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Memphis lawmen say high-profile visit to protest was to keep peace center peaceful

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Marc Perrusquia
The Commercial Appeal
Jan 26, 2011

When a police SWAT team and an FBI anti-terrorism squad showed up Tuesday at a Memphis church where peace activists were staging an event, a scene reminiscent of the turbulent 1960s ensued.

The activists, members of the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center who oppose the war in Afghanistan, characterized the encounter as police intimidation and a case of illegal surveillance.

FBI and Memphis Police Department representatives countered it was all a misunderstanding. They said they were there to protect the activists from potential harm by extremists who might oppose their views.

“We don’t buy that at all,” said Jacob Flowers, executive director of the nonprofit center.

“Never (before) have we encountered the situation where we’ve had eight to 10 marked and unmarked police cars, including tactical units, sitting there monitoring us. We find it too coincidental.”

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This article was posted: Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 8:22 am





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