Richard Aoki was well-known as a lifelong Bay Area radical, playing key roles in the Socialist Workers Party, Berkeley ethnic studies strike, and Black Panther Party. He was also an FBI informant.
Aaron J. Leonard is a writer and historian. He is the author of A Threat of the First Magnitude: FBI Counterintelligence & Infiltration From the Communist Party to the Revolutionary Union - 1962-1974 (Repeater Books, 2018).
The FBI has long tried to destroy socialist organizations, but its actions aren't limited to surveillance. In the sixties and seventies, informants were key — even at the top levels of left groups.
How the FBI broke into the revolution business.