On one hand I think this video is amazing. Ken Estes does the work and is not afraid to put himself out there. The beginning of this video is an incredible journey. Not sure about the hip hop video to tie it together at the end, as visions of the Scarmazzo case linger in my brain. Whatever you may think- feature or fail- this video is an evolution of the Ken Estes and the GDP crews’ story, and for that we thank them…
Don’t BEAT ME UP, Pimp…
The report came out yesterday confirming what we all knew. Holder and the USDOJ will continue to bully California and cannabis users and providers to carry on the FAILED war on drugs. Way to go. You political posturing is unnecessary, but expected. After all- it is your job as the Nation’s top cop to protect your interests. There is no interest of the country being upheld as you would assert. Jailing and making criminals of cannabis users has been THE BIGGEST FAILURE of public policy this nation has experienced since the Civil Rights movement.
This is nothing new. In 1996, the Clinton Administration made the same remarks about prop. 215 and made the same threats. Now comes the big schoolyard bully, trying to protect the big business and lobbying interests rather than enforce sensible policy. What a joke. I guess what WE THE PEOPLE believe is not good enough. The fact that we are tired of living in fear over cannabis use and tired of being treated as inferior for our choice to use a safe and effective plant, is not good enough reason to stay out of the affairs of California. You had to come input your threatening BS in an attempt to quash the vote. US Attorney Eric Holder and his boss President Obama should BE ASHAMED! This is a cowardice bully move and it WILL come back to bight them in the ass come 2012. You have just told the most populous state in the Nation that our votes do not count. Thanks.
Here is a couple of excerpts from Holder’s statements:
Marijuana is illegal under federal law, which drug agents will “vigorously enforce” against anyone carrying, growing or selling it, Holder said.
So this is a wise use of Federal resources? Why? It would seem that if you do not have the resources to go after medical users, why on earth would you now have the resources for responsible adult users? You couldn’t “vigorously enforce” your way out of a wet paper bag. And what would the point be anyway? Do you see THIS CRUSADE as a wise use of Federal resources? There are plenty of law enforcement in California. Why not let them do their job?
“We will vigorously enforce the CSA against those individuals and organizations that possess, manufacture or distribute marijuana for recreational use, even if such activities are permitted under state law,” he wrote.
So there we have it California. Fuck you. Fuck your hopes and dreams. Fuck the “great state experiment” theory. FUCK YOU, Pothead losers. Does that about sum it up, Mr. Holder?
Well I for one do not take kindly to being bullied. I will not give you my lunch money and my freedoms because you have threatened me. I have been here before. This is not my first rodeo. If you want to send your goon squad out to kick my doors in again then so be it. I will put my Santa suit on, grab my signs, and make a fool out of your actions…AGAIN. You cannot imprison the MILLIONS of people who use cannabis. It is just NOT GONNA HAPPEN. Get a grip. Find something else to do. Hell, Obama can’t even remember that the DEA exists.
With 2 wars, threats of terrorism in our borders, violence on the border, a SHITTY ECONOMY, no jobs, and one failing policy after another, it would seem that the Obama Administration would have something better to do…i mean really. Even issuing this stupid statement was TOO BIG A WASTE OF RESOURCES for cannabis prohibition. Live in the NOW. Look around you. People are tired of the lies, misinformation and THREAT of bullying enforcement policy. GO BACK TO WASHINGTON D.C. and threaten the cowardice legislators that still make cannabis “illegal under Federal law” which is the only reason you can give for your enforcement policy. GO HOME and fix the system instead of posturing in California about what you will or will not do to enforce your ARCHAIC AND FAILED POLICIES.
