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Names and identification numbers of civilian informants and of Surveillance Unit officers were deleted from this collection before it was sent to CHS by the Chicago Police Department. Researchers should note that information contained in this collection is not necessarily accurate. Some of the information was gathered through various indirect sources, including informants, and was not necessarily subjected to verification before being recorded in the files.

Some of the information is known to be inaccurate. Accessing the Collection. For convenience, this introduction summarizes portions of the Court Order, but researchers will be asked to read the entire Court Order. Please Note: The Affidavit and Waiver are legally binding documents; it is important that researchers understand them before signing.

Research Center staff will be happy to answer any questions about these documents and their contents. Feminist movement Springbok Tour Gay Rights. Red Squad, Blue Squad. PR 24 baton , Monadnock, United States. Anonymous gift, Te Papa. See this object in Collections Online. In the Cook County grand jury reported that some subpoenaed intelligence files contained "accounts of conversations which, because of their nature, could only have been acquired through illegal eavesdropping.

Sorry, Police Department attorneys replies, but the log no longer exists.

Red Squad - Wikipedia

Up until , all electronics records were "routinely destroyed. Pete Keer remembers the electronics log. But as a part-time field agent, he had little access to the sophisticated surveillance equipment that was stored in an old projection booth next to the division commander's office. So Keer and his partners used their imaginations. With a little help from their buddies in the security section, they purchased and constructed their own listening devices. To set up a unit, we traced our target's phone line to a pole down the street, climbed it and plugged into the metal juncture box on top.

If climbing up and down the pole to change tapes wasn't a problem, we left the recorder right inside the phone box. Installing more sophisticated bugs required more ingenuity. According to the little detective, his cohorts commandeered all types of vehicles and disguises to aid in their "investigations. On the Gold Coast, where there are no poles, wire men in Streets and Sanitation trucks climbed down sewers to plug into phone lines under the streets. There was a time when some guys would actually return them. I guess they felt that if the police were monitoring someone's phone, they must have a justifiable reason.

The Red Squad

Ten years alter, Peter Keer isn't so sure. Glancing nervously around the deserted restaurant, he adds, "But I'm sure they've gotten rid of those recordings by now—with all the trouble they've had. Since the early 70s most of the old wire men have been transferred and buried in units throughout the city. Everyone's been told to cool it. The guys who are left down there are very scared people.

Five months later, before the parade sites and the victory dinner menus were chosen, the radical Youth International Party made some announcements of their own. During convention week the Yippies intended to stage a "real circus" in Grant Park to satirize the "political circus" that would be going on at the Amphitheatre. From August 25 to 30, , to ,00 turned-on kids would "groove" to rock bands, drop LSD, and burn their draft cards, YIP organizers promised. That spring Chicago policemen were assigned to attend anti-war rallies.

Red Squad, Blue Squad

Photographing demonstrators and copying their license plates, they added countless new names to intelligence files. While "overt" agents developed their photographic skills, "covert" young cops infiltrated the underground. Pete Keer worked where he was needed. In mid-April he attended one of the first open Yippie meetings in a third-floor apartment on the block of Clark Street.

About 20 Yippies were there to discuss strategy for a May Mother's Day march. According to the Daily News , the YIP members planned to march from North Avenue beach to the Chicago 18th district police station, where they would present bewildered cops with apple pies.

No one even questioned me when I wandered in. Drinking wine and listening closely to the conversation, Keer partied with the Yippies for almost an hour. So I slipped out and called my co-workers at the 18th district. The cops arrested 13 men for disorderly conduct. Two were additionally charged with resisting arrest. Seven women at the party were booked for being inmates of a disorderly house. The next morning local newspapers would describe the incident as a simple narcotics raid. When the last person had been charged, Pete Keer drove back to the subversive unit command post with a big smile on his face.

In his notebook were dozen so new names to add to division files. After typing his report, he changed out of his "hippie" clothes, stopped for a beer with his buddies, and then headed for home. I think all policemen believe that they're on the side of the Lone Ranger, even when they're harassing Abbie Hoffman. Pausing, the ex-agent repeats something he's probably said to himself a thousand times.


  1. See Him As He Is;
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  3. The Red Squad story-- / by Ross Meurant. | Items | National Library of New Zealand.
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It may have become distorted somewhere down the line but the original concept was right. As the convention date neared, hostilities between City Hall and the anti-war forces flared almost daily. In late August, U. District Court Judge William Lynch refused to reverse Mayor Daley's decision forbidding demonstrators to sleep in the parks. The Yippies retaliated with a combination of insults and surrealistic mischief.

On August 17, a YIP spokesman announced the presidential candidacy of "Pigasus," a pound black and white pig.


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  • A few days later another flower child casually suggested dumping LSD in the water system and a horrified Mayor Daley dispatched hour police guards to every pumping and filtration station in the city. Two weeks before and one week after the Democratic Convention, the Red Squad employed operation "nuisance factor. In addition to the Red Squad's "regular targets," agents watched 60 to 70 out-of-towners on a hour basis.

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    For almost a month, Peter Keer and his partners took unmarked squad cars home with them to save traveling time. Every morning they radioed their base at Navy Pier, found the team who'd "sat on" their target all night, and relieved them. After a year on the west coast as a Rolling Stone editor, Peck returned to Chicago and currently writes for the Sun-Times. At stoplights, he'd turn around in his seat and wave to us. She was a lovely Indian-type girl. Whenever he spotted us, he'd drag her over to the car and mutter, 'Why don't you take Running Water to a motel and fuck her instead of fucking with us?

    On a sunny morning in the middle of convention week, Abe Peck is driving south down Lincoln Avenue with two Red Squad cops behind him. The YIP leaders sat at the counter. The cops take a seat near the door. Studiously avoiding direct eye contact, Keer and his partner stare holes through the menu. But Hoffman doesn't appreciate the niceties of surveillance work.

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    Instead, he opts for the direct approach. Putting his sandaled feet up on the next stool, he turns around and gives the cops the finger.

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    By 10 AM breakfast is over and the Yippies begin their busy schedule. With their police tail in tow, they stop at the Seed office, at several friends' apartments, and finally at Lincoln Park. Hundreds of kids work out on the park grass, practicing judo and karate. Arms linked, chanting, "Wash-oi, wash-oi," a mob of snake dancers marches across a baseball diamond practicing a Japanese martial arts maneuver.

    Near the lagoon, other longhairs sunbathe and strum guitars. It was like a big picnic or a baseball game. The targets taunted us with remarks like 'You must be more important. Your cops are better looking,' or 'Don't they think I'm as dangerous?