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Home | Friday 10th October 2008 | Issue 650

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In Maryland, USA, paranoid police have been getting all hot under the collar about a dark and sinister group called �Algebra.� This group was approached by someone from �Homeland Security� who asked what the group�s message and agenda was. The Al-gebra Project, however, has no links to Al-Qaeda. It is actually just a group trying to improve young people�s maths skills.

The Algebra Project is just one of over thirty groups who have been spied on by Maryland State Police, which included the Coalition to End the Death Penalty; Maryland chapter of the National Organization for Women; Equality Maryland (gay rights group) and Amnesty International.
Michelle Shropshire from Algebra reported how, at its demonstration seeking more academic help for Baltimore students outside the Baltimore Board of Education offices in March, police showed up with flex cuffs, mace and riot gear.

Maryland�s big brother antics came to light in a review ordered after July's revelations of state police spying on peaceful protesters found that officers, �violated federal regulations� and conducted a surveillance program that was �misguided� against anti-war and anti-death penalty groups. The American Civil Liberties Union is seeking release of more documents relating to 32 other groups believed to have been spied upon, including Children First, a children�s advocacy group who were contacted by Baltimore undercover agents who were asked to call off a planned protest. Tyrone Powers of the group was informed that an �intelligence file� had been opened on him and cops were aware he was a former FBI Agent.

The ACLU�s freedom of information requests may well turn up more cases of spying on anyone involved in protests, but SchNEWS knows that events in Maryland are merely a small chip off the ol� surveillance iceberg � the bulk of which is likely to remain very much submerged in the name of freedom and �Homeland Security�...

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