Earlier today, 3 FBI agents paid a visit to a local NYC activist while he was at school. They claimed to be investigating hate crimes and neo-Nazi activity, stating as cops always do, that they were on his side. They asked how antifascists get information on fascist activity and things of that nature, and also mentioned a neo-Nazi demonstration that was countered by anti-fascists last year in New Jersey.
It seemed to the person they were talking to that they either had or were going to attempt to talk to other antifascists. They claimed to be from a regional group and that they were on the road right now. They also refused to provide their business cards, but eventually wrote down a name and number on a piece of paper. It just said “FBI, Lisa, 212-384-5000 – that number looks to be a general number for the FBI’s NYC Field Office.
More information will be forthcoming later today, but for the time being, we wanted to get the word out about this FBI visit so that people can be prepared if indeed these agents are going to be visiting other people. Everyone should take the time to refresh themselves on their rights when it comes to interacting with law enforcement:
- You have the right to remain silent. If you wish to exercise that right, say so out loud.
- You have the right to refuse to consent to a search of yourself, your car or your home.
- If you are not under arrest, you have the right to calmly leave.
- If an FBI agent comes to your home or workplace, you do not have to answer any questions. Tell the agent you want to speak to a lawyer first.
Most lawyers agree the best way to handle a visit by law enforcement is to get their card and then shut the door. There are many reasons why speaking to the FBI is never a good idea. We recommend everyone read the primer on dealing with law enforcement called If An Agent Knocks – http://ccrjustice.org/files/CCR_If_An_Agent_Knocks.pdf
Source: NYC Indymedia