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Maine Peace Group Under Federal Surveillance | Feb 2 2006

The domestic spying topic we've heard so much about nationally, is now closer to home. The Maine Civil Liberties Union has learned the FBI has a surveillance file for the Maine Coalition for Peace and Justice.

The MCLU filed a Freedom of Information Act request in June on behalf of seven peace and justice groups and 15 people here in Maine. They just received notice the FBI has a file on one of those groups and they intercepted at least one of the group's e-mails.

Wednesday, the MCLU filed another Freedom of Information Act to find out if the pentagon also has files on groups in Maine.

"We don't believe spying on peace activists here in Maine will make our country safer, we do know it will make us less free," said Shenna Bellows, the Executive Director of the MCLU.

The MCLU filed the request on behalf of the Maine Coalition for Peace and Justice, as well as the American Friends Service Committee: Maine Program on Youth and Militarism.

Bellows says she's concerned that if the government is spying on peace groups, Americans will be afraid to criticize the government in fear that they will become targets of government spying.

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