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Colorado Springs Police Target Leftist Group's Peaceful Protest

Undercover officers from Colorado Springs Police Department took the stand to explain why they were ordered by the department to embed themselves in a protest called "March Against Imperialism" in March, which resulted in four of the marchers being charge with obstruction.

"Mark" and "Amy" are undercover officers for the department's Metro, Vice, Narcotics, and Intelligence Division (Metro VNI), who rely on anonymity to infiltrate organizations to gather incriminating evidence against groups targeted by police. They were told by supervisors to join the Colorado Springs socialist organization secretly armed with body cameras to gather evidence against the group.

When the socialist group learned of the undercover officers' infiltration of their organization, they were shocked. David Lane, from the civil rights firm Killmer, Lane and Newman, LLP, out of Denver, took the case and filed a motion to dismiss the charges, arguing "outrageous police misconduct" that violated federal regulations by infiltrating the socialist group, which had no history of or intent to commit violence.

According to testimony by Mark and Amy at an evidentiary hearing in December, Metro VNI had become interested in local leftist groups based on "national trends," such as the anti-facism groups, or "antifa." However, antifa tends to align with anarchism, meaning they want to to abolish the state, while socialists tend to align with the opposite goal--to expand the state. "We don't even like each other," one of the defendants from the socialist group testified at the hearing.

Mark and Amy defended their actions by pointing to a meeting by the Colorado Springs anti-facists group they infiltrated, where the group had planned to "shut down" right-wing activist Milo Yiannopoulos' appearance at the University of Colorado and Colorado Springs. They said the anti-facists were going to disrupt the even by pulling power cords. Defense Attorney Lane made it clear, though, that the Socialists never considered any such tactics, yet the undercover operation continued.


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