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Repress U, Class of 2012

Posted on Mar 24, 2012
Amin Tabrizi (CC-BY)

A student photographs himself in the reflection of a security camera casing at Durham College in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada.

By Michael Gould-Wartofsky, TomDispatch

(Page 2)

Meanwhile, many campus police squads have been educated in the art of war through regular special weapons training sessions by “tactical officers’ associations” which run a kind of SWAT university.  In October, UC Berkeley played host to an “Urban Shield” SWAT training exercise involving local and campus agencies, the California National Guard, and special police forces from Israel, Jordan, and Bahrain.  And since 2010, West Texas A&M has played host to paramilitary training programs for police from Mexico.

In October, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte got its very own SWAT team, equipped with MP-15 rifles, M&P 40 sidearms, and Remington shotguns.  “We have integrated SWAT officers into the squads that serve our campus day and night,” boasted UNC Charlotte Chief of Police Jeff Baker.  The following month, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, a SWAT team staged an armed raid on an occupied building, pointing assault rifles at the heads of activists, among them UNC students.

3. Spy on Muslims

The long arm of Repress U stretches far beyond the bounds of any one campus or college town. As reported by the Associated Press this winter, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and its hitherto secret “Demographics Unit” sent undercover operatives to spy on members of the Muslim Students Association at more than 20 universities in four states across the Northeast beginning in 2006.

None of the organizations or persons of interest were ever accused of any wrongdoing, but that didn’t stop NYPD detectives from tracking Muslim students through a “Cyber Intelligence Unit,” issuing weekly “MSA Reports” on local chapters of the Muslim Students Association, attending campus meetings and seminars, noting how many times students prayed, or even serving as chaperones for what they described as “militant paintball trips.”  The targeted institutions ran the gamut from community colleges to Columbia and Yale.

According to the AP’s investigation, the intelligence units in question worked closely not only with agencies in other cities, but with an agent on the payroll of the CIA.  Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, facing mounting calls to resign, has issued a spirited defense of the campus surveillance program, as has Mayor Michael Bloomberg.  “If terrorists aren’t limited by borders and boundaries, we can’t be either,” Kelly said in a speech at Fordham Law School.

The NYPD was hardly the only agency conducting covert surveillance of Muslim students on campus.  The FBI has been engaging in such tactics for years.  In 2007, UC Irvine student Yasser Ahmed was assaulted by FBI agents, who followed him as he was on his way to a campus “free speech zone.”  In 2010, Yasir Afifi, a student at Mission College in Santa Clara, California, found a secret GPS tracking device affixed to his car.  A half-dozen agents later knocked on his door to ask for it back.

4. Keep the undocumented out

Foreign students are followed closely by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) through its Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).  As of 2011, the agency was keeping tabs on 1.2 million students and their dependents.  Most recently, as part of a transition to the paperless SEVIS II—which aims to “unify records”—ICE has been linking student files to biometric and employer data collected by DHS and other agencies.

“That information stays forever,” notes Louis Farrell, director of the ICE program.  “And every activity that’s ever been associated with that person will come up.  That’s something that has been asked for by the national security community… [and] the academic community.”

Then there are the more than 360,000 undocumented students and high-school graduates who would qualify for permanent resident status and college admission, were the DREAM Act ever passed.  It would grant conditional permanent residency to undocumented students who were brought to the U.S. as children.  When such students started “coming out” as part of an “undocumented and unafraid” campaign, many received DHS notices to appear for removal proceedings.  Take 24-year old Uriel Alberto, of Lees-McRae College, who recently went on hunger strike in North Carolina’s Wake County jail; he now faces deportation (and separation from his U.S.-born son) for taking part in a protest at the state capitol.


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By Fullblad, March 26, 2012 at 11:05 am Link to this comment

Infiltration of progressive student organizations by
fellow students taking homeland courses must be
rampant. Counter infiltration with double agents by
carefully selected moles with the “right” backgrounds
is now necessary. Care must also be taken that a mole
is not turned . It’s a spy versus spy world as Big
Brother ups the ante. Dangerous work but the
subversion of our democracy must be exposed. These
acts by the secret services for the plutocracy are a
call to revolution by the people. The police will not
be brought over as they are being radicalized to the
extent that they will now act as any state security
force exemplified by such as the Stazi etc.

