Surveillance of Communities and Movements

State Violence: Surveillance of Communities and Movements from Black Lives Matter to “The War on Terror

Compiled by Takia Armstead, Darakshan Raja, and Khadija Mehter11934968_10153139951872336_8417148638094907221_o

Last Wednesday, September 2, the Muslim American Women’s Policy Forum, along with the Washington Peace Center and the Asian Pacific Islander Resistance organizations, hosted a panel entitled “State Violence: Surveillance of Communities and Movements from Black Lives Matter to “The War on Terror.” Speakers included writer and activist Netfa Freeman with the Institute for Policy Studies and the Wayside Center for Popular Education, Aaron Goggans, a Campaign Coordinator at the DC Employment Justice Center and Black Lives Matter DMV organizer, Dr. Maha Hilal, the Deputy Executive Director of the National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms, Naureen Shah, director of Amnesty International’s Security and Human Rights program, and Sara Yaakoub, organizer with the Muslim American Women’s Policy Forum and is currently working on policy surrounding the “Countering Violent Extremism” program. This panel was moderated by Darakshan Raja, organizer with the Washington Peace Center and founder of the Muslim American Women’s Policy Forum.

Speakers spoke of surveillance and concerted attacks on Black organizers, through the FBI’s Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO) in the 60s, as well as the new revelations of surveillance upon Black organizers of the Black Lives Matter movement. Freeman spoke of the importance of building solidarity in order to strengthen each of these movements in order to achieve justice for Black Americans and Muslim Americans. Dr. Hilal spoke of the surveillance of Muslim communities as well as the limiting of Muslims’ civil freedoms by the FBI. She spoke of the double edged sword that Muslims face, as Muslims as a whole are singled out for surveillance, and then in addition, are denied justice when seeking it through courts, as happened in New Jersey recently. Yaakoub spoke of new CVE initiatives that target and criminalize Muslim Americans, which unfortunately, many Muslim leaders have bought into and are complicit in promoting. These tactics of surveillance and disruption in the Black and Muslim communities serve to send the stark and threatening message to all members of each community to not stand up for their rights and instead allow the government to continue in limiting our rights. Only by working together and building solidarity can we fight these systems that oppress our communities and hold people hostage.

Please see below for a list of resources we complied together. This list isn’t exhaustive of resources, but we wanted to contribute to the existing resources that are out there.

Government CVE programs

Homegrown Violent Extremism (HVE) in America

CVE Pilot Programs: Boston, Los Angeles, & Minneapolis

Criticisms of CVE programs

Reliance on the debunked theory of “Radicalization”

Community Outreach Initiatives Used as a Method for Spying on Muslim Communities

CVE Programs Unfairly Targets Muslims

FBI Entrapment of American Muslims

Muslim Youth Targeted by CVE and Counterterrorism Programs

Community Concerns About CVE Programs

Scholarship That Questions the Efficacy of CVE Programs

American Law Enforcement Agencies and the Suppression and Surveillance of Minority Communities and Liberation Movements

Resources and Ways to Protect Your Online Privacy

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