Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Fear Tactics: FBI Harassment And The Overuse Of "Terrorist"

"After the FBI agents followed me out of the apartment building and into the alley, bad cop started needling. He asked if I knew the type of people involved in the campaign to close Huntingdon. He said they were 'extremists.'

'I can tell you’re a good guy,' he said. 'You have a lot going for you.' he said he could tell by the way I dressed, where I lived. 'You don’t want this to mess up your life, kid. We need your help.'

He told me I could help them by providing more information about the other defendants and other animal rights groups. I had two days to decide. He gave me a scrap of paper with his phone number, written on it underneath his name, Chris.

'If we don’t hear from you by the first trial date,' he said, 'I’ll put you on the domestic terrorist list.'

Wait, what? I felt as if I was staring blankly ahead, but my eyes must have shown fear.

'Now I have your attention, huh?' he said.

Put me on a terrorist list for leafleting?

'Look,' Chris said, 'after 9/11, we have a lot more authority now to get things done and get down to business. We can make your life very difficult for you. You work at a newspaper? I can make it so you never work at a newspaper again.'"

- Will Potter, The Next Eco Warriors:  22 Young Women and Men Who Are Saving The Planet

Book Excerpt in its entirety: http://www.alternet.org/books/150412/how_i_almost_got_put_on_the_domestic_terrorist_list_for_handing_out_leaflets/?page=entire

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