Protestors and the FBI

November 23, 2003

NEW YORK-Democratic presidential candidate Governor Howard Dean, M.D., today challenged the FBI's practice of gathering information on anti-war demonstrators, as outlined in today's New York Times.

“I am deeply concerned that the FBI appears to be engaged in a coordinated, nationwide effort to gather information on Americans opposed to President Bush's unilateral war in Iraq.

“I am committed to providing local law enforcement with the tools to ensure demonstrations remain safe and peaceful for all involved, but we cannot allow a return to the dark days of Hoover's FBI and COINTELPRO, when the government harassed, smeared, and even spied upon people who criticized U.S. policies.

“John Ashcroft must remember that questioning the government does not make you a terrorist. In fact, the right to assemble peacefully and the right to petition our government are some of our most deeply held patriotic traditions.”

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