How to Minimize the Effects of Government Harassment
from No Compromise Issue 5
 

The advice below is reprinted from a must read book for activists--War at Home: Covert Action Against U.S. Activists and What We Can Do About It by Brian Glick. Published by South End Press, 116 Saint Botolph St., Boston, MA 02115. It is available from the Animal Liberation League, PO Box 240655, Apple Valley, MN 55124 for $5.

1. Check out the authenticity of any disturbing letter, rumor, phone call or other communication before acting on it. Ask the supposed source if she or he is responsible. [Please re-read this one again. It is very important!]

2. Keep records of incidents which appear to reflect COINTELPRO-type activity. [Also, report your experiences to No Compromise and other groups that document repression].

3. Deal openly and honestly with the differences within our movements (race, gender, class, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, personality, experience, physical and intellectual capacities, etc.) before the FBI and police can exploit them.

4. Don't try to expose a suspected agent or informer without solid proof. Purges based on mere suspicion only help the FBI and police create distrust and paranoia. It generally works better to criticize what a disruptive person says and does, without speculating as to why.

5. Support all movement activists who come under government attack. Don't be put off by political slander, such as recent attempts to smear some militant opponents of government policy as "terrorists". Organize public opposition to all FBI witchhunts, grand jury subpoenas, political trials and other forms of government and right-wing harassment.

6. Cultivate relationships with sympathetic journalists who seem willing to investigate and publicize domestic covert operations. Let them know when you are harassed. Since the FBI and police thrive on secrecy, public exposure can undermine their ability to subvert our work.

7. Don't tough it out alone. Don't let others fret and suffer by themselves. Make sure that activists who are under extreme stress get the help they need (someone to talk with, rest, therapy, etc.). It is crucial that we build support networks and take care of one another.

8. Above all, do not let our movements be diverted from their main goals. Our most powerful weapon against political repression is effective organizing around the needs and issues which directly affect people's lives [and the lives of animals and the environment too!].