FBI Harrassment in San Francisco Bay Area
October 20, 2003
 

Two pipe bombs were detonated outsided the headquarters of Chiron Corporation (a client of Huntingdon Life Sciences) in Emeryville, California on August 28th. The Action was subsequently claimed by a new group calling itself the Revolutionary Cells' Animal Liberation Brigade. The FBI was promptly on the move, calling for a statewide A.P.B. seeking three people just days after the bombing. It was alleged the three had been caught on video leaving the area near Chiron about the time of the bombing.

Somehow while the combined power of the FBI, ATF and local police wasn’t able to find any of these suspects, the media was. The day after the A.P.B. went out, a reporter with the San Francisco Chronicle decided to take the innovative approach of looking up one of the suspects in the phone book. Sure enough, the suspect was listed, and soon the reporter was chatting with her. Not only had the suspect not yet heard that she was being sought in conjunction with a bombing, but she hadn't been in California for over a year. Just a few days later, ABC 7 News' I-Team tracked down the second individual, who was living in New York City and hadn't been out-of-state since April.

One month later, on September 26, another bombing occurred. As in the first incident, there were no injuries and little damage. Again the action was claimed by the Revolutionary Cells' Animal Liberation Brigade a few days later. And again the FBI soon turned its attention to someone whom it claimed had been spotted in the general vicinity of the bombing.

Media reports indicate that after several days of surveillance on a 25 year-old Bay Area man, D. Andreas San Deigo, the FBI lost track of their "suspect" sometime over the weekend of October 4th. On the evening of Tuesday, October 7, after not having heard from Andreas for several days, one of Andreas' friends went over to his home. Upon arriving at Andreas' house, the young man was detained by FBI agents and subsequently arrested on a trumped-up Attempted Burglary charge. He and his mother were informed that if they told anyone about his arrest the authorities would "throw the book at him." Another FBI agent told him that he was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. The following weekend, after almost a week in jail the young man was finally bailed out by his mother. His trial is still pending.

Later that night and the following morning, agents were subsequently spotted outside the homes of several Bay Area activists. At the home of activists in Santa Cruz, FBI agents remained stationed outside for the first day, using binoculars to peek inside. Meanwhile, at the home of a young woman living in the East Bay area, FBI agents informed her that her house had been "sealed" and that she would not be allowed to leave while they tried to get a federal search warrant. They claimed the were seeking Andreas and suspected she might be hiding him. The young woman was kept confined to her house for hours until after a local activist arrived with two attorneys. Shortly thereafter federal agents were forced to admit there would be no search warrant forthcoming, and they released their "seal" on the home.

While the East Bay house was still "under seal," federal agents also knocked on the door of a single mother, who was home alone with her baby. They also claimed they would be getting a search warrant soon. Fearing for her safety, the young mother left with her child. Of course that warrant never materialized either, and an attorney came to the scene to assist her in dealing with this harassment as well. That same day, agents also came to the workplace of two Bay Area activists. They were turned away at the door and simply advised to talk to the lawyers of the activists in question.

After these initial actions, FBI and ATF agents continued to blatantly follow and harass activists for the next week. At this juncture any continuing surveillance has been scaled back to a much more discreet level.

Bay Area activists were able to respond quickly to these incidents owing to a solid knowledge of their rights, as well as strong support from local attorneys. Fortunately, the Bay Area has a very solid activist community that refuses to be intimidated by anything the agents of repression dish out.