In early March, the California Highway Patrol completed its investigation of the anti-Nazi shutdown that happened in Sacramento last June, forwarding a 2,000-page report to the District Attorney’s Office. Law enforcement is urging the DA to charge 106 individuals with 514 misdemeanors and 68 felonies over the stoppage of the white nationalist rally that happened nearly a year ago at the State Capitol. While the intent here is no doubt to scare people, there is still a legitimate threat directed at our community. With this in mind, we would like to humbly offer these suggestions to prepare for the repression that the state has in store. This statement is intended for any anti-racist and anti-fascist protesters who attended the anti-Nazi demo on June 26, 2016, but it is also relevant to anyone in the same communities as those who attended.
If you were present at the counter-demonstration on June 26th or you’re connected to people who are, here are some steps you can take right now to prepare for potential repression:
First off, DO NOT speculate (especially online) about whether you or anyone else will be among those who are charged! Law enforcement often publicize concerning information (like they did when they turned their recommendations to press charges into a media spectacle) to stir things up in hopes of causing panic. The authorities very well may have no idea if you were involved, so don’t give them any additional information! Don’t announce to the world that you were there, and don’t talk about anything you witnessed or participated in.
Clean up your internet presence. Any of us involved in anti-fascist organizing or socially connected to anti-fascist activists should do this, regardless of your involvement in the demo on June 26th. Anyone who gets targeted, arrested or otherwise outed by the media as an anti-fascist protester will be heavily doxxed by the alt-right and like-minded groups. This means that any information that can be gathered on you will be publicized and used against you- often with the intent of stalking, physical or psychological harm, or aiding law enforcement in prosecution. Malicious parties will often harass family members, affiliations, and work places of those they are looking to target. Taking preventative measures is the best way to protect yourself from these kinds of attacks. For this reason, we recommend you -at the very least- take the time to scrub any mention of your address, phone number and place of employment from the internet. Often, this information is stored in online address books and lookup sites without your consent, and can be easily accessed by anyone who knows where to look. You should also lock down all of your social media accounts (ideally removing yourself from social media altogether) and remove any pictures of yourself that can be accessed publicly. Limit the amount of information you post, and take time to make private or delete all online accounts you use or have used. This includes but is not limited to facebook, twitter, instagram, youtube, and yes, even that dating profile you made five years ago and totally forgot about. It’s also a good idea to alert your family and close affiliates to do the same. Here’s an article on IGD that explains how to go about doing all this.
If you do get charged with a felony, authorities may come to your home
or work place to arrest you. Memorize the Sacramento National Lawyers Guild phone number (916) 500-4NLG(654). In the event that you or someone you know is arrested on charges stemming from the June 26th rally, please call this number. The only way legal support and support from the wider movement can be mobilized for you is if we know you’re in custody!
Get your personal affairs in order. The NLG has offered their limited capacity to help with legal issues, but it’s up to you to prepare the rest of your life in the event that you abruptly find yourself in jail. Some things to consider include:
- Memorize the number of a friend or family member who can serve as your emergency contact
- Have a plan for who will take care of your children or pets
- Have a plan for someone to call your job/school/etc. and what they will tell your boss/teacher etc
- Have spare keys available to your support contact, especially to a car that might need to be moved.
Pay attention to your mailbox for court summons. If you are charged with a misdemeanor you will likely be informed of your court date by mail. Look out for this mail at any address you might have associated with you. Get in touch with the NLG if you receive a court summons. Do not personally call the district attorney to inquire about potential charges.
At no point should you talk to the police! Take some time to learn about the tricks and intimidation tactics police and other law enforcement use to get you to talk. We recommend practicing what you will say when in a police encounter, be it on the street, at your front door, while being interrogated in jail, or anywhere: “I have nothing to say to you.” Do not say “I don’t know” or be tempted to say things you think are harmless. Anything you say can be used against you or others. Please take some time to read this zine for helpful insights on police encounters.
Whether or not you attended the anti-fascist rally in Sacramento on June 26th, and whether or not you end up facing charges,we must all make the commitment to have each others’ backs! In the likely event that prosecution is pursued, the accused will need a lot of support. Bail money, transportation to court appearances, court support, jail visits, ongoing pet/childcare, the list goes on. It is essential that we all take a stance of total refusal in cooperating with the state’s investigations and targeting of people in our movements and communities. This includes refusing any questioning from police, taking care to not post incriminating information online, and making the commitment to resist grand juries by refusing to testify. By taking up a collective stance of noncooperation, we weaken the state’s power against us and avoid preventable harm and repression from befalling ourselves and our comrades.
Please spread this post far and wide! Share it with your friends, organizations, housemates, and family. Have conversations about how you can prepare, support one another, and keep each other safe. By educating ourselves and being there for each other, we can strengthen our community’s defense against state repression and the far right.