Filed under: Anarchist Movement, Anti-fascist, Editorials, How To, Repression, US
What follows is a series of tips and suggestions on keeping yourself and others in our movement safe from the state and fascists. Consider these all to be harm reducing protocols and not full proof measures. We also really would like to stress the importance of never underestimating members of the far right or the power of the state. In Anaheim and Sacramento anti fascists and anti racists have been stabbed by racists. In Seattle an anti fascist was shot by a Trump supporter. Other anti fascists have been harassed and doxxed online, getting their personal information and address published on right wing social media accounts. The state not only fails to charge violent nazis, but they currently and historically throw the weight of the judicial system against movements that stand against white supremacy, patriarchy, fascism, colonialism, homophobia, and transphobia. We have to protect ourselves on two fronts so being smart and looking out for one another is critical.
Look out for each other and keep tabs on one another. Be vigilant and aware of your surroundings. Especially when racists and anti racists are not physically separated, keep tabs on those you don’t know who are near you and whether they’re acting suspicious.
Write the NLG hotline number in permanent ink on your body!
415-285-1011 is the number in the Bay Area. You will not have access to your phone or any of your belongings once you are in custody. If you see anyone arrested, try to get their name and birthday and call them into NLG immediately.
Keep your identity as secure as you can. We recommend that anyone coming to an antifa demo come masked. We recommend this because fascists are known to document folks on our side to identify and target individuals. It is important to note that due to surveillance technology, a simple bandanna covering will not shield you from the state finding out who you are. Therefore if you anticipate being in the position of getting charged with crimes (this includes physically fighting fascists), a whole host of security measures should be taken that include, but are not limited to: covering all of your hair and face, wearing sunglasses, masks, leaving off identifiable colors and accouterments (colored shoelaces, patches, bookbag you wear everyday, etc.) being mindful of cameras and undercovers that may see you unmasked before or after you’re covered. But also please keep in mind that any time you participate in militant action you can and should anticipate repression, be it an arrest during or after -even months later- the demo, door knocks or phone calls from police investigators, court and grand jury supeonas, etc.
Have a plan for arriving and leaving with a friend or two.
Stay diligent in watching for creeping fascists hoping to catch you alone.
Do not post yourself or anyone else at any demo on the internet, especially your own social media account. The sate and/or the alt right can find this info and use it against you or your comrades. Also remember to not brag or talk about anything you did or saw while out. Keep in mind even if you are not committing a crime, if you post yourself online it does put you at the scene which means you could be at risk of getting a subpoena or otherwise get pressured to talk to law enforcement. Which brings us to…
It is never ok to talk to police! For the sake of the health and longevity of our movements, it is politically and ethically important that no one in our movement cooperate with the state. But also, for your personal security it’s also a good idea to keep your mouth shut.
They might ask you questions when you’re in custody.
They might show up at your house or job weeks or months after a demo. They might call you on the phone. Please know that police will use manipulation tricks to get you to talk. (“You didn’t break the law, what do you have to hide?” “We’re just trying to get information on the violent nazis.”) You might think you don’t have any useful information for them, but actually they can piece together seemingly harmless info and use it against you or others. The best answer to cop questioning is to say, “I have nothing to say to you without my attorney.” In the event that you are pressured to talk, it’s very important to tell your comrades or otherwise publicize the full content of the questioning and your answers. Ultimately, we have to trust each other in order to function together, so transparency is paramount.
In the words of the Bay Area Anti Repression Committee:
TAKE CARE OF EACH OTHER:
Below are tips and suggestions we’ve borrowed from material put out by the ARC:
- Do not talk to the police! The only information you are legally required to give them is your name. The police are allowed to lie. If you lie to a cop or a federal agent, it can be a felony, even if you just misspoke. Be safe: do not talk to them.
- Even if you are not a citizen, everyone in the U.S. has two rights under the 5th Amendment: the right to refuse to talk to any government agent, and the right to a lawyer.
- When under arrest expect intimidation and harassment by the police. They will lie to you to scare you, to extract information that they can later use to prosecute you and your comrades. The only things you need to say are your name and “I am going to remain silent. I want to talk to a lawyer”
- They may ask you questions such as: Why were you at today’s demonstration? Who were you with? What were you doing? They may tell you that you are legally required to answer these questions, or that they will retaliate against you if you don’t. Do not answer any questions! Even seemingly harmless facts can be dangerous in the hands of the police.
- Be mindful that anything said in the arrest vehicle, in the cells or on the phones can be used against you in court.
- Don’t talk to internal affairs and don’t talk to police review boards. Both can and do share information with the police and district attorney which could be used against you or others.
- ARC manages a bail fund for folks who do not have the resources to bond themselves out. Check out their bail policy for more info: https://antirepressionbayarea.com/about-2/
- Be prepared for arrest, even if you don’t plan on getting arrested!
- If you are on medication, remember to have your prescription and a bottle of the medication on you. Getting medication in to someone in custody is often a very long drawn out process, and this will help get the medication you need faster and easier.
- If you have children, make sure you have childcare worked out, not just for the day you will be on the streets, but for several days in case of arrest. Note that if you are arrested on a Thursday or
- Friday your court date will most likely not be until the beginning of the next week.
- If you have pets, make sure you have a pet sitter.
Be aware that if you don’t have an ID with you they will often hold you for longer
- Expect that there will be court a few days after the demonstration if there has been arrests!
- Check out the ARC court calendar on www.antirepressionbayarea.com and the Antirepression Crew Facebook to find out the dates and locations of court
- Arrange to do Jail Support, which is greeting and getting people home when they get out of jail!
- Do you have a car to pick people up from jail?
- ARC will make announcements about when people are being released from custody on the Jail and Court Support Updates section of the website, and also on the Antirepression Crew Facebook page
Information about court dates, times, and departments are often changing. The ARC tries their best to keep people updated on the most recent information. Before you go to court, check the ARC Facebook or website the night before and morning of.
The processing time of people being released from jail is usually between 5 and 9 hours (although sometimes can be longer). This means that the ARC cannot tell you when exactly to go pick people up from jail. Expect that you might be waiting there for a long time! The ARC will get a general estimate from the court and/or the bondsman, and that’s the best estimate they can give. The ARC recommends you coordinate with a group so that you have company and so people being released are greeted by friendly faces. Also, people tend to want cigarettes, food, water and coffee when getting out of jail, so bring whatever you got!