Obama- reel your boy in before Californians completely turn their back on you in 2012 because you are picking on us. We are a sovereign State and expect you to uphold the 10th Amendment. In case you forgot what that says here it is for you:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
And spare me the Interstate Commerce clause BS. I defer to the great Sandra Day O’Connor in her disent in the Raich case:
We enforce the ‘outer limits’ of Congress’ Commerce Clause authority not for their own sake, but to protect historic spheres of state sovereignty from excessive federal encroachment and thereby to maintain the distribution of power fundamental to our federalist system of government. …
This case exemplifies the role of States as laboratories. The States’ core police powers have always included authority to define criminal law and to protect the health, safety, and welfare of their citizens. Brecht v. Abrahamson, 507 U.S. 619, 635, 123 L. Ed. 2d 353, 113 S. Ct. 1710 (1993); Whalenv. Roe, 429 U.S. 589, 603, n. 30, 51 L. Ed. 2d 64, 97 S. Ct. 869 (1977). Exercising those powers, California (by ballot initiative and then by legislative codification) has come to its own conclusion about the difficult and sensitive question of whether marijuana should be available to relieve severe pain and suffering. Today the Court sanctions an application of the federal Controlled Substances Act that extinguishes that experiment, without any proof that the personal cultivation, possession, and use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, if economic activity in the first place, has a substantial effect on interstate commerce and is therefore an appropriate subject of federal regulation. In so doing, the Court announces a rule that gives Congress a perverse incentive to legislate broadly pursuant to the Commerce Clause — nestling questionable assertions of its authority into comprehensive regulatory schemes — rather than with precision. That rule and the result it produces in this case are irreconcilable with our decisions in Lopez, supra, and United States v. Morrison, 529 U.S. 598, 146 L. Ed. 2d 658, 120 S. Ct. 1740 (2000). Accordingly I dissent.
Justice Clarence Thomas went further, berating the Court for their interpretation of the Commerce Clause:
Respondent’s local cultivation and consumption of marijuana is not “Commerce … among the several States.”
Certainly no evidence from the founding suggests that “commerce” included the mere possession of a good or some personal activity that did not involve trade or exchange for value. In the early days of the Republic, it would have been unthinkable that Congress could prohibit the local cultivation, possession, and consumption of marijuana.
If the Federal Government can regulate growing a half-dozen cannabis plants for personal consumption (not because it is interstate commerce, but because it is inextricably bound up with interstate commerce), then Congress’ Article I powers — as expanded by the Necessary and Proper Clause — have no meaningful limits. Whether Congress aims at the possession of drugs, guns, or any number of other items, it may continue to “appropria[te] state police powers under the guise of regulating commerce.”
If the majority is to be taken seriously, the Federal Government may now regulate quilting bees, clothes drives, and potluck suppers throughout the 50 States. This makes a mockery of Madison’s assurance to the people of New York that the “powers delegated” to the Federal Government are “few and defined”, while those of the States are “numerous and indefinite.”
So while I never thought I would agree with Justice Clarence Thomas, he makes valid points. Move on and find some real crime to enforce Top Cop Holder. We got California under control. Thanks.
Former San Jose Police Chief summed it up better than i ever could in his response to Holder’s bullying threats:
“As we saw with the repeal of alcohol prohibition, it takes action from the states to push the federal government to change its policies,” said McNamara.
“Passing Proposition 19 in California will undoubtedly kick start a national conversation about changing our country’s obviously failed marijuana prohibition policies,” he added. “If the federal government wants to keep fighting the nation’s failed ‘war on marijuana’ while we’re in the midst of a sagging economic recovery and two wars, it just proves that the establishment politicians’ priorities are wrongly focused on maintaining the status quo.”
Yeah….what he said.
Some cannot see the writing on the wall. As eleven more people were booked into the system for providing cannabis medicines, we continue to see complacency in the movement and calls for more of the same. Really? It amazes me that many patients, operators, and producers of cannabis medicines still think that somehow the current gray area phenomena will last forever. But what we see is the beginning of the end, as municipalities are also using the gray area to prosecute providers, kick in doors, and create chaos in the community. Welcome to your new life of raid first, and let the courts sort it out. Just ask Jovan Jackson how that works out…
First they came for San Diego, but we did not speak up because we were not from San Diego.
Then they came for LA and we did not speak up because we were not from LA.
Then they came for San Jose but we did not speak up because we were not from San Jose.
