Know Your Rights: A warning to activists about the FBI

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U.S. residents are supposed to have the right to freedom of association and to organize without government interference. However, the FBI is infamous for its intimidation, infiltrations and persecution of progressive and radical activists and civil rights advocates.

We, the undersigned, condemn the recent harassment by the FBI of associates of Radical Women and Seattle Clinic Defense who are organizing with others against far-right bigots and in defense of reproductive rights. We will not allow this intimidation to impede our organizing, in this case by showing up to support Planned Parenthood in Kent on June 9 against attempts by Joey Gibson and Patriot Prayer to defund the organization. Going at least as far back as the McCarthy era, the FBI has a long history of using divide-and-conquer tactics in an attempt to sow divisions within activist organizations and subvert coalition efforts. We will not tolerate this. Solidarity is the strongest weapon to defend those targeted by the FBI.

If an FBI agent approaches you, exercise your right to remain silent. This is the most important thing to do. The Fifth Amendment protects you whether you are a citizen or not, no matter your age, and whether or not you have been arrested or are in jail. When approached — at your door or over the phone — tell them, “I am not talking to you.” Refusing to answer is not a crime, but lying to a federal official is a federal offense. Anything you say can be used against you and others. Being prepared to assert your rights is half the battle when facing down agents of government repression. The other half is to gather community support for a loud, public fight to defend your rights and the rights of others.

We must unite to stand up against a growing far-right movement, economic inequality, police brutality, and endless wars and occupations. While we may have differences in ideology or choose to use different tactics, we understand that we are in a shared struggle to create a just and liberated world, and that we can only do this if we stand together.

Signed by:

-Act Now to Stop War and End Racism- Seattle
-Dyke Community Activists
-Freedom Socialist Party
-Greater Seattle IWW General Defense Committee Local 24
-International Socialist Organization
Organized Workers for Labor Solidarity
-Party for Socialism and Liberation- Seattle
-Radical Women
-Seattle Clinic Defense

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