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Police spies chosen to lead war protestMore here
- Demian Bulwa, Chronicle Staff Writer
Friday, July 28, 2006
Two Oakland police officers working undercover at an anti-war protest in May 2003 got themselves elected to leadership positions in an effort to influence the demonstration, documents released Thursday show.
The department assigned the officers to join activists protesting the U.S. war in Iraq and the tactics that police had used at a demonstration a month earlier, a police official said last year in a sworn deposition.
At the first demonstration, police fired nonlethal bullets and bean bags at demonstrators who blocked the Port of Oakland's entrance in a protest against two shipping companies they said were helping the war effort. Dozens of activists and longshoremen on their way to work suffered injuries ranging from welts to broken bones and have won nearly $2 million in legal settlements from the city.
The extent of the officers' involvement in the subsequent march May 12, 2003, led by Direct Action to Stop the War and others, is unclear. But in a deposition related to a lawsuit filed by protesters, Deputy Police Chief Howard Jordan said activists had elected the undercover officers to "plan the route of the march and decide I guess where it would end up and some of the places that it would go."