Friday, 17 October 2008

Get Rubin!

While currently many Americans find themselves in the net of surveillance activities by intelligence agencies, in the past violating privacy in this manner required a couple of pages of justification. For example, when Phil Ochs' friend Jerry Rubin proved to be a menace to the U.S. government, the FBI wrote the following memo to the Attorney General:
May 13, 1968



Jerry Clyde Rubin traveled to communist Cuba 1964 via Czechoslovakia in violation of a Government ban on travel to Cuba. Thereafter, he was the founder and served as cochairman of the Vietnam Day Committee, Berkeley, California, a vigorous sponsor of antiwar demonstrations and protest rallies between 1965 to 1967 in the San Francisco area. Demonstrations sponsored by this organization under the leadership of Rubin led to numerous arrests and injuries to demonstrators. Rubin, himself, was arrested in August, 1965, in a demonstration which virtually trapped General Maxwell D. Taylor in a hotel office.

Since this period, Rubin became the Project Director for the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam in New York, New York. In this capacity, he was the coordinator of demonstrations at the Pentagon and in Washington, D.C., October 20-22,1967. These activities also led to violence and mass arrests, including the arrest of Rubin for refusing to move from a restricted area.

In January, 1968, he was the founder and is now employed as a staff member of the Youth International Party, New York, New York. This group was reportedly organized to promote a "festival of life" demonstration at the National Democratic Convention in Chicago in August, 1968.

With little apparent effort or planning, this organization has already backed two impressive demonstrations. One of these, called a "yip-in," was held at Grand Central Stations in New York City on a late Saturday night for the purpose of celebrating the coming of spring. Violence and mass arrests occurred and the demonstration developed antidraft and antiwar implications. This organization presently plans another demonstration for Macy's Department Store in New York City on June 8, 1968.

Rubin constitutes a danger to the national security as evidenced by revolutionary statements. On the occasion of a public speech June 26, 1965, he stated the following must be included as a part of the peace movement: "massive civil disobedience and picketing," "working in slum areas," "teach-ins against labor unions," and "we must consider treason--deliberate sabotage of the war machine." He ended the speech by stating members of the peace movement must be willing to "put their bodies on the line." Participating in a panel discussion on November 27, 1965, he said the power structure in the United States had to be changed and he wanted demonstrations and civil disobedience rather than liberal means.

Coverage of Rubin's activities at the headquarters of the Youth International Party has been established and efforts are currently being made to increase this coverage. It is to be noted that many of the Youth International Party followers are "hippie types" and such would normally include numerous students. It could reasonably be expected that many of Rubin's contacts and organizational efforts would be made at night from his residence telephone. For this reason, a telephone surveillance of his residence would afford vital information as to organizational plans and the identity of key organizers, which would not be otherwise obtained through coverage of his place of employment.

The history of this individual in the direction of demonstrations which lead to violence has been established. It is recognized that he is capable of creating, through such demonstrations, a major civil disturbance if complete coverage of his activities is not effected.

Accordingly, I recommend the installation of a telephone surveillance on the residence of Jerry Clyde Rubin at 13 East 3rd Street, New York, New York, or any address to which he may move in the future.

Very truly yours,

John Edgar Hoover

Approved ___________________
Date _______________________

Later that year, Rubin caught on to the surveillance:

"Merry Jerry Bugged," Berkeley Barb (December 20-December 26, 1968)
By Stew Albert

“The FBI has been bugging me for years," Jerry Rubin told BARB over a bugged phone from New York. "Now they've admitted it publicly."

"The shit all came out on the appeal of my conviction on the Pentagon bust,” Jerry rapped. “The Supreme Court says the FBI has to admit and tell the judge if any evidence in the case came as a result of electronic tapping.”

"The Justice Department claims they didn’t get any evidence on the Pentagon bust as the result of tapping but they might be bullshitting,” Jerry charged.

"Because I cannot hear any of the tapes and we just have to take their word. The government says they used electronic devices. They might have been either phone tapping or apartment bugging, or maybe both.”

Jerry’s lawyer in New York, Bill Kunstler, has gotten a delay on his New York pot trial.

"He will demand that the judge in the grass case hear the tapes and find out if the prosecution got any of their evidence from bugging,” Rubin continued.

"If that happens we’ll get the case thrown out. Because the pigs have previously claimed they got all their info from a stool pigeon!!

"The Justice Department says they were tapping someone else in the interests of their security, and only accidentally heard me,” Jerry scoffed. “But my lawyer, who was also Rap’s lawyer, says this is what they always claim. They did this in Rap Brown’s case.”

Rubin calls it a “weird feeling to think that the federal pigs have been listening to my phone calls and dinner conversations for the last year.”

He pictures them “drunk and fat, a can of beer in their hands, trying to figure out what half the words I use mean. I hope it drives them crazy,” he said.

Merry Jerry used to be the easiest going guy when it came to wire-tapping. He always thought a lot of people were uptight about Big Brother having his ear to the wall. He has now learned, as we all must, that a bit of paranoia is pure reality.

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