Lately every group with SET GOALS AND EFFECTIVE WAYS TO GET THERE gets attacked directly with every c0int3lpro dirty trick available to the US Government.
I’m sure your group wishes to be that exception but I’m afraid if Uncle Sam knows you exist then you’re already being watched, infiltrated and harmed by dirty-tricks every day.
Here is one excerpt and some links to other snippets from Brian Glick’s incredibly helpful book “War at Home: Covert action against U.S. activists and what we can do about it.”
l. Establish a process through which anyone who suspects an informer (or other form of covert intervention) can express his or her fears without scaring others. Experienced people assigned this responsibility can do a great deal to help a group maintain its morale and focus while, at the same time, centrally consolidating information and deciding how to use it. This plan works best when accompanied by group discussion of the danger of paranoia, so that everyone understands and follows the established procedure.
2. To reduce vulnerability to paranoia and “snitch jackets”, and to minimize diversion from your main work, it generally is best if you do not attempt to expose a suspected agent or informer unless you are certain of their role. (For instance, they surface to make an arrest, testify as a government witness or in some other way admit their identity). Under most circumstances, an attempted exposure will do more harm than the infiltrator’s continued presence. This is especially true if you can discreetly limit the suspect’s access to funds, financial records, mailing lists, discussions of possible law violations, meetings that plan criminal defense strategy, and similar opportunities.
3. Deal openly and directly with the form and content of what anyone says and does, whether the person is a suspected agent, has emotional problems, or is simply a sincere, but naive or confused person new to the work.
4. Once an agent or informer has been definitely identified, alert other groups and communities by means of photographs, a description of their methods of operation, etc. In the 60s, some agents managed even after their exposure in one community to move on and repeat their performance in a number of others.
5. Be careful to avoid pushing a new or hesitant member to take risks beyond what that person is ready to handle, particularly in situations which could result in arrest and prosecution. People in this position have proved vulnerable to recruitment as informers.
Most importantly, read the whole book as soon as you can. ISBN 9780896083493
Informed and aware people can deal quickest with each and every incident in ways that won’t consume all our time and energy. This leaves so much more time for our SET GOALS AND EFFECTIVE WAYS TO GET THERE.
Peace and love,
Dear Mr Glick,
I’m a huge fan and humble “co-worker” of sorts. I think a couple friends of mine from Global Indymedia circles know you personally.
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve bought several at a time and handed one each to someone I think is being snitch jacketed and also the person I think is doing the snitch jacket-ting. Several dozen maybe.
Anyhew, I’m helping get as much info to the Occupy Providence this week. I haven’t seen the same thing yet in New Haven or Hartford, or even at the small little park that started it all at Liberty Plaza.
Have you seen what Carl Messineo and Mara Verheyden-Hilliard have been going through in DC? Yikes!
Thanks Marco. So glad my little book is still of some use.
I’m attaching a pdf of the full text. You have my permission to reproduce it for OWS and give it out to all the folks who are finally stepping forward to challenge and overturn the plutocracy.
It’s also supposed to be available on http://www.publiceye.org, but I wasn’t able to find it on a quick try.