Chapter 9: Counterintelligence & Repression

How do resistance movements hamper their opponent’s attempts to gather information about them, and how they cope with attacks on their movement through secret disruption or overt repression?

In a nutshell: Every effective movement will face repression—often concealed—and if we understand that repression we can withstand or counter it.

In this chapter: 
Citizen’s Commission to Investigate the FBI – In 1971, an underground group breaks into an FBI field office and discovers an existence program to infiltrate, disrupt, and destroy social movements across the country; it’s called COINTELPRO, and offers a template for government repression. (p. 439) Histories or case studies
1. Surveillance – Agents watch resisters to identify their weaknesses and induce paranoia. (p. 445)
2. Psychological Warfare and Propaganda – Agents and puppet media attempt to discredit and undermine the resistance movement, often using dirty tricks. (p. 447)
3. Infiltration and Informers – Agents sneak infiltrators and informers into resistance groups; the end goal is to actively sabotage groups from the inside, worsen internal schisms, promote horizontal hostility, and act as agents provocateurs. (p. 451)
4. The Legal System – Those in power attempt to arrest and prosecute resistance members on trivial or unrelated charges; they harass activists and to paint them as criminals; they pass draconian legislation to punish dissidents and use excessive legal costs to drain their coffers. (p. 465)
5. Illegal Violence – Agents attempt to threaten, beat, or kill activists in order to force them into submission and make an example of them. (p. 468)
6. Martial Law and Population Control – They may use martial law, create checkpoints for travel, and institute overly extensive or invasive security measures. (p. 473)
7. Selective Concessions and Co-optation – Those in power offer concessions to undermine or divide a resistance movement. (p. 476)

Movements and groups in this chapter:

Featured: Citizen’s Commission to Investigate the FBI. Discussed: Black Panther Party, New Left, G20 Protests, Green Scare, EarthFirst!. Mentioned: Suffragists, Socialist Workers Party, Young Socialist Alliance, Progressive Labor Party, American Indian Movement, Arizona Five, Irish Republican Army, French Maquis, Anarchist Black Cross, Sein Fein, Boer Rebels, Philippine Resistance to American Occupation.