Sur­veil­lance Photos of Rad­i­cal Groups in 1960s & 70s NYC Re­leased

The Jewish Voice - - NEW YORK - By: Ellen Cans

Atrove of newly re­leased photos re­veals that the NYPD had se­cret sur­veil­lance on the ex­trem­ists and pro­test­ers in the Big Ap­ple a half-cen­tury ago. NYC’s De­part­ment of Records and In­for­ma­tion Ser­vices has given roughly 60 photos to the NY Post, from the NYPD show­ing that cops were spy­ing on rad­i­cal groups, look­ing out for crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity.

Pauline Toole, Com­mis­sioner of the NYC De­part­ment of Records and In­for­ma­tion Ser­vices, de­cided to make these photos pub­lic now, be­cause of the sim­i­lar­i­ties and par­al­lels to to­day’s pro­test­ers.

“At this point in his­tory, we thought it was a re­ally in­ter­est­ing time to bring out some of the ma­te­ri­als from the ’60s and ’70s and try to make con­nec­tions be­tween events that were hap­pen­ing then, and events hap­pen­ing to­day,” Toole said. “There has been a lot more ac­tivism in the past sev­eral years in an or­ga­nized way. Be­cause of the Black Lives Mat­ter move­ment, be­cause of the Women’s March, peo­ple or­ga­niz­ing against the cur­rent pres­i­dent — his poli­cies, at least — there’s a lot more in­ter­est.”

As per the Post, the col­lec­tion in­cludes pic­tures cops took in Septem­ber 1973 in the Bronx, of a sus­pected mem­ber of the Black Lib­er­a­tion Army. The BLA was a mil­i­tant group, from 1970 to 1981, set up for the lib­er­a­tion and self-de­ter­mi­na­tion of black peo­ple in the U.S. Com­posed largely of for­mer Black Pan­thers, the group was anti-gov­ern­ment, anti-cap­i­tal­ism, anti-im­pe­ri­al­ism, and anti-racism. The group tar­geted and killed NYPD of­fi­cers. A photo re­leased is a street shot of one of the six mem­bers who was later charged with at­tempted mur­der and weapons pos­ses­sion af­ter a po­lice raid.

An­other re­leased pic­ture shows a group demon­strat­ing in sol­i­dar­ity with the Pan­ther 21. Mem­bers of that group were later charged with con­spir­ing to blow up city sites, in­clud­ing the New York Botan­i­cal Gar­dens, the Queens Board of Ed­u­ca­tion of­fice and po­lice sta­tions in the Bronx and Man­hat­tan. Mem­bers were ac­quit­ted af­ter an eight month trial.

There is a shot of a gay power rally fol­low­ing the 1969 raids and ar­rests of gays at the Stonewall Inn in Green­wich Vil­lage. The episodes prompted the for­ma­tion of the Gay Lib­er­a­tion Front and Gay Ac­tivist Al­liance, de­mand­ing equal rights on be­half of the LGBT com­mu­nity.

There is a photo of anti-pol­lu­tion pro­test­ers march­ing in 1967. Pol­lu­tion in the city was at a high, with Con Ed still burn­ing coal. Those peace­ful protests helped bring on re­forms, in­clud­ing re­stric­tions on coal and emis­sions given off by trash in­cin­er­a­tors and buses.

An­other in­ter­est­ing pic­ture is that of a Na­tional Re­nais­sance Party meet­ing in a Yorkville Ju­nior High School on the Up­per East Side. James Madole, founder of the neo-fas­cist group, made an SS-in­spired speech to 200 peo­ple in the au­di­to­rium spew­ing white-su­prem­a­cist hate. The group luck­ily dis­ap­peared by 1981.

“At this point in his­tory, we thought it was a re­ally in­ter­est­ing time to bring out some of the ma­te­ri­als from the ’60s and ’70s and try to make con­nec­tions be­tween events that were hap­pen­ing then, and events hap­pen­ing to­day,”

A trove of newly re­leased photos re­veals that the NYPD had se­cret sur­veil­lance on the ex­trem­ists and pro­test­ers in the Big Ap­ple a half-cen­tury ago. NYC’s De­part­ment of Records and In­for­ma­tion Ser­vices has given roughly 60 photos to the NY Post, from the NYPD show­ing that cops were spy­ing on rad­i­cal groups, look­ing out for crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.