Boston police are being accused of routinely spying on local peace groups at their meetings and protests. The American Civil Liberties Union says police have filed regular reports to Boston’s Regional Intelligence Center detailing the activities of groups including Veterans for Peace, United for Justice with Peace and CODEPINK. One event at a church featuring the late historian Howard Zinn was filed under the category of "Criminal Act: Groups-Extremist." Officers also monitored protesters’ out-of-state plans, including attendance at a rally in Washington, D.C. The police have also held on to the surveillance files for several years despite federal rules that call for them to be expunged if no criminal or terrorist activity is involved. In a statement, the ACLU of Massachusetts said: "Spying on church groups and peaceful, non-violent, political gatherings violates civil liberties, wastes scarce police resources and doesn’t keep us safe."