Filed under: Action, Repression, Southwest
Journalist Vishal P. Singh reports on the DHS targeting of a local activist in the Los Angeles County area.
What has been described as a “federal task force” from the Department of Homeland Security is reportedly targeting civil rights activists in Los Angeles county. A local community member who often assists mutual aid efforts confirmed with us that they are currently facing a federal indictment over criminal allegations unrelated to violence against any individuals. This community activist told us that they will be turning themselves in on Monday, March 21, 2022. Here is a statement from activists in Los Angeles:
A Los Angeles community member is being hunted by federal agents from the Department of Homeland Security. They are turning themselves in on Monday to avoid further collateral damage. The information we have reveals that this indictment is the work of a federal task force within the Department of Homeland Security.
Los Angeles activists should be alert to the fact that federal authorities are examining their backgrounds and histories in various movements. We have reviewed the indictment, the criminal allegations do not relate to any bodily harm against individuals. Even so, federal authorities seem adamant to pursue this individual. If the claims about a federal task force prove genuine, this is the start of a new chapter for Los Angeles activism.
This escalation is in stark contrast to how right wing violence against locals in Los Angeles are excused, forgiven, and outright ignored. There is no federal indictment over the Wi Spa stabbing, where a far-right extremist stabbed two people. There is no federal indictment over the white supremacist who pulled a handgun on Black Lives Matter protesters in Tujunga in front of LAPD. There is no federal indictment for the repeated Proud Boys-led street brawls that happen right in front of LAPD headquarters.
I've confirmed that a Los Angeles activist has been targeted with a federal indictment. The charge is not related to violence against any individuals, and there are rumors of a DHS task force being involved. I'll be releasing a statement from the individual in question today. pic.twitter.com/s1tCy66AIm
— Vishal P. Singh (they/he) (@VPS_Reports) March 20, 2022
Federal authorities have been ignoring the uptake in far-right extremist violence in Los Angeles county. Proud Boys and other fascists have started numerous street brawls and have faced virtually no legal ramifications. But it seems like federal authorities have no issue using their resources to track down left-leaning activists who aren’t even involved in violent activity or street brawls.
The bias is clear. Since 2020, I have observed massive amounts of targeting by local law enforcement in regards to demonstrations following the police killing of George Floyd. But federal involvement is a clear escalation that hasn’t been seen here in this context. Activists tell me that they believe the DHS is trying to make an example out of them. They fear that this federal indictment will not be the last they hear of this “federal task force.”
Fellow activists and community members intend to hold space tomorrow for a court support outside of the Downtown Los Angeles federal courthouse. Details here.