Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Maryland State Police Target Political Activists


Dear Doug,

Since 2001, I have devoted my life entirely to the peaceful promotion of windmills and solar panels to solve global warming. Apparently not everyone liked my work, however. Believe it or not, the Maryland State Police - your state police - put my name in their criminal intelligence database as a "suspected terrorist" as part of their larger program of collecting information about political activists in 2005-2006. I was on this outrageous "watch" list apparently because of a single act of peaceful civil disobedience I participated in outside a coal-fired power plant in 2004. CCAN's former deputy director Josh Tulkin was also put in the database as was another former CCAN staffer who has chosen to remain anonymous. Neither of these people has ever been arrested for anything in their entire lives. (See background below)

So about one third of the entire Maryland CCAN staff - one of the largest environmental groups in the state - was officially spied on by the police while we peacefully promoted clean electricity and clean cars for Maryland. This is, of course, an outrage and a threat, not just to civil liberties in Maryland, but to the state's entire environmental community. When people who are trying SAVE the climate and SAVE the Bay are considered terrorists, the world has truly been turned upside down.

To fix this problem, we need your help right now in two simple ways. Please:

Send an email: Write an email to the Md. Gov. Martin O'Malley asking him to release all surveillance files kept on CCAN staff and other activists statewide. (Presently, the police want to destroy the files without releasing printed copies, another outrage!) And ask O'Malley to support comprehensive legislation to prevent similar abuses from happening again. Send an email>>

Attend a rally Thurs. (tomorrow) at 10:30 am: Attend an emergency rally in Silver Spring at 10:30 am Thursday and make your voice heard. We'll be gathering at the Silver Spring Metro station with the heads of leading environmental organizations as well as elected officials and lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland. But we need you there too. We'll have signs and banners. Come have fun with us. Click here for details>>

Help end forever these police abuses in Maryland that threaten our climate/clean energy movement, and our right to organize for causes we believe in. Why has our state wasted precious resources creating a "terrorist" watch list of innocent people instead of devoting maximum resources to solving real environmental problems? The REAL terror in Maryland is the threat of 20 feet of sea-level rise. The REAL violence is the burning of coal to create electricity while wrecking the climate.

With your help we can end ALL of these abuses.


Mike Tidwell
Executive Director, Chesapeake Climate Action Network