Then they came for OUR GARDEN, and by that time there was no one left to speak up.
We should all think very clearly about what is happening everywhere to understand what could happen anywhere. It is a dangerous proposition to continue down the path of uncertainty and darkness. There is a high-water level for everything and medical cannabis is no different. There is a backlash brewing and unless we can advance the cause and pass Prop 19 to define more clearly the difference between medical and adult use, we are destined to see this trend continue. These are some headlines from the past month or less…
- Jovan Jackson convicted after a Judge denies him a medical defense based on the only thing being allowed under medical cannabis laws is a “community garden”
- 22 arrested in the “Up in Smoke” Raids in San Jose/Santa Clara for delivering cannabis “for a profit”
- LA County raids Palm Springs Collective
- Butte County raids 8 medical cannabis collectives, calling them illegal because they sell cannabis
- Growers Raided in Mendo
By Brian Day, Staff Writer
A group of five medical marijuana dispensaries, including one in Covina, raided by authorities Wednesday were targeted because the operators were allegedly turning a profit from the establishments in violation of state medical marijuana laws.
CW: One begs to understand what consists of turning a profit? Is any money a profit as some law enforcement put forth? Or is an organization allowed to have resources, as long as one person does not realize the dividends? This is the unclear area of the current laws that should have all providers worried…
Eleven people were arrested in connection with the operation, which took place Wednesday morning in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Diego counties.
The Alternative Medicine Collective of Covina, 20050 E. Arrow Highway, Suite B, was forced to close its doors after a multi-agency task force seized its products, along with four other dispensaries in the four-county operation, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said. No one at the Covina dispensary was arrested.
Under California’s Proposition 215, also known as the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, medical marijuana dispensaries are only allowed to operate as non-profits, Capt. Ralph Ornelas of the Sheriff’s Narcotics Bureau said.
Are law enforcement prepared and trained to identify what is and what is not non-profit? Are they accountants too?
“This organization was definitely working outside the law,” he said.
“Our investigation proved they were charging people and making a profit out of it,” Ornelas said. “You’re not supposed to make a profit.”
CW: This is where every patient, provider and producer should be worried. Since the current laws are vague, law enforcement is left to decide whether or not YOU are making a profit. What does a profit look like? Apparently it looks like cash….
Authorities also searched an Alhambra home in the 1600 block of Curtis Avenue, though no evidence was seized, the captain said.
Erik Andresen, 35, of Seal Beach was arrested as the “primary suspect” in the case against the five dispensaries, Ornelas said.
He was booked on suspicion of cultivation of marijuana and another marijuana-related offense at the sheriff’s Norwalk Station, according to a jailer. He was released Thursday after posting $100,000 bail.
CW: Hmmm…that seems like normal charges. Not operating as a for-profit charges. Or some other civil infraction that most businesses would endure for accounting issues…
Andresen said he serves as an advisor for the organization of patients involved and denied any wrongdoing.
“We are a group of patients who are together, collectively, to provide medicine for sick people,” he said.
Andresen said the dispensaries did not make a profit.
“You’re allowed to be reimbursed for your time,” he said. He declined to say how much money he has received in compensation, but described it as “piddly.”
CW: Are you? Who said? Sure the Peron case gives that impression, but it does not define what is “reasonable” thus leaving a lot of discretion to law enforcement. And as we saw in the Jovan Jackson case, if your judge believes in the “only a community garden” theory then you are screwed, unless your reimbursement comes under the narrowest interpretation of the current laws…
“I don’t own a home,” he said.
Andresen added that the collectives generally give excess marijuana free of charge to their sickest patients.
“We don’t turn a profit because be give away any extra proceeds,” he said.
CW: So here begs the question. If you give away any extra proceeds, but just have not gotten around to giving them away yet, when can YOU be charged with maintaining a profit? See the conundrum in the current system?
The names of the other 10 people arrested on drug related charges were not available Thursday, Ornelas said.
