Los Angeles Vanguard
The Los Angeles Vanguard was a weekly newspaper published in Los Angeles, California and established in 1976 after the closure of the Los Angeles Free Press. Dave Lindorff was a founder and editor, along with journalists Woodrow "Tommy" Thompson, Dorothy Thompson, Ben Pleasants, Ron Ridenour and Jim Horowitz. According to Lindorff, the Vanguard was infiltrated by an undercover member of LA's Public Disorder and Intelligence Division (PDID) squad, under Daryl Gates. Lindorff also attributed the paper's collapse to a PDID effort to sabotage its advertising revenues:
"We had, after about six months’ operation, hired a person at a considerable cost to sell advertising space in the paper. We learned from this person, only much later after the paper had to shut down, that she had been told by her boss, an advertising agency executive, to only pretend to try and sell ads. It turns out that the executive had a son who had been busted by the LAPD for drugs, and the police had extorted the father, saying if he prevented our paper from getting advertising, they’d get the charges dropped against his son."
The lawsuit CAPA v. Gates, with the Coalition Against Police Abuse (CAPA) as one of two dozen or so plaintiffs, later sued the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) on First Amendment grounds, exposing unlawful harassment, surveillance, and infiltration of the progressive movement in Los Angeles by LAPD agents—and a link to a right-wing outfit in San Francisco called Western Goals, which was assembling the collected spy dossiers and making them available to law enforcement nationwide and to the federal spy agencies that were feeling hamstrung by the post Watergate reforms limiting such spying.3 The lawsuit against Gates and the LAPD proved successful. A police commission ordered the disbandment of the PDID, which took place in January 1983. In February 1984, an out-of-court settlement awarded $1.8 million to the named plaintiffs, individuals, and organizations who had sued the City of L.A.
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