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• Women desiring an abortion are finding various daunting obstacles placed in their path
by state and federal authorities.

• The FBI or the police are carrying out a sting operation in order to arrest a black elected
official regarded as too charismatic or "uppity". (The repeated case of former
Washington, DC mayor Marion Barry is highly instructive.)

• People are being rejected for housing and employment because of their race.

• Numerous foreign academics and activists are being refused entry to the US to attend a
conference due to their ideology and/or the ideology of the conference not being to the
liking of the US State Department.

• Language minorities are facing discrimination and hostility from the "English Only"

• US government agents provocateurs are encouraging some people, as in the World
Trade Center bombing or within militia groups, to carry out a bombing or other terrorist

• The judge sentences you to prison. Then the prison officials sentence you to
hell...Prisoners are being handcuffed or hogtied and forced to lap their food like dogs
from plates shoved under their faces...non-violent drug offenders are thrown in with
dangerous murderers, rapists and robbers, despite court orders to segregate them... guards
are kicking inmates in the groin, siccing dogs on them...female prisoners are being beaten
and raped by guards, sold for sex to male prisoners, taken off the grounds to work as
prostitutes, forced to perform stripteases for corrections officers (14 states do not outlaw
sexual contact between correctional staff and prisoners), women's sex acts are
photographed by guards, prisoners of both genders are kept naked or in their underwear,
and monitored by the opposite sex...male prisoners are slain, with impunity...guards are
using tear gas, Mace and pepper spray against prisoners in handcuffs or locked in their
cells...prisoners are not protected from assaults, physical and sexual, by other
prisoners...guards instigate fights between prisoners...inmates are kept in shackles, belly
chains and handcuffs at all times when outside their cells, even in the shower...chain
gangs are resurrected...guards who report abuses risk reprisals from prison officials...the
California Correction Officers union makes large political contributions to public
officials and prosecutors so that the guards can continue to act with impunity.

• Increasingly, those incarcerated in the US, now approaching two million in number, are
seeing their rights and privileges taken away or seriously curtailed in regard to academic
classes, vocational training, reading materials, sports, exercise, prison law libraries,
access to free legal advice, ease of appealing their cases, access to media. They are being
charged for room and board, for doctor visits, forbidden to receive packages, forced to
shave off beards and long hair and remove earrings; their phone use is limited to
a few minutes a week, visits to one hour a month, visiting family members are treated
rudely and subjected to humiliating searches and disrobings, prisoners are transferred to
other prisons very far from their families; HIV-positive and terminally ill prisoners are
denied special care, asthmatics are not monitored, those on anti-psychotic medications
miss their doses, hypertensives cannot get proper diets; prisoners are confined to cells for
all but a few hours a week; lights are on in cells 24 hours a day.

• In a new prison being built 3,000 feet up in Big Stone Gap, Virginia, windows in each
cell command spectacular views of the valley below. Prison officials are planning to
smoke the windows so inmates can't see out.

• Various levels of government agencies are seizing bank accounts of men who
supposedly are deadbeat dads, but it's later determined that they aren't.

• Educational institutions are being forced to allow military recruiters on campus to avoid
losing government grants for student aid and other purposes.

• The US military is carrying out one of its many urban exercises, such as this one
described in Massachusetts: "Last week Navy Seals landed from helicopters on top of
some buildings, rappelled down the buildings and had fun and games shooting and
throwing dummy explosives around. They woke half the city of Lowell. Early that
evening our house shook and the windows rattled violently as several helicopters flew
over at no more that 200 feet."

In some of their exercises in the US, the military uses live ammunition.

• A driver, stopped by the police, tapes the encounter. When he goes to the local police
station to complain about his treatment, he is asked to hand the tape over. He's then
charged with illegal wiretapping.

• Intercity buses and trains are being boarded by DEA agents to conduct searches of
passengers' belongings. Passengers are assured that it's all "voluntary".

• Law enforcement authorities of various stripes are routinely confiscating a computer
from the home of someone charged with drug something or other...or whatever...They
take the computer back to the office where the good oP boys can have a thigh-slappin'
time reading the personal mail. There's no telling when they'll get around to returning the

• In the Miami area and sections of New Jersey, those who don't toe the anti-Castro party
line are being subjected to a wide range of abuses. Suggesting a rapprochement with
Cuba, calling for an end to the US embargo, arranging for travel to the island, shipping
medicines there, etc., has on hundreds of occasions led to bombings, shootings, death
threats, murder, beatings, being driven out of business, fired from a job, forced off the air.
Perpetrators of these acts have enjoyed a virtual immunity from prosecution.
• In contrast to Washington's hands-off treatment for anti-Castro terrorists, under the
Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, there are 30 foreign "terrorist"
organizations which are held in official disdain. The law prohibits persons from
"knowingly providing material support or resources to a designated foreign terrorist
organization". Thus it is that donating toys to an orphanage operated by Hamas in Jordan,
or books to a school run by a Kurdish independence organization, or collecting money for
the families of Irish prisoners can be regarded as "association with a known terrorist
organization", and be subject to federal prosecution.