In all, the multi-agency task force searched five marijuana dispensaries, one cultivation site, two processing sites, seven homes and a sailboat, sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
Ornelas said they were located in Covina, Alhambra, Long Beach, Seal Beach, Huntington Beach, Fullerton, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside and Palm Springs, Ornelas said.
In addition to the Covina establishment, the medical marijuana dispensaries raided Wednesday included the Palm Springs Holistic Collective, the Riverside Compassionate Wellness Center, the San Diego Holistic Collective, and the Compassionate Medical Collective in San Diego, Ornelas said.
Andresen said that as far as he knows, only one dispensary in San Diego is affiliated with his patient group.
Officials seized 35 marijuana plants, valued at $70,000; 78 pounds of processed pot, valued at $234,000; seven gallons of concentrated cannabis oils, valued at $44,800; about 4,000 pre-packaged, marijuana-laced edible products; hydroponic growing equipment and chemicals; and about $20,000 in cash, according to the sheriff’s statement.
CW: I just want to point out that chances are they have no idea of the value of oil….
The edible products included, “Lolly pops, ice pops, candy bars, brownies – all that stuff,” Ornelas said.
CW: Here we go again….
He said sheriff’s narcotics officials are looking into requesting agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration get involved.
CW: The FDA came to the raid of Tainted Inc. Our game was too tight for them to have any issues, as our facilities were immaculate and our operations were above and beyond the call of duty. But you will never read that in the paper, now will you? I hope these producers did their due diligence in preparing these ingestible meds…
Andresen said he would have no problem cooperating with health regulations governing edible marijuana products.
CW: Would not or did not?
So the real question to ask yourself is how long do we want to keep up the charade and hope that SB420 will hold up in OUR court of law. It would make more sense for the community to pass Prop. 19 and work to set up a system that actually allows for and regulates cannabis sales and distribution. Anything less is just irresponsible. We are seeing more frequent attacks based on the gray area of the laws that govern our community. We will continue to see more. And as these agencies find success their attacks will become more frequent and more invasive. Do not let the complacency of the situation fool you. Access is under attack and YOU could be next. Those who want to “Keep Marijuana Medical” have obviously drank the kool-aid of complacency and are foolish enough to believe their good time will last forever. But the noose is tightening on medical use and there is a real backlash happening. What you will see is less people being able to access cannabis and chances are a fed up Legislature will repeal or amend SB420 to close the loopholes that allow people to operate. Is this what you envisioned? More people being raided, arrested, and prosecuted for cannabis or less? Pass Prop 19 for less. Do nothing and hope for the best if you want more people to be UNDER FIRE. We cannot afford to stand still on this…
I have to respectfully disagree with Ms. Pepper’s analysis on this point. First of all, under federal law, there is no such thing as “medical use” and the cases that have found no preemption don’t rely on the medical/recreational distinction. It is clear that medical cannabis remains illegal under federal law. Rather, there is no federal preemption because the laws do not conflict. A conflict of laws only occurs when one cannot follow one law without necessarily violating the other. For example, if California passed a law making it mandatory to possess cannabis there would be a conflict. If a person followed state law and possessed, they would be in violation of fed law. If a person followed fed law and refrained from possession, they would be in violation of California’s mandatory possession law. Under such circumstances, the feds could sue the state and invalifdate the state mandatory possession law. But Prop 19 does not require anyone to possess cannabis. As such there is no conflict with fed law. Of course, possession still would remain illegal under federal law and Prop 19 would not provide a defense in federal court.
In response to Letitia Pepper’s latest tin-foil hat conspiracy that somehow medical use can be legalized and adult use somehow cannot because she has a WHOLE DIFFERENT copy of the Constitution than everyone else….
“One of the huge problems with Prop. 19 on which I didn’t concentrate – I was mainly trying to figure out what its actual terms did to patients’ rights — is that it purports to legalize recreational use. But while medical use can be legalized under state law and also federal law, recreational use remains totally illegal under federal law, which cannot be so easily trumped by a state law legalizing recreational use.”
