incidents show that government and industry harassment of the eco-animal movement
exists. Last year, Syracuse activists were subpoenaed to testify at grand jury
hearings. The break-ins at the North American A.L.F. Supporters Group in Canada,
and the Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade's (CAFT) headquarters in Memphis were
obviously politically motivated as the thieves stole information and equipment
crucial to their operations, while leaving other expensive goods behind. CAFT's
phone lines were tapped and information obtained from the bugged line lead to
the subpoenaing of one CAFT activist to a grand jury in Michigan.
is also the bombing of Earth First! activist Judi Bari which happened while she
was driving. Bari survived the bomb attack only to have the FBI arrest her, claiming
she was transporting the bomb to do some terrorist activity. This FBI fantasy
scenario is obviously a lie considering the bomb was planted underneath the driver's
seat in an obvious attempt to murder her.
Unfortunately, government and
industry harassment of activists is real, and not the babblings of the overly-paranoid.
Therefore, if we hope to survive as an effective, grassroots movement, we need
to be ready for government harassment before it happens. If we wait until we feel
its full force, we will not have the necessary infrastructure and knowledge to
successfully withstand their assaults. Thankfully, No Compromise is dedicated
to giving you the knowledge and creating that infrastructure to ensure our cause's
If we don't prepare for the governments attacked, we will be doomed
to repeat our unfortunate history. In the late 80's when direct action -- both
civil disobedience and A.L.F actions -- were at their height, the Feds attacked
our cause by serving numerous activists with grand jury subpoenas. We were unprepared,
many people did the wrong things, and our movement was set back years.
those of you who don't know what a "grand jury" is, it is basically
a closed legal hearing. They are not open to the public, and everything that is
said at them is kept completely confidential. Activists are compelled to answer
every question (which often-times include personal questions about their friends,
lovers, and other associations) and they are not allowed legal representation
to be present at the hearing. Furthermore, activists who refuse to testify can
These "Kangaroo Court" proceedings helped destroy
the movement in the late 80s. People feared being subpoenaed and left the movement.
Others who were subpoenaed, refused to testify and were sent to jail. The authorities
used the jailing of these activists to scare others into testifying. Many people
did testify at these hearings. And since these hearings are private, no one know
who said what about whom. The fact that people testified created a lot of fear
and mistrust amongst activists, and further drove people out of the movement.
The effective groups disappeared and the movement lost all that it had been trying
so hard to gain. We cannot allow this to happen again.
On a positive note,
there are ways to fight those forces that try to maintain the status quo at the
expense of our civil liberties. The main weapons we have to fight government harassment
include total non-cooperation with the authorities, and publicizing their abuse
of the legal system and their violations of our civil liberties.
authorities come to your house, don't answer the door. If they call you up and
try to set up a meeting with you, say "I have nothing to say to you"
and hang up the phone. Or if they need information to help catch A.L.F. activists
tell them, "I don't know anything about that, and even if I did, I wouldn't
It's great to not cooperate with the authorities, but it
is even better to tell or show the authorities in no uncertain terms that you
will not cooperate with them. That's why hanging up on and making such defiant
statements, as written above, are so important. The authorities want easy targets.
If you show an unwillingness to cooperate, they often back off.
they will test your commitment. They might threaten to serve you a grand jury
subpoena, or say they have information on you, etc. Don't listen to their manipulation
and lies. Instead, stay defiant!
Sheila Laracy was one of the activists
who was subpoenaed to testify at a grand jury in the late 80s. She did not go
to the grand jury hearing (which is itself a violation of the law), but instead
she held a news conference exposing the governments abuse of the legal system
to harass activists. No authorities, federal or otherwise ever contacted her again
about her involvement with the cause. Her total and absolute non-cooperation,
coupled with exposing the FBI's abuses successfully fought them off.
year, two New York activists who were subpoenaed to give their fingerprints resisted.
They fought the subpoenas legally. Local activists organized protests to draw
attention to the government's violation of these activists' civil liberties. The
activists lost their legal battles, and then faced the option of submitting their
fingerprints or going to jail. They chose jail, and suddenly the government was
no longer interested in getting their prints. The activists did not give their
prints or go to jail. Most likely, the feds feared the negative publicity they
would continue to receive for jailing these "conscientious objectors."
aspect of successfully fighting government and industry oppression is keeping
each other informed. If you are approached by the FBI, or if you are subpoenaed,
or if you are arrested, you need to let other activists know immediately! By informing
others of the situation, we can be their to provide you with moral support, give
you effective advice, and gather the resources -- financial or otherwise -- necessary
to help you.
Together, we will be able to fight their attempts to destroy
us and prevail! We will not only successfully defend ourselves, but use their
attacks to beat them down by revealing their true role as agents of repression.
Prepare for an increase in government harassment as our movement grows and becomes
more effective. We can beat them and we must beat them. The animals are depending
What To Do If Approached By The Authorities
not speak with them. Never talk to the authorities. Period. Then immediately call
the No Compromise for further assistance.
- Educate other local activists.
If the authorities contact you, it is possible other activists will be approached
too. Be sure to educate them on their rights to not speak, and give them the above
numbers to call in case they are contacted.
- Publicize their abuses. Organize
protests or news conferences at your local federal building or courthouse to expose
the authorities' abuse of your civil liberties. Let No Compromise know and we
will post it on the website to keep everyone informed.
- Read War At
Home by Brian Glick. This should actually be done before anything happens.
The book is usually sold at your local anarchist or underground book store and
is also available from No Compromise.
This book outlines all of the major tactics the government and industry use to
fight social movements and explains what we can do to fight back! It is a must
read book for all activists.