terrorist threat. Documents obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund have revealed that these agencies have conducted surveillance on First Amendment-protected activities that the agencies themselves have admitted are peaceful. They have sent in undercover informants, and engaged in spying and surveillance operations against lawful political activities. Targeted groups in recent years have included the Occupy movement, Black Lives Matter, anti-Keystone XL pipeline activists and the School of the Americas Watch. I support the demand of over 60 civil society groups calling on the Senate and House Judiciary Committees to investigate patterns of abuse by the FBI and DHS. The investigations of the Senate's Church Committee in the 1970s revealed the abuses of the FBI and other agencies, including the infamous COINTELPRO program, leading to restrictions on government surveillance and disruption of political activity in the United States. These restrictions have been watered down through successive administrations ever since. Newer entities, such as the sprawling and vast network of Fusion Centers, operate with virtually no oversight of their activities, including their targeting of lawful free speech and dissent. It is time for Congress to take charge of America's unchecked domestic intelligence agencies, which are acting as political police in the United States. I demand that you, as my elected representative, take action to remedy this injustice, and defend the right to dissent as a central feature of democratic life, and a fundamental requirement of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
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