September 25, 2010 in Feds
Over the past several months, a single-engine, Cessna-type plane registered to an undisclosed federal law enforcement agency has been circling above the epicenter of the national legalization movement: Oakland, and Berkeley. A narcotics interdiction expert says the plane’s model, low altitude and habit of loitering over cities for hours and hours is consistent with DEA anti-pot operations, wherein the federal agency looks for the tell-tale heat signatures of grow houses and the special green color of outdoor gardens.
One Alameda resident, Marcy Englert, says Oakland International Airport staff told her the FBI was thermal imaging the East Bay when she called to complain about the incessant whine of the small craft circling the island in early September. The Englerts work from home and the plane had become a daily annoyance. Legalization Nation confirmed with Oakland Airport spokesperson Rosemary Barnes that there is indeed a federal law enforcement aircraft performing “public safety operations” above the East Bay, but she didn’t have any details on the agency or its specific activity.
During a recent overflight, Legalization Nation called the Oakland Airport noise abatement hotline and posed as an annoyed East Bay resident. Hotline staff said they’d received dozens of such complaints about the craft over the last four months. There’s actually two, single-engine “Jena” or “Idaho” type crafts, one red and one blue, the staffer confirmed. The planes have spent two to three weeks circling Alameda, two weeks above Berkeley and two months circling Oakland this summer, the staffer said. He could not detail what federal law enforcement agency owned the plane or its purpose.
“Whenever he goes up there and circles, we get calls,” the staffer said.
Barry Cooper, a former narcotics officer turned pro-pot activist and creator of the 2009 documentary Never Get Raided, says DEA anti-pot operations often involve low-flying small planes affixed with a camera system called FLIR that detects excess heat from grow house ventilation. They also use a plane-based camera system dubbed ‘pot-buster‘ that can detect from 5,000 feet up the specific wavelength of light reflecting off an outdoor marijuana garden. [See pictures of a camera system attached to the same “Idaho” model aircraft as reported in the East Bay]. These planes will circle an area tagging suspect locations with GPS coordinates.
The Supreme Court ruled thermal imaging a private residence unconstitutional without a search warrant, but the eight-year narcotics veteran says in his experience, “they’re using them anyway to spot suspicious houses. Then they set up and look for another reason to get the warrant. They do not put in the search warrant affidavit that they used the FLIR. They’ll put in the search warrant affidavit that they saw cars coming in and out of the place, or their power usage was too high, or they got an undisclosed tip.”
Authorities could simply be reconnoitering the nation’s hotbed of legalization for intelligence purposes, Cooper says.
“This is something that the feds do. It’s a billion-dollar industry. They like to keep up with where it’s being grown and how it’s being grown. They’re possibly gathering data to discover exactly how much.”
FBI Special Agent Joseph Schadler, a spokesperson on Northern California operations, said he’s not aware of big operations requiring Cessnas and thermal imaging. Schadler can’t confirm or deny the existence of any FBI investigation, but, “we don’t do dope stuff,” he said.
DEA Special Agent Joycelyn Barnes, a local public information officer, said she was unaware of any activity. The DEA also does not comment on ongoing investigations or practices. Barnes said the plane could be another federal law enforcement agency. The resident agent in charge of the DEA’s Oakland office said this was the first time he had heard of such an operation.
The Department of Justice has stated, “it will not be a priority to use federal resources to prosecute patients with serious illnesses or their caregivers who are complying with state laws on medical marijuana”, but federal anti-potoperations continue nationwide at pre-Obama levels. Cannabis is legal for medical use in California, however the federal government considers it a Schedule-One controlled substance on par with heroin and PCP.
Local growers combat imaging technology with a variety of countermeasures. Some grow in basements and vent heat from lights and fans into the sewers. Other set up glass or reflective materials to block vented heat from a grow. Outdoor gardeners have also started masking the tell-tale color of their crop — which has entered harvest season — with spray-on food dyes, Cooper says.
