The bare truth is that we live in a surveillance state that is unparalleled. Many people are legitimately worried or afraid. But this fear can become paranoia and paralysis. As a result, some will not get involved in radical activism. Others will stay involved, but their paranoia will create a stifling atmosphere and drive people away. Result? Our movements die. This outcome works perfectly for those in power. Without wanting to, our fear and paranoia can end up doing the work of the state that wants to shut our movements down.
But Security Culture – a simple set of rules anyone can follow – reduces paranoia and fear, and makes us safer so that we can do our work effectively.
What is Security Culture?
• A culture where people know their rights and assert them.
• A way to make political communities safer.
• An intelligent response to current and past repression.
• A way to reduce paranoia through simple rules.
• Security Culture is critical to all aboveground movements.
Security Culture Rules
Don’t Talk About
• Your involvement or someone else’s involvement with an underground group.
• Your or someone else’s desire to get involved with such a group.
• Your or someone else’s participation in illegal action.
• Someone else’s advocacy for such actions.
• Your or someone else’s plans for a future illegal action.
• Don’t ask others if they are a member of an underground group.
• Don’t talk about illegal actions in terms of specific times, people, places, etc.
Nonviolent civil disobedience is illegal, but can sometimes be discussed openly if it is aboveground. In general, the specifics of nonviolent civil disobedience should be discussed only with people who will be involved in the action or those doing support work for them.
It’s still acceptable (even encouraged) to speak out generally in support of monkeywrenching and all forms of resistance as long as you don’t mention specific places, people, times etc. But only if this is legal in your own jurisdiction. Even if voicing support for monkeywrenching is legal in your area, be aware of possible repression or consequences so you can make an informed decision about what level of risk you would like to take or not.
Never Talk to Police Officers, FBI etc.
Train yourself, other activists, and your friends on these guidelines.
• It doesn’t matter whether you are guilty or innocent. It doesn’t matter how smart you are. Never talk to Police Officers, FBI, Homeland Security, etc. It doesn’t matter if you believe you are telling police officers what they already know. It doesn’t matter if you just chit chat with the police. Any talking to police officers, FBI, etc. will almost certainly harm you or others.
• If you talk to a police officer, you give him or her the opportunity to testify against you based on what you said or what they say you said.
• Don’t talk to police officers, federal agents, or intelligence officers at all about anything. Simply and politely say you wish to remain silent. Ask if you are being detained or are under arrest. If you are not, then walk away. If you are arrested or detained, repeat to everyone who asks you that you wish to remain silent and that you wish to speak to a lawyer. Say nothing else but your name, address, and birth date.
• Most convictions, whether people are guilty or not, come from people talking, not from investigative work.
• Learn about interrogation tricks and threats.
Never Allow a Police Officer, FBI etc Into Your Home if They Don’t Have a Search Warrant
• If you invite a police officer into your home, they have consent to search your home.
• If they come to your house to ask questions, do not let them in. From inside your door, or from outside with your door shut behind you, politely say “I wish to remain silent.” Ask them if you are under arrest or if they have a search warrant. If they say no, go back inside your house and close your door politely. If they come in anyway, don’t resist arrest. Say “I do not consent to a search.” Take note of who they are and what they do.