Under this legislation, tens of thousands of legal US residents, many here for a decade or
more, with families and children born in the US, are being deported or being refused re-
entry into the country because of such associations, or because they were once convicted
of a crime, even though they've served their sentence, and regardless of how long ago it
was; many were convicted of misdemeanors for which no sentence was imposed other
than probation of one year, but that is sufficient for expulsion. The INS formerly could
look at individual cases and keep out only people judged potentially dangerous. Now,
regardless of all other circumstances, the person must be deported. Sometimes they are
apprehended and deported when they apply for citizenship.

• The INS is bursting into the homes of Palestinians, legally resident in the US, and
dragging them out for distributing the magazine of a Palestinian organization or raising
funds for various Palestinian causes which are not involved with violence. They will be
incarcerated for an indefinite term, with an indefinite fate, without criminal charges being
filed against them. (Aliens, the Justice Department has long believed, and the Supreme
Court has now confirmed, do not have the full protection of the Bill of Rights.)

• Various kinds of government agents or private investigators are covertly checking
through your garbage, either behind your house or at the dump.

• A Federal judge is sentencing an American citizen to six months in a "halfway house"
and 300 hours of community service because he drove a Libyan official, who had been
denied a visa, from Mexico to Texas, or, in some equally innocuous way, treated a citizen
from an Officially-Designated Enemy (ODE) country with simple human dignity.

• The police are beating up and arresting strikers and escorting scab workers into plants,
thus taking the side of the employer, as the police have done virtually without exception
during 150 years of industrial conflict in the United States.

Corporations are using many of the more than 10,000 private security firms, which
employ some 1.5 million guards, to suppress strike action and intimidate union

• Law enforcement officers in northern California, taking the side of logging interests
once again, are pressing cotton swabs saturated with pepper spray (600 times hotter than
cayenne pepper) into the eyes of non-violent people chained to each other, who are
protesting the felling of ancient redwoods; protestors are shrieking and writhing in pain
as the solution takes effect.

People are dying in police custody in cases where pepper spray is a contributing factor.

• Banks, telephone companies, utility companies, credit card companies, airlines, bus
companies, rental car outlets, storage facilities, hotels and motels and all manner of other
private institutions are providing various local, state and federal authorities with all the
information about their customers they desire under the ever-expanding legal authorities
being granted to law enforcement bodies with scarcely any public hearings or debate.

The War on Drugs is requiring banks, brokers, casinos and other financial institutions to
monitor their customers' financial transactions and report any "unusual" or "suspicious"
activity. The information is all fed into the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes
Enforcement Network whose computers spend their days making linkages between
individuals and bank accounts, busi-nesses, real estate and other assets.

• States are selling confidential wage, driving and other information about their residents
to private information companies and other enterprises.

• Scenarios along the lines of the following from Savannah, Ga. are probably taking place
elsewhere: Without warning, a team of armed county and school system officers
periodically entered the schools, ordered everyone into the hallways, used dogs to sniff
the students' belongings, and scanned the students' bodies with metal detectors. One of
the high-school teachers was very upset by this”"Because I teach the Constitution," she
explained”and made her feelings known to the authorities. A police officer told her
principal that because of her "attitude" problem, she might have to be detained or
restrained during future surprise raids. During a subsequent raid, the teacher's son was the
only student out of 1,500 to be individually searched. Later, cars in the parking lot were
searched, and the police claimed to have found a marijuana cigarette in the teacher's car.
The Board of Education suspended her and she was later fired.

• In various schools students are being suspended for: bringing a bottle of the
nonprescription painkiller Advil to school; dying their hair an "unacceptable" color;
giving a classmate a Midol tablet for relief of menstrual cramps; bringing "drugs" to
school”lemon drops; bringing a gift-wrapped bottle of wine as a Christmas gift for a
teacher; another is punished for carrying a small paring knife to cut her lunch fruit; yet
another, a 9-year-old boy, is punished for waving his drawing of a gun in class; a six-
year-old boy is sent home for planting a kiss on a girl's cheek; eight-year-old girls are
strip-searched in school, in a search for stolen money (not found); pre-schoolers to 6th
grade students are given genital exams as part of their physicals; high schools employ
random Breathalyser testing to ferret out students who have imbibed alcohol; a 14-year-
old girl is strip-searched and suspended for two weeks because she tells her classmates
she understands how the Columbine shooters felt; and high school students are
questioned by police who want to know if a chemistry textbook was for bomb-making.
This while an eleven-year-old boy is being arrested and accused of incest because a
neighbor saw him touching his younger sister "sexually" in their yard. He was held six
weeks in a juvenile detention center and shackled in court on at least one occasion. The
boy and his parents said he had pulled down his five-year-old sister's underwear to help
her urinate. And two 10-year-old boys who put some soap in their teacher's water bottle
are being charged with a felony.

