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First-Hand Account Of Activists Harassed By FBI In Austin, Texas

The Overpass Light Brigade holds lit signs over a busy street which read “HOMELAND SURVEILLANCE.” Milwaukee, Wisconsin. May 5, 2012. (Flickr / Joe Brusky, CC NC license)

The following is a detailed account from a trusted friend and comrade in Austin, who has experienced harassment from the FBI — (names have been changed to protect identities). This is intended to raise awareness that the FBI is present in Austin. They are likely attempting to infiltrate our movements, recruit informants, and spread fear. Remember, our greatest weapon is silence. You should not talk to police or federal agents without a lawyer present, and you should NEVER cooperate with these kinds of investigations.

On 12/11/15 (the date might be off) around 4:30 a friend (Mal) was called by an APD officer with the joint terrorism task force. Mal inquired what the call was about, and the officer said that they were looking for information on individuals who were part of the 9/18/15 highway demonstration. Mal said they did not have any information and did not recall the event in question.

Just before 11:30 am on 12/28/16 Mal had their door knocked on by the FBI and APD (with the Joint Terrorism Taskforce). Mal did not see the alphabet soup since they were standing around the corner. Once the door was open the cop and fed approached the door and introduced themselves and showed their badges. The two asked Mal (who did not introduce themself) if they would not mind talking with the officers. Mal said they would mind and proceeded to close the door, as they door closed the APD officer said it didn’t matter since they would be back. Mal closed and locked the door and the two officers walked away out of sight.

On 5/15/17 just before 11:30 am Mal received a call from their mother (Jay) letting them know that 2 officers had just visited their house in their hometown around 11:00 am asking questions about our friend. Jay was not home but her partner (Jak) was and he did not let the officers inside (Jak later informed Jay and Mal that the FBI infrared scanned the house and took lots of photos of the house and yard). He told them that Mal did not live there, and the officers let him know that they were going to visit Jay at her job.

Just after 11:30 am Mal called friends to keep them updated in case things started to escalate. At about 11:45 am Jay called Mal sounding extremely concerned. The FBI arrived at Jay’s work and gave the impression that Mal was in trouble and asked for Mal’s phone number. Jay refused the request, but called Mal to try and get the officers to leave them alone. Mal agreed to talk to them due to Jay being extremely distraught and alone with two FBI officers.

The officers were deeply hurt that Mal closed the door in their face, Mal said they did not have anything to say to them and that they did not care about the FBI’s hurt feelings. Jay and Mal started arguing about how to treat FBI officers, and the two officers asked if they should step out. Mal asked them what they wanted, and the officers said they were conducting an assessment.

(An assessment doesn’t require a warrant or approval from superiors, and it can be just as invasive as a full-fledged investigation. According to their guidelines, this assessment can be used to “seek information to identify potential human sources [i.e., informants], assess the suitability, credibility, or value of individuals as human sources, validate human sources, or maintain the cover or credibility of human sources, who may be able to provide or obtain information relating to criminal activities in violation of federal law, threats to the national security, or matters of foreign intelligence interest.” In other words, they are free to approach you and say whatever they like without any information whatsoever.)

The officers told Mal that they had received an anonymous crime stoppers tip and a tip to the FBI that Mal was allegedly wanting to kill police officers. Mal told the officers they did not know what the officers were talking about but that the information seemed false. (Organizers in Austin have been previously named by liberal snitches offering fake information to gain political leverage.) Mal said that the information and pattern sounds like it would come from someone who has a problem, but that they could not help the officers with any information. The officers asked if there was anyone Mal could think of who would want to harass or hurt Mal and their family, Mal said that the FBI and police were doing that right now. Jay informed the officers that our friend and their family do not like cops.

The officers assured Jay and Mal that they were the good guys, and left contact information behind. The officers let Mal know that they just wanted the best for them, and that this preventative step was to keep them out of trouble. The officers informed Mal that there was no case or warrant, and that they would not be bothering Mal any longer, but that Mal should reach out if they know or need anything.

 

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