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By italianmama, March 26, 2012 at 5:25 am Link to this comment

outraged is correct.  When my children were in middle school they were actively encouraged to “report” anonymously of course, anything any other student did that they did not like.  I, of course, told my children they were not to become rats, and if they had something to report, they were to do it not anonymously, as that was a cowards way.  And, they were only to report something such as seeing a gun in a locker and such, not inane things such as bad language, different ideas, clothing styles, etc.
I complained to the school and asked them if they were educators or a throwback to the cold war secret service.
Reason I found out what was going on: My kid got hauled in to the office for skateboarding down stairs. I asked who reported him, and was told about the anonymous program.
Are you freakin’ kidding me????
Skateboarders were looked down upon, but kids throwing footballs and tackling each other silly?  That was ok.

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Outraged's avatar

By Outraged, March 25, 2012 at 8:37 pm Link to this comment

This is what follows from the extremism seen in our public schools K-12. It is not surprising, but realistically logical. Is anyone surprised….?

How could it be anathema to education (in the real sense) for those with a difference of opinion to be tagged as problematic, and then NOT have this same condition present in our higher educational system?

I assert that it is the logical outcome of requiring students in our basic educational systems to “suck it up” and to “get with the program”, regardless of how inane that situation is in the true sense education or learning or innovating or creating or free thinking or humane empathy.

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By gerard, March 25, 2012 at 1:26 pm Link to this comment

Reading Jones:  Interestingly, that Peck book is just about my most despised book. 
I wish we could get together to discuss it and compare notes. Just for brevity’s
sake, his bow toward abject evil and the possibility of extinguishing it through
exorcism completely turned me off.  Otherwise I always found him more or less
  Please don’t take offense.  Our two strong opposite opinions turning up just here
and now is accidental, of course, and yet ...unnerving.  If you care to do so, just
let me know briefly what you found so revealing about “the nature of the enemy.”
  I also wonder what I may have said that brought the idea of “university
indoctrination” to the table,, but that’s secondary to our polar disagreement
(apparently) on Peck’s analysis of “evil” and what can be done about it.

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By ReadingJones, March 25, 2012 at 5:12 am Link to this comment


Chomsky was correct. I think you are naive on the
subject of university indoctrination. It takes great
personal effort to avoid having your opinions skewed
by the perch from which you view the universe.
Provincialism is endemic. Perhaps it is impossible to
avoid being biased by your background but with effort
and great care you can at least be aware of it in
part: Of that which is in vague outline glimpsed
momentarily through the fog. University
indoctrination was recognized going back at least to
the 1400’s. Please believe that I mean you no harm by
saying this. I admire the keen edge of your

The only hope we have of successfully opposing the
Predator Class and their lackeys lies in truth
clearly spoken. That is why the trolls, the nutjobs,
the provocateurs who espouse violence must be
opposed. They are owned or encouraged by the
Predators. The Predators recognize the danger which
the truth puts them in so they employ the idiots and
scabs and consciously evil to obscure the truth. M.
Scott Peck wrote a book about evil called “The People
of the Lie.” It is a useful beginning toward
understanding the nature of the enemy.

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By thecrow, March 25, 2012 at 3:43 am Link to this comment

“Since 9/11…”

Of course.

“Violence can only be concealed by a lie, and the lie can only be maintained by violence.”

- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

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By Maani, March 24, 2012 at 4:55 pm Link to this comment

You heard it here first: I am predicting a Kent State-type incident on a college or university campus by the end of 2012, where peaceful protesters are shot and killed by law enforcement.

The question is: what effect, if any, will that have on anything?

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By gerard, March 24, 2012 at 4:31 pm Link to this comment

rend it:  But that has not always been so. Only since the U.S. has been slowly freaking out over a period of the last 50 years or so. I remember the first assault of “loyalty oath” fits.  Three of us “temps” refused to sign and quit in preference. All the rest of the department told us separately and in whispers that they “wished they could do the same” but ...they had families to feed and mortgages to pay.

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By rend it, March 24, 2012 at 4:16 pm Link to this comment

Was it Chomsky who said institutions of higher education are really just about indoctrination?

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By gerard, March 24, 2012 at 3:35 pm Link to this comment

Proving that Julian Assange was right when he said that conspirators don’t like it when their secrets are exposed, but democratic government is impossible unless its secrets become public information—or words to that effect.

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By A. Benway, March 24, 2012 at 9:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It may be a disagreeable development, and one with very undesirable effect, but it is also understandable in historical context, as the Fabian strategies being employed in response to imperial ambitions begin to undermine the relationship between the state and the people.

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