COINTELPRO Topics

COINTELPRO is an acronym for the FBI’s Counter Intelligence Program, which was used in the 1960s to monitor, manipulate and disrupt social and political movements in the United States. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Black Panthers, anti-Vietnam War activists, and the American Indian Movement were among the program’s targets. Democracy Now! has extensively covered COINTELPRO and its aftermath, as well as similar tactics still used against today’s generation of political activists.

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  • Amys_column_default
    By Amy Goodman & Denis Moynihan

    This week, more news emerged about the theft of classified government documents, leaked to the press, that revealed a massive, top-secret surveillance program. No, not news of Edward Snowden and the National Security Agency, but of a group of anti-Vietnam war activists who perpetrated one of the most audacious thefts of government secrets in U.S. history, and who successfully evaded capture, remaining anonymous...

    Jan 09, 2014 | Columns & Articles
  • Bonnieandjohn2-fix
    Watch part 2 of our extended discussion with three of the antiwar activists who broke into an FBI office in 1971 in Media, Pennsylvania. They are speaking out publicly this week for the first time. [includes rush transcript]
    Jan 08, 2014 | Web Exclusive
  • Noamchomsky4
    In this web exclusive, world-renowned dissident Noam Chomsky reflects on the significance of the 1971 burglary of the FBI office in Pennsylvania that exposed COINTELPRO. [includes rush transcript]
    Jan 08, 2014 | Web Exclusive
  • Fbi
    One of the great mysteries of the Vietnam War era has been solved. On March 8, 1971, a group of activists — including a cabdriver, a day care director and two professors — broke into an FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania. They stole every document they found and then leaked many to the press, including details about FBI abuses and the then-secret counter-intelligence program to infiltrate, monitor and disrupt social and political movements,...
    Jan 08, 2014 | Story
  • Drones
    Watch the 20 most-viewed Democracy Now! segments on our website.
    Dec 31, 2013 | Web Exclusive
  • Assata_shakur_2
    The FBI has added the former Black Panther Assata Shakur to its Most Wanted Terrorists list 40 years after the killing for which she was convicted. Born Joanne Chesimard, Shakur was found guilty of shooting dead a New Jersey state trooper during a gunfight in 1973. Shakur has long proclaimed her innocence and accused federal authorities of political persecution. She escaped from prison in 1979 and received political asylum in Cuba. On Thursday,...
    May 03, 2013 | Story
  • Davis_and_lenox
    One day after the exiled former Black Panther Assata Shakur became the first woman named to the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists list, we’re joined by another legendary African-American activist, Angela Davis, as well as Shakur’s longtime attorney, Lennox Hinds. Davis, a professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, is the subject of the recent film, "Free Angela and All Political Prisoners." She argues that the...
    May 03, 2013 | Story
  • Seth_rosenfeld-subversives-2
    Investigative journalist Seth Rosenfeld’s new book, "Subversives: The FBI’s War on Student Radicals, and Reagan’s Rise to Power," is based on more than 300,000 pages of records Rosenfeld received over three decades through five Freedom of Information lawsuits against the FBI. The book tracks how then-FBI director J. Edgar Hoover ordered his agents to investigate and then disrupt the Free Speech Movement that began in...
    Aug 24, 2012 | Story
  • Button_2,_opt_2
    Investigative journalist Seth Rosenfeld’s new book, "Subversives: The FBI’s War on Student Radicals, and Reagan’s Rise to Power," is based on more than 300,000 pages of records Rosenfeld received over three decades through five Freedom of Information lawsuits against the FBI. The book tracks how then-FBI director J. Edgar Hoover ordered his agents to investigate and then disrupt the Free Speech Movement that began in...
    Aug 23, 2012 | Story
  • Play_pratt
    We look at the life of former Black Panther, Geronimo ji-Jaga Pratt, who died in Tanzania on Thursday. In 1972, Pratt was wrongfully convicted of the murder of Caroline Olsen for which he spent 27 years in prison, eight of those in solitary confinement. He was released in 1997 after a judge vacated his conviction. The trial to win his freedom revealed that the Los Angeles Black Panther leader was a target of the FBI’s counterintelligence...
    Jun 06, 2011 | Story