Monday, November 29, 2021

Dont be upset about infiltration

I am writing this letter in response to the recent articles about the investigation by the MSU police into Students for Economic Justice. I cannot understand the response of outrage put forth by students and a retired history professor. Why are you so upset about an investigation that took place a year ago?

I am also confused by comments in the story describing the investigation as “an act of intimidation” (“Group likely to register complaint,” SN 4/6) and the police “did not choose the nonviolent way to solve the problem” (“Police chief defends choice to use undercover officer,” SN 4/13).

First of all, how was this intimidation? They didn’t even tell you a police officer was watching you - it was an undercover investigation and you didn’t even know what was going on, so how could you be intimidated by it?

Also, what violence did the police do to you? I believe the police did exactly what they are obligated as police officers to do.

Let’s look at the facts: Your group formed about the time similar groups were rioting around the country and attacking police officers. So the police saw this, and then add that World Bank President James Wolfensohn - who your group protests against - was going to speak at last year’s convocation, and the police decided just to see what your group was really all about, that’s all.

Let’s be honest, if anything did happen, and the police had done nothing about it, they would have been blamed for the result. The authorities did exactly what was necessary and didn’t interfere at all with your organization.

Quinn Wright said in an April 13 article, “Why didn’t they think enough to send in an officer first to talk about problems?” If they had sent an officer to one of your meeting to speak to you, you would have cried even more than you are now. To me, that sounds more intimidating than sending in an undercover officer.

In conclusion, my point is if you are not doing anything wrong, why should you really care what the police do? You shouldn’t have to worry what they do if you aren’t hatching a plan. I believe the police did exactly what was necessary - the only mistake was obviously getting found out.

If you were smart, after you found out about the investigation, you would have made a public statement saying the police can come to one of your meetings anytime and show that you are simply a nonviolent, law-abiding organization and have nothing to hide.

Matt Burnett
engineering junior


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