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A Painful Reminder. A Moment for Change

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WASHINGTON — In the past two years, a series of documents came to light that exposed how the FBI had created a discriminatory and bogus “Black Identity Extremist” (BIE) designation in order to label racial-justice advocates a threat and spy on their activities.

While the Bureau now claims that it’s no longer using the BIE label, it appears to have simply renamed this category and is continuing to use FBI resources to spy on and investigate Black activists.

On Thurs., March 5, a panel sponsored by Rep. Barbara Lee (D–California) will convene on Capitol Hill to discuss what policymakers need to know about this ongoing threat to the First and Fourth Amendment rights of Black activists. Reps. Ilhan Omar (D–Minnesota) and Rashida Tlaib (D–Michigan) will deliver remarks.

“The FBI has a long and shameful history of targeting peaceful protesters, especially people fighting for racial justice,” said Free Press Action Government Relations Director Sandra Fulton, who will be moderating the panel. “Unsurprisingly, this is getting even worse under the Trump administration. The Bureau is actively stonewalling congressional oversight. Lawmakers need to step up now to hold the FBI accountable and demand answers and transparency around these dangerous programs.”

Event details:

WHAT: COINTELPRO 2020: How the FBI Continues Efforts to Disrupt the Fight for Racial Justice in America  
WHEN: Thurs., March 5, from 10–11:15 a.m.
WHERE: Rayburn 2325 House Office Building, Washington, D.C.
WHO: Remarks by Reps. Ilhan Omar (D–Minnesota) and Rashida Tlaib (D–Michigan). Panelists include Sandra Fulton of Free Press Action; Myaisha Hayes of MediaJustice; Alice Speri of The Intercept; Gerardo Romo of the ACLU’s Racial Justice Program; and Keedran Franklin of the Coalition of Concerned Citizens.

A light breakfast will be served.

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