A bit of a redux, but …
Dragonfly has revised her blog to include 19 reasons to vote against legal marijuana, which has been published in the LA JEMM. She took out the misinformation about new felonies, but added several new ones, i.e., that it would be illegal not to have a corporate business receipt with your marijuana (you could grow your own, for heaven’s sake) and that no initiative can be amended, when in fact Prop 19 does allow certain legislative adjustments. She overlooks whole sections such as Purpose 8 when it doesn’t fit her narrative and things like that. Rather than repeat her misinformation, I am pasting a bit from an article that I submitted and hope to see published in the upcoming LA JEMM. Lynette Shaw also submitted an article to the JEMM. Someone asked me if Dragonfly is Canadian; does anybody know?
CW: Her real name is Stephanie Taylor from Nashville, TN from what we can tell.
– Chris <firstname.lastname@example.org>
… excerpt …
A much more complex and elaborate web of opinion, misinformation and conspiracy theories was woven together by someone writing under the name of Dragonfly de la Luz (‘Pro-Marijuana Activists,’ Vol 5:9, p94). Let’s go directly to the factual inaccuracies in her argument and work our way back from there. The most egregious of her inaccurate statements are contained in her so-called “facts” #2, #3, #5, #10, #15, #17, #18 and #19. Misinformation combined with speculation can sound convincing, unless you know the facts.
Dispatching her claims in order, in #2 the penalty for people 21 and above furnishing to minors age 18-21 (HS 11361c) is not mandatory and it approximates the alcohol law. Regardless of #3, business fees are directed to pay for business code enforcement (HS11302), not drug police. Despite #5, adults won’t need to carry receipts for marijuana to be legal, since they can grow their own and share with each other free and untaxed up to an ounce (HS11300a); she mixed up a requirement to keep business records with lawful personal behavior. In #10 / footnote 17, she simply ignores the fact that medical cultivation is protected in Prop 19 Purpose 8. Incredibly, in #15, the ‘corporate threat’ she theorizes about is based on an Oakland proposal under current medical marijuana laws but she blames Prop 19 which has not even passed yet. Prop 19 is written to benefit smaller growers by allowing more local control – nor could an initiative ban corporations from doing business.
One of the key factors in Prop 19 is that unless the state legislature steps in to establish controls, local communities have a lot of control over the shape of their cannabis businesses. This means that local consumers and small to medium size growers can organize into viable constituencies to protect their own interests. This is a window of opportunity flung open.
Dragonfly #17 simply ignores the entire Amendment section of Prop 19 that allows certain legislative and voter actions; i.e., the legislature can modify it, but only to make its limitations less restrictive, create a statewide distribution system or allow farmers to grow industrial hemp (Section 5 a, b, c). Contrary to #18, this is about the 19th time marijuana legalization has attempted the ballot and only the second time in 38 years it has qualified. Only Prop 215 medical use ever passed at the ballot box (1996). Finally, in #19, there is no reason whatsoever that another initiative could not qualify and pass in the future. That is a Constitutional right.
Once you see that 7 of the 19 ‘reasons’ Dragonfly proposes are based on factual errors, her whole argument collapses. Otherwise, she simply makes up her own “myths,” then exposes them as being … myths. But not all are. Prop 19 was not written to end the drug war (Myth 1) but it will certainly affect it. There is no new penalty for smoking around your children or in public (Myths 3, 11), it stays the same as now. It takes a super majority of voters to direct taxes to schools and health care (Myth 7), otherwise taxes go into the state general fund. Of course Prop 19 has regulations and controls (Myths 8, 9), that’s its name. That’s what polls show the voters want. Myths 12, 13 and 14 are speculative opinion with nothing factual to rebut. Same with Myth 16, although she omits a useful fact, the Rand Corporation opinion that the price of marijuana will drop significantly. Myth 15 comingles corporations, conspiracies and cartels, but experts including former President of Mexico Vincente Fox believe that legalizing marijuana will be important in resolving the drug war raging within that nation’s borders.
