March 27, 2008

COINTELPRO, The Millenium Edition

Alert to all forward thinking citizens who "think outside the box," (which is growing tighter every day). You might be visited (perhaps without your knowledge) by bullies pretending to be patriots. I'm forwarding advice provided by NYMAA (New York Metro Anarchist Alliance) in response to the March 6 Times Square bombing:
Responses to FBI targeting of Nonviolent Activists
Many of you know that over the last week, the FBI has been calling and visiting members of the War Resisters League, Students for a Democratic Society and Movement for a Democratic Society in and around New York City.
So far, we know of at least 10 people who have had visits and/or phone calls. These visits are ostensibly to gather information about the March 6th incident in Times Square.
The conservative group Move America Forward has tried to implicate the WRL, which may or may not have contributed to these inquiries. (see [or <>] -- about half way down the page).
Some members of these clearly nonviolent groups have consulted with lawyers and wanted to keep everyone informed. It is important that folks know their rights in relation to these inquiries. We activists are providing this information to help demystify FBI investigative techniques and make all concerned aware of the rights of those who are approached by agents.
Take a minute to read the Center for Constitutional Rights publication, "If an Agent Knocks: Federal Investigators and Your Rights," which you can find here:
[or <>]
According to the publication: "It is important, if agents try to question you, not to answer or make any statements, at least not until after you have consulted a lawyer. Announce your desire to consult a lawyer, and make every reasonable effort to contact one as quickly as possible."
In short, if you are contacted:
- Aside from providing your name and address, you do not have to speak to law enforcement agents, nor do you have to let them in your home or workplace without a warrant
- Experience shows that the more information you give, the more questions, visits, etc will come
- On being contacted by any law enforcement agent seeking an "interview" the safest thing to say is, "Excuse me, but I'd like to talk to my lawyer before I say anything to you" or, "I have nothing to say to you. I will talk to my lawyer and have her [or him] contact you."
- Ask for business cards and/or note the agents' names, badge numbers, and agency affiliation (FBI, NYPD, etc.)
In addition:
If you receive voicemail asking you to call the FBI, forward the information to your attorney. Do not return the call prior to discussing it with your lawyer.
Avoid talking to the press about an ongoing investigation - talking to the press is another means of opening a channel of communication with law enforcement. The press, the Internet and email are all inherently insecure.
Attorneys associated with the Mass Defense Commiittee of the New York City chapter of the National Lawyers Guild volunteered to provide consultations to people who receive calls or visits. Please contact Susan Howard, NYC Chapter Coordinator at 212-679-6018 - nlgnyc at .

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