As Federal Agents and JBLM Military Police snatch protesters in unmarked vans, the reporters covering the Portland protests are facing intense and unprecedented repression, both in physical attacks and continuous surveillance and harassment. With the heavy-handed tactics that the police have been using, many unaffiliated journalists have been hit hard. While reporters from larger regional stations — such as the PBS affiliate Oregon Public Broadcasting and the Portland Tribune — reported being attacked by police, many of the independent journalists received less notice. ( https://wagingnonviolence.org/2020/07/inside-battle-for-portland-with-independent-journalists/ July 2020)
On July 2, 2020 a federal judge issued a "temporary restraining order" that limited some of the Portland police's treatment of protesters, including barring arresting anyone who obviously appears to be a reporter. But that didn't stop Portland from using military assets to track, surveil, and harass journalists who were reporting on police misconduct in the city. ( https://pressfreedomtracker.us/all-incidents/independent-journalist-shoved-and-maced-police-officers-during-portland-protest/ August 2020)
Joint Base Lewis-McChord has a long history of conducting illegal surveillance and tracking of protesters on behalf of civilian police agencies. Anyone who questions government activities or opposes government policies is a potential terrorist in the eyes of Joint Base Lewis-McChord. ( https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2017/03/08/18797170.php March 2017)
When journalists are arrested by police their cameras, cell-phones, recordings and notes are seized, copied and entered into government databases such as INTELINK and JARVISS ( http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2020/07/439003.shtml) Material seized from journalists is then analyzed to identify other protesters and activists.
The court case Panagacos v. Towery ( https://law.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/washington/wawdce/3:2010cv05018/164994/117/) found that JBLM was violating the civil rights of hundreds of Americans by conducting an intensive, invasive, and illegal intelligence-gathering operation against people involved in political protest in Washington and Oregon.
The court case clearly showed that the JBLM Force Protection Division (JBLM ATO) was (and obviously still is):
* illegally collecting and disseminating information about non-military-affiliated civilians
* illegally conducting electronic monitoring of social media accounts of non-military-affiliated civilians
* illegally entering email groups to gather information about political activities protected by the First Amendment
* illegally targeting political groups in Washington, listing their activities in intelligence databases and falsely describing their social and political activities as dangerous protests and a threat to the community
If you are a journalist, independent reporter, or legal observer you must take steps to protect yourself against police abuse and illegal government surveillance. Even if you are not a journalist, the tactics and tools used by journalists can help you protect yourself against being targeted by a corrupt and abusive government agency. ( https://salishseaathenaeum.blogspot.com/2020/11/security-for-journalists.html)