As we continue to make progress in our own movement we continue to see these “so-called stoners” attempting to use their ability to infiltrate the movement to cause division and spread misinformation in the community. Have we been infiltrated by agents of prohibition? Quite possibly. We do not have to look far for evidence of this. As we read about the tactics used by the FBI and other arms of the government to get a front row seat for the Civil Rights movement, one must wonder how many of these moles have infiltrated our own movement. After all, racism was much less lucrative that prohibition. Yes. We can be sure there are certain people in this movement that are infiltrating and causing confusion to continue prohibition and serve their ultimate interest- THE MAN.
We can be sure that these folks are imbedded in our movement, portraying themselves as “one of us,” but deep down working against our ultimate goals of cannabis freedom. How far would they go? Ask yourself- “How far would the feds go to continue prohibition and continue to jail hundreds of thousands of would be law abiding citizens into entering “the system” and being less powerful because of their criminal behavior? This is a powerful way to control large segments of our population. The police use cannabis prohibition to search throught the cars, homes, live, and pockets of honest Americans everyday. With this “probable cause” often they are able to discover more things about people and identify people who have courageously participated in civil disobedience through cannabis reform. An enlightened cannabis user is a danger to the government. It is hard to control a person who thinks for themselves and the government knows it. As cannabis opens up the minds of a person and allows them to explore their hearts and minds for truth and reason. This dangerous element, along with innumerable amounts of money spent on prosecuting, jailing, enforcing, and drug testing people is A LOT of coin for the man to give up easily. So you can be sure, just like this photographer was able top penetrate so deeply that he snapped the most famous pictures of MLK’s death because he was in the mix, that we also have these types in our movement.
Notice the voices against Prop. 19 and ask yourself who they are and where they came from? Why are they using their platforms to create confusion and spread misinformation? Why do they feel the need to dress so abstractly that they look like they are playing a trippy, stoner girl in a movie? Why are they always available and seemingly do not hold a real job? What is their REAL name? Where did they go to school? Who can vouch for their past? Who the fuck are you? Chances are there is a fed or six amongst us reading this page right now and begging that they are not exposed for the frauds that they are. Don’t believe the hype. These dangers are REAL and if you believe that they are not then you have a strange reality coming…..
Report: Famed Civil Rights Photographer Ernest Withers Spied for FBI
By: MADISON GRAY
Ernest C. Withers had been the photographer who chronicled the civil rights movement through the 50s and 60s. His photos of the gruesome racial murder of teenager Emmitt Till still resonate to this day; he was there when nine students integrated Little Rock Central High School; and his camera shutters snapped just moments after Martin Luther King was assassinated.
And all the while, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal, Withers was betraying everything he knew about the civil rights movement to the FBI.
The report, released Tuesday, comes after the paper obtained records (through a Freedom of Information Act request) identifying Withers with an “informant number,” one of several people paid by the FBI to give information to the agency about civil rights leaders. Withers, who died in 2007 at the age of 85, owned a photography studio on the storied Beale Street and had traveled to some of the major scenes of the movement. But government documents show a different side of Withers, the Appeal said.
Those reports portray Withers as a prolific informant who, from at least 1968 until 1970, passed on tips and photographs detailing an insider’s view of politics, business and everyday life in Memphis’ black community.
As a foot soldier in J. Edgar Hoover’s domestic intelligence program, Withers helped the FBI gain a front-row seat to the civil rights and anti-war movements in Memphis.
Withers had been much revered as a photographer of history with displays of his work traveling the world, and also shown in many galleries. He was also famous for his photographs during the years of Negro League Baseball and four books of his work have been published.
Marc Perrusquia, projects reporter for the Appeal told NPR that his information came from 369 pages the government gave him relating to a public corruption scandal Withers was involved with during the early 70s. The references to Withers informant number, ME 338-R, were not obscured or censored and Perrusquia was able to make the connection.
Withers’ daughter, Rosalind, is withholding any comments, she says until she sees the documents. “This is the first time I’ve heard of this in my life,” she told the Appeal. “My father’s not here to defend himself. That is a very, very, strong, strong accusation.”