Saturday, January 24, 2009

Equality Maryland Classified as Terrorists

The Maryland State Police, we knew, had infiltrated groups of potential terrorists and kept files on them, for instance people who opposed the war in Iraq, and people who were against the death penalty. Friday's Post tells us that they also kept files on Equality Maryland, a group that promotes LGBT rights in our state.

We know those guys, this is really getting close to home.
Equality Maryland, the state's largest gay rights group, was among the peaceful protest groups to be classified as terrorists in a Maryland State Police database.

The group was designated a "security threat" by the Homeland Security and Intelligence Division, which also kept dossiers on dozens of activists and at least a dozen groups. Police kept files on Equality Maryland's plans to hold rallies outside the State House in Annapolis to press for legislation reversing the state's ban on same-sex marriage. Police plan to purge the files.

The files were revealed yesterday at a news conference, where a dozen Democratic lawmakers announced plans to introduce legislation to prevent future surveillance of nonviolent groups.

Police would need "reasonable articulated suspicion of actual criminal activity" before they could conduct surveillance, the legislation's sponsors said.

Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) also plans to call for a similar bill. The measure also would prevent police from keeping files on citizens, unless the information is part of a legitimate criminal investigation. State Police Classified Gay Rights Group as 'Threat'

I don't understand why the names are leaking out so slowly, in dribs and drabs. There's a database of "terrorists," it has been found and is being analyzed -- how about putting that database on the Internet, and letting people know if the government has been spying on them. We'd all like to know who's in it.

I made a joke last time there was a news story about this, I said the first thing I did was scan the article for the phrase "Teach the Facts." Am I paranoid? You may not agree with Equality Maryland's aims, you may be anti-gay, say, but even the most conservative citizen must recognize that they aren't terrorists, for crying out loud. They want the right, as gay people, to marry, again you may or may not accept that. But terrorists?

The people responsible for this should not only be fired, they should be charged with crimes. No American should be subjected to this kind of treatment when they are obeying the law and exercising their freedom.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn´t it interesting that EQMD was classified as a terrorist organization when religious freaks go to abortion clinics and bomb them, sometimes killing people, and are only considered criminals?

Change is here and truth is starting to surface. We don´t have to suffer anymore from the lies of the religiously disturbed. That is, those who pick and chose certain passages from the Bible to support their own selfish ways and impede the well-being of others.

January 25, 2009 2:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea- not anon
I belong to EQMD but never actually did much with them- besides give them money. However, one of the groups that worked to stop military recruiting in MCPS was on the list and I collected signatures for them- at subversive venues like PTSA meetings and back to school nights- at Einstein. I travel a lot to Pennsylvania and I am always thrilled when I see the sign welcming me to MD- and it says Governor Martin O'Malley.

January 25, 2009 4:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The government took no action other than watch these groups.

EQMD engages in flammatory rhetoric which could make followers believe that they need to do whatever's necessary to defend their rights. That's not to say the leaders would intentioanlly encourage such a thing. It's just that passionate calls may set off irrational responses in some.

In such cases, it may be prudent to monitor such groups as long as that's the only thing taking place.

January 26, 2009 8:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

EQMD engages in flammatory [sic[ rhetoric which could make followers believe that they need to do whatever's necessary to defend their rights.

That's a bold and unsubstantiated claim. Have you got some facts to back it up? Let's see examples of this "inflammatory rhetoric" you claim EQMD engages in.

January 26, 2009 8:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea- not anon
"flammatory" rhetoric?

January 26, 2009 9:48 AM  

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