This Friday, April 22nd, is the 46th year that Earth Day has been celebrated in the U.S. Although Earth Day has its roots in government policy, we should take it as a reminder of the importance of protecting the earth from the actions of the government and corporations. In the decades since the naming of Earth Day, we’ve seen how the corporate State will bulldoze forests, pollute the air and water, exploit billions of animals, tear apart the land, poison and kill people, and effectively rush us all towards the devastating global impacts of climate change—all in the name of power and profit.
Just within this small sampling of recent news, we can see the impact of making a public records request: from having the FBI scramble to keep information hidden to being the seed that grew into a dynamic global campaign. As clichÃ© as it may sound, knowledge is power—whether that’s the power to expose what’s behind the curtain of government entities or the power to inspire communities to take action.
Amid the seemingly never-ending news of police shootings and killings of unarmed civilians, there is a rising public demand for more police accountability. To placate this growing demand, a few months ago, Congress passed a new version of the Death in Custody Reporting Act, 42 U.S.C. 13727. This law, which is a revised version of a law that has been on the books for over a decade, requires state and federal law enforcement agencies to report how many people are killed by their police officers.
The “FOIA Improvement Act of 2015” aims to make it easier for the public to obtain records and harder for federal agencies to hide records.
The CLDC is encouraging activists and organizations to utilize the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act to request documents and materials that the FBI may have accumulated about you or the group you are active in.
The CLDC is encouraging activists and organizations to utilize the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act to request documents and materials that the FBI may have accumulated about you or the group you are active in. Not only will this information assist activist communities in learning about and preventing unlawful government spying, but it will also shed light on the extent of surveillance that has been undertaken in your community. Shine a light on FBI activities by exercising your lawful right to these documents and information.