The Department of Homeland Security has been monitoring the Black Lives Matter movement since anti-police protests erupted in Ferguson, Missouri last summer, according to hundreds of documents obtained by The Interceptthrough a Freedom of Information Act request.
The documents, released by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Operations Coordination, indicate that the department frequently collects information, including location data, on Black Lives Matter activities from public social media accounts, including on Facebook, Twitter, and Vine, even for events expected to be peaceful. The reports confirm social media surveillance of the protest movement and ostensibly related events in the cities of Ferguson, Baltimore, Washington, DC, and New York.
They also show the department watching over gatherings that seem benign and even mundane. For example, DHS circulated information on a nationwide series of silent vigils and a DHS-funded agency planned to monitor a funk music parade and a walk to end breast cancer in the nation’s capital.
The tracking of domestic protest groups and peaceful gatherings raises questions over whether DHS is chilling the exercise of First Amendment rights, and over whether the department, created in large part to combat terrorism, has allowed its mission to creep beyond the bounds of useful security activities as its annual budget has grown beyond $60 billion. …
The documents also elaborate on DHS’s response to riots and militant protests in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old African American man who in April died from injuries sustained while in police custody. DHS deployed officers on the ground and at intelligence centers. As VICE reported last month, the DHS’ Federal Protective Service placed more than 400 officers on duty in Baltimore after Gray’s death. In response to the anti-police backlash in Baltimore, DHS agencies also “integrated” representatives into two local intelligence centers, the Governor of Maryland’s Operations Center and the Mayor’s Emergency Operations Center. The documents state the DHS’s Federal Protective Service and Office of Infrastructure Protection worked in “close coordination with State and Local partners to monitor the situation” in Baltimore and helped “prepare for a large demonstration” that Saturday.
President Obama isn’t interested in pulling an FDR or Bloomberg, but if he were, he would win—a third term, that is. Speaking at the African Union in Ethiopia, Obama said, “I love my job. But under our Constitution, I cannot run again. I actually think I’m a pretty good president—I think if I ran, I could win— but I can’t!”
Obama added: “The law is the law—no one person is above the law, not even the president.”
The President did not shy away from criticizing African leaders, though he was on their turf. He noted the host nation, Ethiopia, would not reach its full potential “if journalists are restricted or legitimate opposition groups can’t participate in the process.”
Some African nations “may have democracy in name but not in substance,” Obama said, pointing out Kenya and Burundi specifically. Of Kenya, Obama said “Democracy is not just formal elections.”
Returning to the point of third terms, Obama addressed Burundi: “When a leader tries to change the rules in the middle of the game just to stay in office, it risks instability and strife, as we’ve seen in Burundi.” Despite protests and violence, President Pierre Nkurunziza captured a third term as Burundi’s president.
Obama also addressed corruption at length: “Corruption exists all over the world, including the United States. When someone has to pay a bribe just to start a business or to go to school or to get an official to do what they are supposed to be doing anyway, it undermines the dignity you are supposed to represent.”
Speaking on human rights, Obama called on African leaders to stop female genitalia mutilation and child marriage, as well as bolster equality. “Every one of us is equal…and when we respect the freedom of others, we are all more free. I believe hearts can change and I believe hearts can open,” the American president said.
MR Barack Obama go and address the genocide being inflicted on African Americans in your Country before you make this noise, we didnt vote those People who cling to power, they are western backed puppets. infact isnt it your Country that murdered great leaders like Patrick lumumba, thomas sankara, samora Michel etc etc via the aid of cia and then installed those you are calling to leave now? isnt it your Country along with other western countries that arms and Support These puppets so you Keep control over our resources?you could have been begging for forgiveness first for the evils your Country has committed to Africa starting from from slavery to the above mentioned