The NYPD has been infiltrating liberal groups long after the 2004 Republican convention, which was their original justification for doing so:
Police said the pre-convention spying was necessary to prepare for the huge, raucous crowds that were headed to the city. But documents obtained by The Associated Press show that the police department’s intelligence unit continued to keep close watch on political groups in 2008, long after the convention had passed.
In April 2008, an undercover NYPD officer traveled to New Orleans to attend the People’s Summit, a gathering of liberal groups organized around their shared opposition to U.S. economic policy and the effect of trade agreements between the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
When the undercover effort was summarized for supervisors, it identified groups opposed to U.S. immigration policy, labor laws and racial profiling. Two activists—Jordan Flaherty, a journalist, and Marisa Franco, a labor organizer for housekeepers and nannies—were mentioned by name in one of the police intelligence reports obtained by the Associated Press.
Here’s a snippet from a review of a book about the LAPD’s notorious Red Squad:
After unions were legitimized in the late ’30s and during World War II, the Red squads turned to Red-hunting, joining in McCarthy-era hysteria. In the ’60s, they turned on civil rights groups. Here, the cops infiltrated black and Latino advocacy organizations. In the late ’60s and ’70s, the anti-war movement was a target. Today, it is vaguely defined as “terrorists.”
Sounds familiar. We’ve had Red Squads for more than 100 years and it looks like we’ll have them for another hundred.