COINTELPRO 101 exposes illegal surveillance, disruption, and outright murder committed by the U.S. government in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. “COINTELPRO” refers to the official FBI COunter INTELligence PROgram carried out to surveil, imprison, and eliminate leaders of social justice movements and to disrupt, divide, and destroy the movements as well. Many of the government’s crimes are still unknown.
Through interviews with activists who experienced these abuses first-hand and with rare historical footage, the film provides an educational introduction to a period of intense repression and draws relevant lessons for present and future movements.
“Cointelpro 101 is a well made and appealing primer on the history of the U.S. police state. Produced, written, and directed by individuals who have themselves been the target of tactics documented in the film, it has an authenticity and immediacy that pulls the viewer in.” —Ron Jacobs, CounterPunch
Interviews in the video include:
- Muhammad Ahmad (Max Stanford), Founder of Revolutionary Action Movement, author of We Will Return In The Whirlwind: Black Radical Organizations 1960–1975.
- Bob Boyle, Attorney representing many activists and political prisoners targeted by COINTELPRO.
- Kathleen Cleaver, former leader of the Black Panther Party, now Professor of Law at Emory and Yale Universities, and co-editor of Liberation, Imagination, and the Black Panther Party: A New Look at the Panthers and Their Legacy.
- Ward Churchill, co-author of The COINTELPRO Papers and Agents of Repression.
- Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Native American activist and author of Outlaw Woman: A Memoir of the War Years 1960–1975.
- Priscilla Falcon, Mexicana activist and professor whose husband was assassinated for his leadership in the Chicano struggle.
- Geronimo Ji-Jaga Pratt, former leader of the Black Panther Party who was falsely imprisoned for 27 years in a COINTELPRO case.
- Jose Lopez, Director of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center in Chicago and long-time advocate of Puerto Rican independence.
- Francisco “Kiko” Martinez, Chicano/Mexicano activist and attorney.
- Lucy Rodriguez, Puerto Rican Independentista and former Political Prisoner
- Ricardo Romero, Chicano/Mexicano activist and Grand Jury resister
- Akinyele Umoja, African American History scholar at Georgia State University.
- Laura Whitehorn, radical activist and former political prisoner who was targeted by the federal government.
“Strong interviews, rarely seen clips, high quality audio and video production with equally strong narration… But it is the film’s ability to force new confrontation with the political reality of today, as much as with the past, that truly demonstrates its value. The simple point made by Geronimo Pratt is also its strongest; that COINTELPRO made official the illegality of politics, the ‘criminalization of positions’ represented by its targets.” —Jared Ball, Black Agenda Radio
60 minutes on 1 disc / English w/Spanish sub-titles
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Watch an 8+min reel