Some local activists have recently been suffering intimidation tactics from law enforcement. This is not a new development, I am not surprised that the FBI is being used to silence political dissent. I am disgusted, but not surprised. These past few years I have learned much about the lengths “my” government will go to in order to squash the voices of the people it purports to represent. I have always questioned authority of the state, but recently I feel like I went down a rabbit hole. “My” government is off it’s hinges, and out of control.
“FBI agents in Seattle and Olympia have reportedly been showing up at people’s houses, favorite jogging locations (a park), schools (Seattle University), workplaces, and at least one nonprofit (which serves street-involved youth), asking: “Do you want to talk about May Day?”
They’re also asking about people’s co-workers, roommates, romantic situations, and general social-mapping questions.
The agents are asking about May Day 2012, but it’s difficult to believe that their timing, when May Day 2013 is just around the corner, is pure coincidence. We’re all aware of the crap the FBI and US Attorneys have been willing to drag activists through and their fondness for “we know where you live, we know where you work, we know who you know” leverage—even when it’s convincing people to commit crimes they’d never normally engage in.”
“Do you want to talk about May Day?”
It’s always a good idea to consider where the courage of dissent may take you. I am grateful for individuals with the ability and make the decision to stand up for the rights of quiet and vulnerable voices.
“What should we do on a day like today? Foremost, do not panic. Take deep breaths, go for a walk (it is a beautiful sunny day in Washington), do whatever you need to do to stay focused and calm.”
“… Make a plan. What would you do if you were subpoenaed? Would you resist by appearing and refusing to testify? Are you prepared to go to prison?”
Telling- or YELLING- the truth about the dishonesty and corruption within our governing body is a dangerous task. Individuals responsible for the suffering of the under-caste will try to find any way possible to discredit those who are brave enough to do so. People who seek power over others are scared to death of those who seek equality for everyone. There has never been nor will there ever be enough money, power or control for those who believe it is their right to wield it, and their defenses are supported by a well trained force and an embarrassingly disproportionate military budget.
So it’s with an increasingly heavy heart that I report that they are at it AGAIN. It wasn’t enough to subject the innocent to solitary confinement indefinite detention in order to intimidate our community of courageous truth seekers, so now the frightened moneymakers have sent an army of brutes door to door, charged with intimidating our young.
High school and college are difficult times. We discover that the world is not what was indoctrinated within us by our public education. There are vast discrepancies between the stories we have been taught about our “honorable” country and the reality of it’s history. Students learn about the dark side of what has been sold to us as “democracy”. It’s no wonder that our youth are a target. Threatening our community by scaring college students into inaction towards the betterment of society is the act of a nation fearful of it’s citizens.
When so much of our governing body’s actions are at the expense of it’s citizenry and towards the benefit of it’s own wealthy caste, amenable to the suffering of the majority of it’s own “voting” body- it’s no wonder they are fearful. Even as their hands are caught in the coffers, we are told it is for the good of the people that the bankers plunder our collective savings in an attempt to hold on to the ponzi scheme that is that is fiat “capitalism”.
These words we are expected to accept – - “democracy”, “free market”, “capitalism” have all been bastardized, used to manufacture the consent of society and create consumers for profit and the further empowerment of money makers. I will likely never understand the cause for the infinite appetite of power and money. I almost hope I never do. I have heard theories- such as the exclusivity of breeding or side effect of caste resulting in sociopathy or the loss of empathy which is borne of all mammals (sounds legit), but I hope I never really discover the truth because I suspect it would break my heart.
This May Day, be careful, beware, be brave, stand firm, KNOW YOUR RIGHTS, believe in your cause, seek and speak the truth. Do not let fear tactics prevent you from doing what is morally just.
There will be protests, marches, and actions across the city on May 1st, and we need people to film the police at these events!
Here are SOME of the events planned for that day, and we need as many cameras as possible at all of them!
Salish CIRCA May Day
-1PM 611 20th Ave. S. Seattle WA 98144
(St. Mary’s Church)
El Comite Immigration March
-6PM Seattle Central Community College
FILM THE MAY DAY POLICE (Seattle May Day event list)
“Spring has sprung! This is a call for everyone who wants to celebrate May 1st by honoring the history and struggle of May Day. We will converge together in solidarity with our comrades facing repression from last year’s May 1st demonstrations and also to continue to stand against the oppression of our everyday lives in all forms, from the borders to the prisons and from bosses to the police. May Day is a day of tradition, a day to remember all our comrades that can’t be here with us and to remind each other that our struggle is global!”
We know the difference between right and wrong, and this is wrong:
Dorli Rainey, 84-Year-Old Occupy Seattle Protester, Pepper Sprayed In The Face (PHOTO)
Occupy Seattle protester claims police caused her miscarriage
Elderly woman, Priest pepper-sprayed during Occupy protest
Grand Jury Refusers: Five Months and Counting, Plus Solitary Since December
Police pepper spray Occupy Seattle protesters, telegraph UK
ACLU of Washington State KNOW YOUR RIGHTS:
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KNOW YOUR RIGHTS WHEN STOPPED BY POLICE, IMMIGRATION OR THE FBI
You have the right to remain silent. If you wish to exercise that right, say so out loud.
You have the right to refuse to consent to a search of yourself, your car or your home.
If you are not under arrest or detained, you have the right to calmly leave.
You have the right to a lawyer if you are arrested. Ask for one immediately.
Regardless of your immigration or citizenship status, you have constitutional rights.
Do stay calm and be polite.
Do not interfere with or obstruct the police.
Do not lie or give false documents.
Do prepare yourself and your family in case you are arrested.
