Nettime — Local Activist Visited by FBI in relation to DNC protests

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Local Activist Visited by FBI in relation to DNC protests
** Emergency Release From Boston ** Please Forward Everywhere.
Harassment of DNC Protesters Escalates Written by Boston ABC
Despite the Boston Police Department’s stated commitment to protect people’s First Amendment rights during the DNC, the BPD has, in conjunction with other law enforcement officers in New York City, started a campaign of preemptive action that could chill protest participants’ lawful speech activities during the Democratic National Convention (DNC).
The NYPD/FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force started an intimidation campaign against New York activists to prevent them from speaking out against the DNC. On Thursday, July 8, two officers visited the home of a New York City activist (referred to as “Tim” hereafter). They said that they acquired his name from the Boston Police Department, which has compiled a list of “troublemakers” who are coming to Boston. The officers said they plan to visit the homes of all so-called “troublemakers.”
At 7 p.m. the officers arrived at Tim’s parents’ house, where Tim resides during the summer. Tim was not home, but his parents talked to the officers. The officers had already done extensive surveillance on Tim, which included examining his medical and academic records, in addition to Tim’s previous history with the police. The officers said they are expecting a large band of organized anarchists to come to Boston and destroy it, and proceeded to tell Tim’s father that it was inadvisable for Tim to:
– engage in political activity in Boston – work with a named, “known anarchist organizer” in Boston, – work with the Bl(A)ck Tea Society (The BTS is a non-violent group that has been organizing for the DNC for the past year. Planned events include those of protest and celebration, including a free outdoor festival with music, games and entertainment. For more information about the Bl(A)ck Tea Society, go to www.blackteasociety.org.), – come to Boston to observe the DNC or get arrested during the DNC.
One of the officers left his business card:
Richard W. Ockovic NYPD/FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force 26 Federal Plaza New York, NY 646-696-2113 646-773-8116 (cell)
This type of intimidation and targeting of activists is illegal, unacceptable, and unfounded. Local organizers have seen a surge in efforts by police to create fear in the public and in organizers, demonizing political activists, creating an us-them dynamic and preemptively harassing activists so as to have a chilling effect on First Amendment rights. Both the Boston ABC and the National Lawyers Guild are appalled by the Boston Police Department’s lack of commitment to its claims of protecting free speech.
People who are visited by law enforcement officers are advised to take down the officers’ names and badge numbers and otherwise not talk to them or let them in your homes – tell them they can contact your attorney (you do not have to give them the name of your attorney). Contact the National Lawyers Guild in Boston if you are visited by officers or if you have questions regarding your rights (NLG Boston office: 617-227- 7335 or nlgmass AT igc.org). Please also contact the Boston Anarchist Black Cross, which is doing support work for protesters during the DNC.
About the Boston Anarchist Black Cross (ABC): The Boston Anarchist Black Cross is a prison abolition/prisoner support group affiliated with the Anarchist Black Cross Network (www.anarchistblackcross.org). We support those on the inside as well as working on issues of community defense. Boston ABC is helping support protesters arrested during the DNC. For more information, go to http://www.baamboston.org/abc/