I don’t know whether to laugh or cry .
For at least a year before the 2004 Republican National Convention,
teams of undercover New York City police officers traveled to cities
across the country, Canada and Europe to conduct covert observations of
people who planned to protest at the convention, according to police
records and interviews.
From Albuquerque to Montreal, San Francisco to Miami, undercover New York police officers attended meetings of political groups, posing as sympathizers or fellow activists, the records show.
They made friends, shared meals, swapped e-mail messages and then filed daily reports with the department’s Intelligence Division. Other investigators mined Internet sites and chat rooms.
But potential troublemakers were hardly the only ones to end up in
the files. In hundreds of reports stamped “N.Y.P.D. Secret,” the
Intelligence Division chronicled the views and plans of people who had
no apparent intention of breaking the law, the records show.
included members of street theater companies, church groups and antiwar
organizations, as well as environmentalists and people opposed to the
death penalty, globalization and other government policies. Three New
York City elected officials were cited in the reports.
Good lord it’s a bad bad bike…
At the other end of the threat spectrum was Joshua Kinberg, a
graduate student at Parsons School of Design and the subject of four
pages of intelligence reports. For his master’s thesis project, Mr.
Kinberg devised a “wireless bicycle” equipped with cellphone, laptop
and spray tubes that could squirt messages received over the Internet
onto the sidewalk or street.
The messages were printed in
water-soluble chalk, a tactic meant to avoid a criminal mischief charge
for using paint, an intelligence report noted. Mr. Kinberg’s bicycle
was “capable of transferring activist-based messages on streets and
sidewalks,” according to a report on July 22, 2004.
bicycle, having been built for the sole purpose of protesting during
the R.N.C., is capable of spraying anti-R.N.C.-type messages on
surrounding streets and sidewalks, also supplying the rider with a
quick vehicle of escape,” the report said. Mr. Kinberg, then 25, was
arrested during a television interview with Ron Reagan for MSNBC’s
“Hardball” program during the convention. He was released a day later,
but his equipment was held more than a year.
Mr. Kinberg said
Friday that after his arrest detectives with the terrorism task force
asked if he knew of any plans for violence. “I’m an artist,” he said.
“I know other artists, who make T-shirts and signs.”
Here’s a 1 minute video of Joshua demonstrating his bike’s capabilities…like printing out I Love New York…
More at Bikes Against Bush