The Frontlines Are Everywhere: Protect Yourself, Your Comrades, and the Movement

https://itsgoingdown.org/frontlines-everywhere-protect-comrades-movement/

With the closure and militarized eviction of the Oceti Oyate camp, it is with strong spirits that we remind our relatives and comrades that these are indeed sacred times. The defense of water and assertion of Indigenous sovereignty did not end yesterday as law enforcement violently evicted Water Protectors from the unceded land we have called home for months. The struggle against the black snake and its world continues.

We also remind our relatives that this violent eviction is only one part of a well-coordinated and multi-dimensional strategy of repression by local, state, and federal law enforcement that seeks to crush our resistance.  Over 750 people face charges, and we are fighting back in the courtrooms.  Grand juries are active and issuing indictments, and we are resisting.  Federal agencies are knocking on the doors of our loved ones, and we are remaining silent.

Remember, the frontlines are everywhere, and movement defense is everyone’s responsibility.  It is critical that we do everything in our power to protect ourselves, our comrades, and the struggle for liberation.  Here are some practices we strongly encourage:

  • Avoid the spreading of rumor and gossip, as that only serves the agenda of the State in its efforts to divide us.  Triple-confirm information from primary sources.
  • Use social media with great care and always assume that your account is under heavy surveillance.  Social media content has been used repeatedly to bring both state and federal charges against Water Protectors.
  • If you or your loved ones are approached by law enforcement of any kind, exercise your right to remain silent.  Simply say: “I choose to remain silent. I want a lawyer.”  Remaining silent means you do not speak at all except for those words.  Anything you say can and will be used against you and your comrades.
  • If you or your loved ones are approached by law enforcement or harassed in any way, contact WPLC Legal Support at (701) 595-0737.
  • Continue to act in the spirit developed at the camps, one of graciousness and solidarity. Do not publicly condemn the tactics or choices of others.  Keep our internal debates internal, and accept disagreement.  When we air our criticisms publicly, we open up our movement to further state repression.
  • Maintain security of your phones and computers as much as possible. Use Signal Private Messenger for encrypted texts and calls whenever possible. Switch to encrypted email services like Riseup.net or ProtonMail.com.  But remember that no tech security is foolproof, so always be mindful of what you say and how it could harm yourself or others.
  • Visit our websites (links below) for lots more legal information, resources, and support.

Relatives and comrades, be vigilant but unafraid. We have stood together in this movement through many battles. We will continue to hold one another through the trauma of forced removal from Oceti Oyate. Care for yourselves and one another. Make space to mourn but also to celebrate our victories. This is what solidarity truly looks like.  We will face the next battle stronger than ever.   Mni wiconi!

Water Protector Legal Collective (WPLC), Freshet Collective, and the Water Protector Anti-Repression Crew work in coalition to provide on-the-ground legal support and training for Water Protectors engaged in resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock. Support the attorneys here, and donate to the legal defense fund here.

 

Advertisements

Security Culture and Know Your Rights workshops coming soon.

We are hard at work and updating and improving our workshops and publications.  Watch this space for details.  Stay safe out there.

Lawsuit filed over J20 arrests.

http://dcist.com/2017/01/protesters_file_a_lawsuit_against_p.php

After D.C Police made 217 arrests on Inauguration Day, charging all of them with rioting, lawyers for protesters have filed a lawsuit over alleged false arrests and excessive force.

There were clashes throughout Inauguration Day between riot police and protesters, a minority of whom engaged in activities like smashing windows and setting fires.

The lawsuit stems from arrests that occurred at 12th and L Street NW, where officers “kettled” a group of protesters, a crowd control tactic in which officers surround people and prevent or curtail their exit around 10:30 a.m.

This happened shortly after police had “preliminary information” that these were the members of a “group acting in a concerted effort engaged in acts of vandalism and several instances of destruction of property,” according to an MPD statement, and that it responded swiftly to contain the violence (sic). [Editor’s note: The only “violence” observed came from police.]

The lawsuit alleges that police then “indiscriminately and repeatedly” used chemical irritants, batons, and flash-bang grenades against the people inside the kettle, which included “members of the media, attorneys, legal observers, and medics,” as well as protesters who did not destroy any private property.

“All we deployed was pepper spray and sting balls,” says MPD spokesperson Sean Hickman. MPD has denied using flash-bang grenades against protesters, a claim countered by eyewitnesses on the scene and multiple media reports.

Interim D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham said in a news conference yesterday that he was very, very pleased” by his officers’ response. Mayor Muriel Bowser also issued her support for the law enforcement officers who “have handled crowds and this event.”

Arraignments for protesters charged with rioting will begin at 1 p.m. today at D.C. Superior Court. A band arrived outside the court where crowds were gathering.

DisruptJ20, the volunteer-run group that planned many of yesterday’s demonstrations, wrote on a group cell phone messaging system that the “cops have taken some of our comrades’ clothing as ‘evidence'” and put out a call for people to bring new duds to the arrestees.

Sometimes, protester lawsuits against police can take years to shake out. Last month, convictions were reversed for some Occupy D.C. protesters—five years after their initial arrest.

Some good reading on security culture.

https://crimethinc.com/2004/11/01/what-is-security-culture

https://crimethinc.com/2009/04/25/security-culture-the-puppet-show

http://ruckus.org/downloads/RuckusSecurityCultureForActivists.pdf

https://deepgreenresistance.org/en/get-involved/security-culture

Some of the older tech material in these articles may or may not be current.  Use good judgment.

J20 Legal Defense Fund.

http://www.disruptj20.org/legal-fund

Please donate,  Folks are facing felony charges and a ten year bid.

Boston ABC is active.

We finally got a good crew of organizers together.  Expect more updates in the near future.

We took part at a letter writing event on Sunday in Eastie, in support of imprisoned anti-DAPL activist Red Fawn.

We stand with Standing Rock.