University News

WIU Hosts Screening/Discussion of "COINTELPRO 101" October 3

September 23, 2011

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MACOMB, IL - -"COINTELPRO 101," a controversial FBI operation, will be screened from 7-9 p.m. Monday, Oct. 3 in Morgan Hall 109 on Western Illinois University campus.

COINTELPRO, which stood for Counter Intelligence Program, was a FBI operation to investigate, infiltrate and ultimately destroy American organizations that the FBI, then led by J. Edgar Hoover, claimed threatened the nation.

Claude Marks, the project director of The Freedom Archives, a political, cultural oral history project, restoration center, and media production faculty in San Francisco, will be at the screening to introduce "COINTELPRO 101" and to answer questions after the screening. The 56-minute film features interviews with activists of the Black Panther Party, American Indian groups as well as Chicano and Puerto Rican organizations.

"This documentary is a vital tool to help Americans and other people to improve democratic societies," said WIU History Professor Peter Cole. "It is imperative for Americans to know our past so we can prevent our government from assuming too much power in our own time.

"Having Claude Marks come to campus to introduce the film he helped make and answer questions that anyone might have is an incredible opportunity," Cole added.

According to its website, The Freedom Archives "contains over 10,00 hours of audio and video tapes. These recordings date from the late-60s to the mid-90s and chronicle the progressive history of the Bay Area, the United States and international solidarity movements."

The screening is open free to the public. For more information, contact Cole, phone (309) 298-3691, or email

This event is sponsored by WIU's history department, Expanding Cultural Diversity Project, First Year Experience program and by African American Associate Professor Jo-Ann Morgan.

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Office of University Communications & Marketing