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reflects Alice Embree. “I think the UT police had such a close relationship with other agenciesDPS, the FBI, the Secret Servicebecause of the presidential spotlight. There we were in the streets, protesting Lyndon’s war and trying to integrate the dorm where his daughter lived.” One case that brought Austin and campus police together, but also threatened to drive them apart, was the murder of militant activist George Vizard. Respected and well liked by those who knew him, Vizard had a genuine dedication to social change and a ready sense of humor. He was also probably the most visible and volatile of Austin’s radical activists, proudly proclaiming his membership in the Communist Party. He was arrested several times and was in a number of altercations with authorities. If one were to have picked someone in the Austin left to target as an example, he would have been the likely choice. Vizard worked at a convenience store, and it was there, in a frozen food locker, that his body was found on July 23, 1967. He had one bullet in his left bicep and another in his back. It would take 14 years for a former employee of the store, a mentally unstable campus character named Robert Zani, to be convicted of the killing. Vizard and Chief Hamilton had a confrontational relationship, and according to Democratic political consultant Kelly Fero’s The Zani Murders, Hamilton was alleged to have threatened Vizard’s life. Initially, Austin police considered Hamilton a suspect in the case. Hamilton’s papers reveal that Robert Zani had a relationship with the police and was an informant in at least one narcotics case \(information previously revealed to kill George Vizard linger to this day. George’s widow, Mariann Wizard \(she changed the “V” to describes Zani’s volunteering as a narc raises the enduring question: was Zani a ‘lone nut’ or a missile aimed at the heart of Austin’s antiwar movement?” Alice Embree called Lt. Burt Gerding’s house the morning that George Vizard’s body was found. She recalls the lieutenant saying to her, “I always told you this kind of thing was dangerous?’ “Gerding may have just been rattling cages,” she says, “but [his] message was that George’s politics had put him in danger. And that that would apply to the rest of us as well.” The spying on Austin radicals revealed in the Hamilton files was hardly isolated. Over the years we have learned the magnitude of surveillance efforts by local, state, and federal agenciesthe IRS and CIA and military intelligenceagainst those of us involved in the antiwar activism and countercultural lifestyles of the Sixties and Seventies. And we discovered the mind-boggling work of the FBI, with its coordinated efforts not only to keep tabs on the New Left, but also to destroy it by whatever means necessary. We learned that in addition to campus radicals, the increasingly influential underground press movement became a frequent target of the authorities. During the Sixties and Seventies, a number of government agencies had significant overlapping domestic surveillance programs. According to former military intelligence officer Christopher H. Powell, who now teaches constitutional law at Mount Holyoke College, U.S. Army Intelligence had a network of 1,500 agents dispersed throughout the country and maintained files on more than a million American citizens. The IRS was involved in “counter-subversive” intelligence operations, had massive files, and shared them with other agencies. The CIA conducted significant domestic spying, targeted SDS, SNCC, the Black Panther Party, and a number of other organizations and had a substantial campus presence with agents among the faculty and administration. Texas was no exception. The big kid on the block, however, was the FBI, with its up in 1956, its mission was to “expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize.” The prime target of this activity became the New Left and the black power movement. In War at Home: Covert Action Against U.S. Activists, Brian Glick says the four main methods of operation were: infiltration; psychological warfare from the outside; harassment through the legal system; and extralegal force and violence. “They resorted to the secret and systematic use of fraud and force to sabotage constitutionally protected political activity.” The FBI’s far-reaching program was, in many cases, extremely effective and is credited with being a substantial factor in the collapse of SDS, the underground press, and the New Left as a whole. These activities became public after the passage of the Freedom of Information Act of 1974. In the documentary film Rebels With a Cause, former SDS national secretary Mike Spiegel recounts what he learned after obtaining his FBI files: J. Edgar Hoover had specifically instructed agents to follow him 24 hours a day and further ordered them to “promptly furnish your suggestions as to how Spiegel might be most effectively neutralized.” “What was frightening,” said Spiegel, “was that the term neutralize could mean anything … all the way up to killing me.” Glick points out that “close coordination with local police and prosecutors was strongly encouraged” by the FBI. Indeed, the Hamilton files documented visits to Austin by movement activists from elsewhere in Texas and contained numerous references to national leaders such as Spiegel and a national vice president of SDS. In the Sixties, we looked over our shoulders a lot. Even when we weren’t on drugs. We always thought we were being watched, followed, wiretapped, photographed. We were certain that there were infiltrators and informers and provocateurs. We just didn’t know how right we were. Thorne Dreyer was a founder and editor of the Sixties underground newspapers The Rag and Space City! and managed Houston’s Pacifica radio station KPFT. He is a freelance writer and lives in Austin. NOVEMBER 17, 2006 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 13