Media FBI Break-in Commemoration on Target for Sept. 1

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A Sept. 1 celebration commemorating the 1971 break-in at the Media field office of the FBI is on track, writes Kenny Cooper for WHYY.org.

Fifty years ago, Bonnie Raines and Keith Forsyth and other antiwar activists broke in and took over 1,000 classified documents detailing illegal investigations of American citizens, including Martin Luther King, Jr.  and Malcolm X.

The mastermind behind the FBI break-in was Haverford College physics and math professor William Davidson.

The FBI surveillance extended even to Swarthmore College.

Hired FBI informers worked at the college listening to phone calls of professors and students and reporting it to the FBI. Every Black student at the college was under surveillance.

The release of the documents changed how the FBI conducted future investigations.

Now a historical marker at 1 Veterans Square will show where the break-in occurred.

Raines and Forsyth will be attending.

“I think that the value of the commemoration is for people to hear about this story, to be reminded of the kind of things that powerful people will do if they think they can get away with it. And to be reminded of our ability to fight back and to stop that,” Forsyth, now 71, said.

Read more at WHYY about the fascinating history surrounding the break-in.

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