A piece published on TheGuardian.com concluded that “Internal agency documents show for the first time how FBI agents have been closely monitoring anti-Keystone activists, in violation of guidelines designed to prevent the agency from becoming unduly involved in sensitive political issues.”
The practices of the FBI (and their precursors-have always had tremendous power (legal or not) in investigating activists and compiling files.
As the United States appeared to be drifting toward war in late 1916, [renowned Anarchist Emma] Goldman threw her energy into opposing the government’s military preparations, using her magazine, Mother Earth, as a forum. Goldman was not alone in this cause: the antiwar effort was the product of a broad coalition of liberals, socialists, anarchists, and progressive unionists. Ultimately, however, the federal government crushed this movement and repressed its elements in an almost hysterical patriotic prowar and antiradical crusade orchestrated by President Woodrow Wilson. Mother Earth was banned, along with other periodicals opposing the war. Hundreds of foreign-born radicals, including Goldman were deported.
Almost 100 years later, the FBI are caught breaking their own rules of investigation, failing to get approval before opening files on protesters in Texas and labeling environmentally concerned opponents as ‘environmental extremists.’