Buried in yesterday’s New York Times article about the NYPD spying on protestors before the 2004 Republican National Convention was this passage about the musically minded activist group Bands Against Bush:
In at least some cases, intelligence on what appeared to be lawful activity was shared with police departments in other cities. A police report on an organization of artists called Bands Against Bush noted that the group was planning concerts on Oct. 11, 2003, in New York, Washington, Seattle, San Francisco and Boston. Between musical sets, the report said, there would be political speeches and videos.
“Activists are showing a well-organized network made up of anti-Bush sentiment; the mixing of music and political rhetoric indicates sophisticated organizing skills with a specific agenda,” said the report, dated Oct. 9, 2003. “Police departments in above listed areas have been contacted regarding this event.”
Bands Against Bush’s official site seems to be extinct, but according to this 2003 Rolling Stone piece, artists involved with the organization included Sonic Youth, the Donnas, and Liars; there are no details on just how closely the NYPD examined Bands Against Bush or its supporters, but we can only imagine the reaction when investigators cued up “Teen Age Riot” for the first time.
City Police Spied Broadly Before G.O.P. Convention [NY Times]