Join us for an ongoing monthly discussion of the COINTELPRO and its implications for contemporary activists.
COINTELPRO (an acronym for Counterintelligence Program) was a series of covert, and often illegal, projects conducted by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) aimed at surveying, infiltrating, discrediting, and disrupting domestic political organizations.
The FBI has used covert operations against domestic political groups since its inception; however, covert operations under the official COINTELPRO label took place between 1956 and 1971. COINTELPRO tactics include[d] discrediting targets through psychological warfare; smearing individuals and groups using forged documents and by planting false reports in the media; harassment; wrongful imprisonment; and illegal violence, including assassination. The FBI’s stated motivation was “protecting national security, preventing violence, and maintaining the existing social and political order.”