Echo Park -- The Echo Park United Methodist Church has long been a center for liberal causes, activists and gatherings. That included several meetings in 2017 by a left-wing group that was involved in planning large anti-Trump protests nationwide.

It turns out that one of the persons who attended those meetings was an LAPD informant who secretly recorded the gatherings and passed along the intel to the department, says the L.A. Times.

Police began monitoring the meetings as they were apparently concerned about the potential for violence as a wave of anti-Donald Trump demonstrations were held in the year after he was elected. 

The LAPD informant equipped with a hidden recorder attended four meetings of Refuse Fascism held at the Echo Park church at the corner of Alvarado and Reservoir streets. But none of the information provided by the informant revealed any credible threats, said the Times

“I certainly have concerns about it,” Pastor Frank Wulf told the Times about the LAPD's actions.  “I can’t speak for the church body, but it does seem that it is an interference in our right to use our church building in a way we see fit … it does have a chilling effect on people who, according to the constitution, have a right to protest.”

Church leaders have been active on numerous political and social issues, and the church has hosted meetings for groups ranging from marxist-humanists to Physicians for Social Responsibility.

In 2014, Rev. David Farley helped organize meetings to protest the rise of deportations under then President Obama.  

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