Do remember the details of the encounter.
Do file a written complaint or call your local ACLU if you feel your rights have been violated
IF YOU ARE STOPPED FOR QUESTIONING
Stay calm. Don’t run. Don’t argue, resist or obstruct the police, even if you are innocent or police are violating your rights. Keep your hands where police can see them.
Ask if you are free to leave. If the officer says yes, calmly and silently walk away. If the officer says you are not under arrest, but you are not free to go, then you are being detained. Being detained is not the same as being arrested, though an arrest could follow. If you are under arrest, you have a right to know why.
You have the right to remain silent. If you wish to remain silent, tell the officer out loud. You have a right to refuse to answer questions. You should politely assert this right.
You do not have to consent to a search of yourself or your belongings, but police may “pat down” your clothing if they suspect a weapon. You should not physically resist, but you have the right to refuse consent for any further search. If you do consent, it can affect you later in court.
IF YOU ARE STOPPED IN YOUR CAR
Stop the car in a safe place as quickly as possible. Turn off the car, turn on the internal light, open the window part way and place your hands on the wheel.
You don’t have to answer a police officer’s questions, but you must show your driver’s license and registration when stopped in a car. In most other situations, Washington law does not make it a crime to refuse to identify yourself to a police officer.
If an officer or immigration agent asks to look inside your car, you can refuse to consent to the search. But if police believe your car contains evidence of a crime, your car can be searched without your consent.
Both drivers and passengers have the right to remain silent. If you are a passenger, you can ask if you are free to leave. If the officer says yes, sit silently or calmly leave. Even if the officer says no, you have the right to remain silent.
IF YOU ARE QUESTIONED ABOUT YOUR IMMIGRATION STATUS
You have the right to remain silent and do not have to discuss your immigration or citizenship status with police, immigration agents or any other officials. You do not have to answer questions about where you were born, whether you are a U.S. citizen, or how you entered the country.
If you are not a U.S. citizen and an immigration agent requests your immigration papers, you must show them if you have them with you. If you are over 18, carry your immigration documents with you at all times. If you do not have immigration papers, say you want to remain silent.
Do not lie about your citizenship status or provide fake documents.
RESIDENTS OF WASHINGTON should be aware that, because the state does not require proof of legal residence for issuance of a driver’s license, the license may not satisfy Arizona criteria for identification under the new Arizona racial profiling law. If traveling to Arizona, you may want to take a passport with you, if you have one.
IF THE POLICE OR IMMIGRATION AGENTS COME TO YOUR HOME
If the police or immigration agents come to your home, you do not have to let them in unless they have certain kinds of warrants.
Ask the officer to slip the warrant under the door or hold it up to the window so you can inspect it. A search warrant allows police to enter the address listed on the warrant, but officers can only search the areas and for the items listed. An arrest warrant allows police to enter the home of the person listed on the warrant if they believe the person is inside. A warrant of removal/deportation (ICE warrant) does not allow officers to enter a home without consent.
Even if officers have a warrant, you have the right to remain silent. If you choose to speak to the officers, step outside and close the door.
IF YOU ARE CONTACTED BY THE FBI
If an FBI agent comes to your home or workplace, you do not have to answer any questions. Tell the agent you want to speak to a lawyer first.
If you are asked to meet with FBI agents for an interview, you have the right to say you do not want to be interviewed. If you agree to an interview, have a lawyer present. You do not have to answer any questions you feel uncomfortable answering, and can say that you will only answer questions on a specific topic.
IF YOU ARE ARRESTED
Do not resist arrest, even if you believe the arrest is unfair.
Say you wish to remain silent and ask for a lawyer immediately. Don’t give any explanations or excuses. If you can’t pay for a lawyer, you have the right to a free one. Don’t say anything, sign anything or make any decisions without a lawyer.
You have the right to make a local phone call. The police cannot listen if you call a lawyer.
Prepare yourself and your family in case you are arrested. Memorize the phone numbers of your family and your lawyer. Make emergency plans if you have children or take medication.
Special considerations for non-citizens:
Ask your lawyer about the effect of a criminal conviction or plea on your immigration status.
Don’t discuss your immigration status with anyone but your lawyer.
While you are in jail, an immigration agent may visit you. Do not answer questions or sign anything before talking to a lawyer.
Read all papers fully. If you do not understand or cannot read the papers, tell the officer you need an interpreter.
IF YOU ARE TAKEN INTO IMMIGRATION (OR “ICE”) CUSTODY
You have the right to a lawyer, but the government does not have to provide one for you. If you do not have a lawyer, ask for a list of free or low-cost legal services.
You have the right to contact your consulate or have an officer inform the consulate of your arrest.
Tell the ICE agent you wish to remain silent. Do not discuss your immigration status with anyone but your lawyer.
Do not sign anything, such as a voluntary departure or stipulated removal, without talking to a lawyer. If you sign, you may be giving up your opportunity to try to stay in the U.S.
Remember your immigration number (“A” number) and give it to your family. It will help family members locate you.
Keep a copy of your immigration documents with someone you trust.
IF YOU FEEL YOUR RIGHTS HAVE BEEN VIOLATED
Remember: police misconduct cannot be challenged on the street. Don’t physically resist officers or threaten to file a complaint.
Write down everything you remember, including officers’ badge and patrol car numbers, which agency the officers were from, and any other details. Get contact information for witnesses. If you are injured, take photographs of your injuries (but seek medical attention first).
File a written complaint with the agency’s internal affairs division or le a complaint civilian complaint board. In most cases, you can fi anonymously if you wish.
Call your local ACLU or visit www.aclu.org/profiling.