FBI spying on CISPES

As early as 1981 the FBI had begun to spy on CISPES, and later Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests revealed that it had become a major surveillance operation by 1985, spinning off into 178 separate investigations involving all 59 FBI field offices probing 1,330 organizations.

The large domestic spying operation had the goal of “breaking” CISPES. Agents infiltrated committee meetings, spied on demonstrations, and harassed people at their fulltime, non-CISPES, jobs. Break-ins and thefts targeted offices and the cars and homes of activists. The names of more than 100,000 activists ended up in the Bureau’s ‘terrorist databank’. Paid spy Frank Varelli infiltrated Dallas CISPES, under instructions to de-legitimize CISPES by seducing the nuns who were lead organizers in the committee.

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2 thoughts on “FBI spying on CISPES”

  1. The link to the article is not working! please repost, i am eager to learn this history in light of our former cispes pals being harassed by the fbi today. thanks for this beautiful and important site!

  2. Boston friends,How many break-ins did we have at OCBC in those years? I also will never forget seeing FOIA Freedom of Information Act)page that we requested with the whole page blacked out except the Name CASA (Central America Solidarity Association), give me a break!
    Kathy B

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