Thursday, June 29, 2006

In the beginning there was Mario

Is the sleeping giant about to wake?
Berkeley votes to impeach Bush
By Kristin Bender, STAFF WRITER Inside Bay Area

BERKELEY - The People's Republic of Berkeley has done it again.
The liberal, left-leaning city has become the first city in the nation to put a referendum on the Nov. 7 ballot to impeach President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

Anti-war mom Cindy Sheehan and Daniel Ellsberg, a Vietnam whistle-blower who in 1971 released the Pentagon Papers to the New York Times, both spoke in favor of the resolution at Tuesday's City Council meeting.

``Berkeley is a place where things begin,'' said Mayor Tom Bates. ``It was the first place in the nation that called for divestment from South Africa, it was the first city in the nation to have curb cuts for disabled people, we were the first city in the nation to have dog parks and the first city in the nation to really protest the Vietnam War,'' Bates said.
And it started with Mario Savio:
Savio rose to prominence as a leader of Berkeley's Free Speech Movement, delivering a fiery speech in Sproul Plaza on December 2, 1964.

Mario Savio, in my opinion, was the true beginning of the anti-Vietnam War movement. and as such, some interesting things happened to him:
In 2004, it was revealed that Mario was the subject of a massive FBI surveillance program even after he left the Free Speech Movement. The FBI trailed Mario Savio for more than a decade after he left UC Berkeley, and bureau officials plotted to "neutralize" him politically, even though there was no evidence he broke any federal law. [1] According to hundreds of pages of FBI files, the bureau:

Collected, without court order, personal information about Savio from schools, telephone companies, utility firms and banks and compiled information about his marriage and divorce.
Monitored his day-to-day activities by using informants planted in political groups, covertly contacting his neighbors, landlords and employers, and having agents pose as professors, journalists and activists to interview him and his wife.
Obtained his tax returns from the Internal Revenue Service in violation of federal rules, mischaracterized him as a threat to the president and arranged for the CIA and foreign intelligence agencies to investigate him when he and his family traveled in Europe. (emphasis added)

But it gets even worse:
Put him on an unauthorized list of people to be detained without judicial warrant in event of a national emergency, and designated him as a "Key Activist" whose political activities should be "disrupted" and "neutralized" under the bureau's extralegal counterintelligence program known as COINTELPRO.
So, the question I have for you is: "Where is COINTELPRO now and are you on it?

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