On October 18, SeattlePI.com ran an important article, “Agent: FBI tailed Portland anarchists headed to May Day riot.” While the piece describes previously unavailable details of the FBI’s investigation into the May Day actions, the most important fact is contained in the first sentence:
“the FBI’s interest in several suspects predated the political vandalism that swept downtown Seattle.”
Though the May 1 protest and the attack on the Federal Court House in particular, has been cited as the cause of the current FBI/Grand Jury investigation, the article clearly shows that the FBI was already keeping a close watch on Portland-area anarchists — following their vehicles and monitoring their text messages, at the least.
CAPR has consistently argued that the extensive surveillance, swat raids, and grand jury subpoenas were not simply a response to a few broken windows but demonstrate an effort to criminalize the political philosophy of anarchism.
The FBI’s treatment of anarchism as evidence of criminality in the affidavit quoted in the P-I supports the conclusion that the ongoing investigation is more about politics than law. The political nature of this investigation is also demonstrated by the scale of the state’s attack and the seizure of “anarchist literature” in armed raids. The fact that the investigation actually preceded any unlawful act only proves the point.