Maryland Police spy on climate activist Mike Tidwell despite “no evidence whatsoever of any involvement in violent crime.”

“I’m a former Peace Corps volunteer, an Eagle Scout, church member, youth baseball coach, and dedicated father. I also happen to be director of one of the largest environmental groups in Maryland, a nonprofit that promotes windmills and solar panels in the fight against global warming. So imagine my shock to get a police letter last month saying I was one of 53 Maryland activists on a terrorist watch list that has been discontinued because — can you believe it? — there’s “no evidence whatsoever of any involvement in violent crime.”

Matters turned especially Soviet-esque on October 14 when I called the police requesting a full copy of my surveillance file. A spokeswoman told me I could visually inspect the file, but I couldn’t make photocopies, I couldn’t bring an attorney, and the police would be destroying the entire file after I read it.

And bring a valid photo ID, she said, to make sure you’re who you say you are.

A what? Really? You spied on me, for God’s sake.

The mess all began last summer when astonishing evidence surfaced revealing that the Maryland State Police — under former Republican Gov. Robert Ehrlich — posed as activists and infiltrated an anti-death-penalty group, attending the organization’s meetings and taking secret notes to send back to HQ. But what were they doing to me and my organization — the Chesapeake Climate Action Network — during this surveillance program in 2005 and 2006? Bugging our phones? Reading our emails? Monitoring me as I walked my kid to the bus stop? ”

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