As a student activist at Yale University, I was tremendously disturbed to read Jeremy W. Steeles article about police infiltration of the MSU affiliate of United Students Against Sweatshops (Activist group exposes undercover officer, SN 4/3).
While police infiltration of student and other dissident groups has a long history in the United States, that infiltration has often ended in tragedy. It has been alleged that it was an undercover police agent who started the shooting that left four dead and 13 wounded at Kent State University 31 years ago. Police infiltration leads to less effective dissident organizations and fear among activists.
In a university setting, police infiltration is simply wrong. It defeats the freedom that should be inherent in the university and threatens to curtail the exchange of ideas that makes the university a valuable space within society.
I hope that now that MSU has uncovered the polices infiltration, students and the administration will take the lead in standing against such tactics.
Yale Social Justice Network