[Ppnews] Jared Ball Reviews COINTELPRO 101 - Black Agenda Report

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Oct 27 11:17:36 EDT 2010


Published on Black Agenda Report 
(<http://blackagendareport.com>http://blackagendareport.com)


COINTELPRO 101

By Jared Ball
Created 10/26/2010 - 14:44
Submitted by Jared Ball on Tue, 10/26/2010 - 14:44

[]


by BAR editor and columnist Jared A. Ball

The U.S. government's COINTELPRO assault on Black and radical 
political activists wasn't just a Sixties episode: it was part of the 
continuity of oppression stretching from the European invasion of the 
Americas and the slave trade to this very day. American regimes are 
prepared to deploy COINTELPRO-like repression whenever popular 
movements threaten the established order. "Assassination, 
imprisonment, surveillance and encouraged internal strife [are] 
employed to forcibly dissolve these movements."

COINTELPRO 101

by BAR editor and columnist Jared A. Ball

"It is an introduction to the often omitted history of the FBI's 
illegal wars of terror waged against the full spectrum of radical 
Left movements in this country."

COINTELPRO 101, the latest film release from 
<http://www.freedomarchives.org/Cointelpro.html>The Freedom Archives 
[3], is nothing like the all-too-common soft, liberal documentary 
which tells of worse and distant horrors so as to lessen the pain or 
awareness of those still occurring. It is not a film that imposes a 
happy ending by suggesting that its subject is somehow past. It is a 
film that makes plain the fact that all of your problems of today, 
from war, to incarceration, to banking crises, joblessness and 
environmental catastrophe, still exist because movements to do away 
with them suffered and continue to suffer the greatest levels of 
repression from the most powerful state apparatus in world history. 
And worse still, as Black Panther Party veteran Kathleen Cleaver 
states unequivocally, unlike the official Counter Intelligence 
Program of previous decades, today's version is perfectly legal.

COINTELPRO 101 is just that. It is an introduction to the often 
omitted history of the FBI's illegal wars of terror waged against the 
full spectrum of radical Left movements in this country. The Counter 
Intelligence Program which emerged in the post-WWII era of 
international struggles for human rights and national liberation 
simply focused internally to the United States all that had been 
carried out against populations abroad. It turned so-called U.S. 
citizens in the 20th century into insurgent rebels to be dealt with 
as any foreign army or movement. Assassination, imprisonment, 
surveillance and encouraged internal strife were employed to forcibly 
dissolve these movements. But, as this film so skillfully 
demonstrates, this all was merely an extension of a continuing state 
project of enslavement, genocide, theft of land, culture and humanity 
that pre-dates even the official declaration of U.S. nationhood.

The film's brilliance is not simply its nicely-styled aesthetic 
elements. They are there of course. Strong interviews, rarely seen 
clips, high quality audio and video production across the board with 
equally strong narration from Liz Derias. But it is the film's 
ability to force new confrontation with the political reality of 
today, as much as with the past, that truly demonstrates its value. 
The simple point made by Geronimo Pratt is also its strongest; that 
COINTELPRO made official the illegality of politics, the 
"criminalization of positions" represented by its targets. COINTELPRO 
was the political and legal descendant of its ancestors, slavery and 
genocide, and is now itself an ancestor to the 
<http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2009/7/29/obamas_military_is_spying_on_us_peace_groups>still-implemented 
[4] policies of, for instance, the Patriot Act. This central theme of 
the film is its most important because it forces us to put in context 
the current and horrific state of peace, freedom and labor movements.

"It turned so-called U.S. citizens in the 20th century into insurgent 
rebels to be dealt with as any foreign army or movement."

As CONTELPRO 101 makes vividly clear, 
"<http://blackagendareport.com/?q=search/node/misleadership>the Black 
misleadership class [5]" described so often in the pages of Black 
Agenda Report is the result of having first destroyed the rightfully 
ascending Black leadership class of that time. This film helps 
re-establish lost cognition imposed by popular anti-histories which 
allow for so many to falsely assume that Obama is a natural 
progression from Civil Rights and Black Power movements. The film 
inserts stolen pages of history that result in an assumption that 
Native America went willingly to the reservations and then happily 
stayed there having never having attempted movements to protect 
whatever remaining autonomy they might have had. No one who sees this 
film can return to conventional and now popularly re-emerging 
arguments over immigration or human "illegality." In fact, COINTELPRO 
101 goes further than most histories of this phenomenon in reminding 
us of the threats posed by the Puerto Rican and Chicano independence 
movements. One can only imagine with a kind of hope what these 
discussions would sound like were they to take place in this film's 
context of state repression and specifically the killing of Chicano 
movement activists like Ricardo Falcon. Indeed, would these arguments 
even exist without first the assault on these movements and their 
representatives?

CONTELPRO 101 is the latest in an increasingly long line of 
collected, preserved and produced media from The Freedom Archives 
which seeks to appropriately tell the stories of diverse but unified 
efforts toward liberation. It powerfully summarizes the continued 
need of those in power to suppress and, in their own words, 
"neutralize" movements and individuals so that more acceptable 
replacements can be developed and promoted. For if, as the film 
asserts, the continued imprisonment of people like American Indian 
Movement activist Leonard Peltier is a "symbol" to, through 
discouragement, protect the state from further similar activity, then 
what do popular, sanctioned, elected leaders of today represent?

For Black Agenda Radio, I'm Jared Ball. Online go to 
<http://www.BlackAgendaReport.com/>www.BlackAgendaReport.com [6].

<http://www.voxunion.com/?p=207>Jared Ball [7] can be reached via 
email at: <mailto:freemixradio at gmail.com>freemixradio at gmail.com [8].

----------
Source URL: 
<http://blackagendareport.com/?q=content/cointelpro-101>http://blackagendareport.com/?q=content/cointelpro-101

Links:
[1] http://blackagendareport.com/?q=category/other/ba-radio-commentary
[2] http://blackagendareport.com/?q=category/us-politics/cointelpro
[3] http://www.freedomarchives.org/Cointelpro.html
[4] 
http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2009/7/29/obamas_military_is_spying_on_us_peace_groups
[5] http://blackagendareport.com/?q=search/node/misleadership
[6] http://www.BlackAgendaReport.com/
[7] http://www.voxunion.com/?p=207
[8] mailto:freemixradio at gmail.com
[9] 
http://www.addtoany.com/share_save?linkurl=http%3A%2F%2Fblackagendareport.com%2F%3Fq%3Dcontent%2Fcointelpro-101&linkname=COINTELPRO%20101




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