WASHINGTON (Jun. 22)
A coalition of at least eight minority group organizations, led by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, rallied this week throughout the country to protest the Anti-Defamation League’s alleged nationwide spying and surveillance network.
A rally was held Tuesday outside ADL’s Washington headquarters, one of many such demonstrations being held countrywide in an effort to draw public attention to ADL’s supposed espionage operation, said Gregory Nojeim, ADC’s director of legal services.
No formal charges have been lodged against ADL, although the San Francisco Polic Department is investigating the Jewish defense agency on suspicion of carrying out illegal information-gathering activities.
The San Francisco police suspect ADL of obtaining information illegally through a variety of means, including wiretapping and the purchase of confidential police files. Police executed search warrants at ADL’s Los Angeles and San Francisco offices in April.
On Tuesday, some 30 protesters here paraded with picket signs for an hour, chanting, “No more lies, no more spies, ADL apologize” and other similar phrases.
ADL staff remained out of sight during the rally.
“It appears that ADC is seeking to exploit a situation that doesn’t exist. We believe the charges that they are alleging are groundless,” Jess Hordes, ADL Washington representative, said later Tuesday.
At a news conference following the rally, ADC President Albert Mokhiber asked “whether the police department of Washington, D.C., or the FBI have locally furnished information protected by the law to ADL, as was done by the police in San Francisco and in a number of other states.”
In April, Mokhiber claimed that documents released in conjunction with the police searches of ADL’s offices indicated that ADL kept files on “thousands of ADC members.”
According to Mokhiber the demonstrations will continue on a weekly basis. “We’re not going to stop until ADL stops,” he said.