A recent post to the portland indymedia newswire encouraged people to wear masks at the Oregonian protest on Saturday, April 6. The author cited a Rocky Mountain Indymedia article which revealed that "the Denver Police Department currently maintains over 3,000 permanent files on peaceful political activists - calling them 'criminal extremists' and keeping watch on their vehicles, the homes of their friends, and monitoring their appearance at political rallies." The ACLU seems to agree, as does the Denver City Council, which recently passed a resolution calling for an end to this activity, as well as to the Ashcroft interrogations. |
Government surveillance of political activists is nothing new, but still concerns many people; wearing masks at public demonstrations is how some have responded in an attempt to protect their privacy. Others find the efficacy of this tactic questionable, however, and a lively debate on the question to-mask-or-not-to-mask has been underway through comments added to the original post. The discussion has since branched off to include the methods of Martin Luther King and Gandhi, the music and culture of the Grateful Dead (and current Dead-esque bands), SUV "trustifarians", and drug use by activists. "drugs are another sort of mask that hide the real person from the world and most pathetically, from themselves," writes "drug-(free)".
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