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A newly released FBI memo on police violence shows antifa activists faced beatings and arrests

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SAN FRANCISCO — “Straight to Gunshots” is the name of a newly released manual on how the federal government killed Antifa activists in cities across the United States in the early 1980s. The document is believed to be the first of its kind.

The manual is written in the elegant, clear language that federal agents used decades ago to arrest suspected gang members and the like. The manual presents the results of hundreds of criminal investigative cases, most of which occurred prior to the purchase of firearms. It addresses labor unrest, riots, social unrest, land disputes, terrorist acts, and police violence. The word “riot” is used 29 times in the manual, along with the word “FIREARM.” If a gun is involved, it is “largely” described as a “near fatal wound.” In more than half of the articles, the weapon is described as either a baseball bat or a skateboard.

The reference to fireworks in California is amusing. If it makes you laugh, imagine what it’s like reading these things. The entire document is about the most black-and-white experience imaginable — a shooter striking a crowd of nonviolent protestors with gunfire. The manual is jovial, usually only replete with references to drugs and underage drinking, and it avoids saying the language of activism, which may have struck some readers as not “literal” enough.

“In fact,” the manual says, “we believe one of the vital qualities of a minor criminal case is that it be plain, innocuous, and pointed at the defendant’s lack of potential culpability, not his potential culpability and/or impact on society.”

In some places, including Oakland, California, “street clubbing” is described in the manual as “a version of sports.” Nor is it an exaggeration to say the process of police violence has historically involved the use of the harshest of punishments to alleviate the community’s angry responses. It reads like a cross between a police report and a wartime report.

It is virtually impossible to know why the FBI compiled and published the pamphlet, or whether any other secret F.B.I. file has ever included this information. But what isn’t in doubt is the dark and sordid history it reveals, the dirt that an agency like the F.B.I. would collect on an even of its own members.

Read the full story on The Atlantic Wire.

Related:

Inside a secret FBI file on an antifa activist, published on Sunday

Antifa chapter in New York City targets Megyn Kelly’s show

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