‘Anarchist’ looked like someone’s mom

‘Anarchist’ looked like someone’s mom

On Aug. 31, 2007, Marilyn Hedstrom, who appeared to be in her early 50s, walked into a run-down store-front where anarchists hung out on E. Lake Street in Minneapolis.

She introduced herself as Norma Jean.

Asked by a man at the Jack Pine Center why she was there, she said she had issues with President Bush and the Iraq war. “I told him I was interested in helping the cause and interested in participating in the protesting,” she later wrote in reports reviewed by the Star Tribune.

What she did not tell him is that she was a deputy sheriff for the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office. Along with two other undercover sheriff’s operatives and an FBI informer, she had been assigned to infiltrate the RNC Welcoming Committee, which was planning street blockades at the 2008 Republican National Convention.

She went “dumpster diving” at the group’s instructions to find food for the anarchists to eat. She cooked meals for some meetings, ran errands, coordinated committee discussions and represented the organization at some gatherings of the protest movement. She became friends of some of the activists. And she, ironically, even helped on security for the anarchists, who worried that the cops were infiltrating them.

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