Monday, February 25, 2008

St.Paul PoLICE to Infiltrate & Spy on Protesters

By Robin Marty

RNC in MSP According to the Star Tribune, the St. Paul Police will be investigating protest groups coming to the Republican National convention.

The new document is called "Policy and guidelines for investigations and information gathering operations involving First Amendment Activity." It involves monitoring "the activities of groups involved in or planning demonstrations and counter demonstrations which may affect public safety; violate state, local or federal laws; or which may result in a public safety risk."

Most interesting part? They have contingency plans for investigating the media, as well...

There is also a paragraph on procedures for investigating reporters employed by the "mainstream media." It states that besides following the law, such an investigation would require police to consult a prosecutor in advance.

Jane Kirtley, a professor of media ethics and law at the University of Minnesota, said she was glad the paragraph was there, but questioned why the mainstream media got "deferential treatment ... so if you are not in mainstream journalism, all bets are off."