• A high-school teacher is being suspended without pay for teaching mathematics using
real-life problems, such as: "Jerome wants to cut his half-pound of heroin to make 20
percent more profit. How many ounces of cut will be needed?"

• Juveniles in reform schools are being hogtied and thrown into isolation cells for weeks
at a time; placed in straight jackets; standing with noses pressed against a wall for as long
as 16 hours a day; handcuffed naked to beds. Juveniles are being jailed with adult
criminals even for just being runaways.

• Prisoners in a state correctional facility who staged a peaceful demonstration against the
transfer of other inmates to out-of-state gulags against their will, are being punished with
up to a year of solitary, and their time in solitary will not count toward their sentences,
according to the Department of Corrections.

• A federal court, created by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, is
receiving applications for authorization of electronic surveillance within the United States
and is rubber-stamping them. In its first 20 years, the court received some 10,000
applications from the Justice Department on behalf of the FBI and the National Security
Agency. By all accounts, only one was rejected, on a technicality.

There exists no public record of any kind about the individual cases, nor any oversight.
The Clinton administration expanded the court's mandate to allow it to approve physical
break-ins, enabling the Justice Department to bypass the usual warrant procedure in an
open court, which would necessitate some accounting of the items to be seized, and an
explanation of probable cause that a crime had been committed. The targets of these
wiretaps and burglaries can be under surveil-lance merely because of belonging to or
supporting an organiza-tion whose politics are looked upon with disfavor by the US
government. Federal agents can now obtain the phone numbers of all incoming and
outgoing calls on any lines used or called by suspected foreign agents.

(The FISA court is only the proverbial tip of the iceberg when it comes to the US
government listening in on the citizenry. See the "Eavesdropping" chapter for further

Drunk driving, generally defined in the 1980s as a blood alcohol concentration of .15,
was later defined as .10, and then, in some states, as .08. If .08 doesn't do, will Congress
and the states go for .06, and then .04? In any event, the scientific validity of these cutoff
points has been questioned by the federal government itself. 1
Cars of those arrested for drunken driving are being seized by the police, sometimes
immediately. At times the police try to keep the car even if the person is acquitted.

People are being harassed, arrested and/or having their property confiscated for engaging
in certain forms of gambling, even in their own homes. Other forms of gambling, which
are legitimized by the local or state government, proceed happily unmolested.

Hundreds of political prisoners are rotting away in American prisons. As US-based
human rights groups have testified before the Human Rights Commission of the United
Nations in Geneva, these people are being held "as a direct result of actions under-taken
in furtherance of a political or social vision". They go back to the black liberation
struggles of the 1960s and 1970s, particularly members of the Black Panthers; others are
native American activists, anti-nuclear activists, opponents of US interventionist policies
in Puerto Rico, Central America and elsewhere. A number of these prisoners were set up
by FBI dirty tricks under the notorious COINTELPRO (counter-intelligence program),
aimed at "neutralizing" Black Panthers and white radicals.

Many have used violence against property, and a few toward police, but persons who
commit politically motivated offenses in furtherance of leftist causes receive
substantially, often shock-ingly, harsher treatment than those who commit similar acts for
monetary or right-wing reasons. Many were sentenced to more than 50 years for actions,
such as possession of explosives, without there being any victims. If the usual sentence
for such an act in a particular court or state is 10 years, at the beginning of year 11”
certainly by year 15”these people are political prisoners. It is often not the "worst"
prisoners who are thrown into solitary confinement, but rather these political prisoners, as
well as the jailhouse lawyers and prisoner activists.

The Congressional Black Caucus, in October 1997, issued a declaration to remind the
world of the existence of these political prisoners.

Aliens who have come to the US from oppressive countries, seeking political asylum, are
winding up in Kafkaesque nightmares, wasting away in prison under intolerable
conditions, without criminal charges being filed against them, some dying because of
unattended health problems, forgotten about until perhaps Amnesty International or some
other human rights organization takes up their case. The FBI and the INS are using secret
evidence”which neither the accused nor their attorneys have a right to examine”to
detain these people and ultimately deport them, even if they are married to American
citizens. The aliens are often those who decried human rights abuses in their home
country and fled torture and other retribution from their govern-ment, which may be
putting pressure on Washington to silence and return them by providing the evidence in
question. Many are refused entry to the US because they lack proper documents, when in
fact many escape their homeland with false papers. As of 1999, the INS was holding
more than 10,000 asylum seekers. In February of that year, the Washington
representative of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees called upon the United-States
to stop detaining such people. Many may be regarded as political prisoners.
• The Boy Scouts are rejecting some young man as a member because he is an atheist, or


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