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Responding With Defiance: When the Cops Knock

Blog posts are the work of individual contributors, reflecting their thoughts, opinions and research.
it's either them or us
it's either them or us

This is a really short primer for what to do if you get a knock on the door from the shitty's finest.  It was written in response to reports of people in the community*** being pestered and nagged by the po-po as of late.  It's just my experience, and is certainly not legal tender, but is meant to empower all of us against the repression we've been seeing (and will likely continue to see). 

So, the Vancouver Police Department have been visiting punks and radicals over the past couple weeks.  This sucks.  This makes me hate the colour blue.  But, since it's happening, it's important to know a few things, and if we can figure out their weak spots and ways to avoid the unpleasantries, we'll do a lot better if these knocks are ever heard on our own doors. 

First off, YOU DON'T HAVE TO ANSWER THE DOOR!  If you decide you'd rather not have your nice afternoon interrupted by the po-po, just don't open the door.  You can just go ahead and close the door upon realizing it's the unfriendlies on the other side, and this will piss them off to no end.  If you do this, awesome.  Unless they've got a search warrant; in which case they might not even knock; they won't likely bust in your door.  In Vancouver's 'po-vs-the radicals' climate right now, they seem to be fishing for information more than going for the heavy handed approach.  If you don't answer the door, they might come back.  But if you do answer the door, they also might come back, as has been happening to buddies this week.

If you do open the door and are forced into some sort of interaction with them, remember that they may have a recording device taping your whole interaction: this has also been happening lately.   If you decide to stay and engage them, be prepared for an interrogation-like conversation, likely leading nowhere good.  In my opinion, the only possible good thing that could come out of this is that you might get a little bit of information out of them that can be passed along to affected members of the community.  If they DO question you about particular individuals, DON’T SAY ANYTHING!  Also, try to let the individuals know what's going on, as it could help us create patterns and networks of our own and ultimately lead to more affinity among us as we resist together!

DO NOT LET THEM INTO YOUR HOUSE!  Once you've invited them in, they can come in and search without a search warrant.  If you choose to talk to them, do it outside or through the door or through a crack in the door. 

At any time, you can pull the "am I arrested? am I detained? then I am free to go-bye!" card and end the conversation on your terms, because the law says that unless you are either arrested or being detained, you are free to go.  Though this doesn't always work because cops are bullies that often break the law (and get away with it, remember), at least we can know our shit, so that when they try to intimidate us, we can feel confident in telling them to STUFF IT!!  They can NEVER force you to give information that you don't want to give.  Just don't help them!  Any info you give, especially about other people, will add to their case or investigation, and might, no matter how innocuous it may seem, be the final piece in some puzzle they are trying to fabricate.  It would *beyond* suck to put your comrade behind bars…. so just don't give them anything.

At the very least, if you talk to them, get their badge number, name, and a business card.  If things do go to court, for you or someone else, this information may be helpful in the case against the police. 

Basically, it's important to remember whose side we're on.  Do we want to protect each other, or do we want to help the bourgeois-protecting, snarky, intimidating entities that rule over us with weapons they can use against us and almost always get away with?  They have an unspoken bias against people like us, and are never "trying to help us".  If they're talking to us, it means they want to lock up or squash dissent, and anything we say can cause harm.   

Be safe, take care of each other, and don't forget those who are locked up!  Maybe our best solidarity right now is to meet in the streets and create the type of community in that moment that will show our strength and poo-poo their attempts at repression. 

 

~~~ftp~~~

 

*** Community has become a hard concept for me to get my head around lately.  When I use it, I mean friends, aquaintances and other radicals of many stripes, and in no way mean to homogenize us into a dogmatic pile of politically correct and cliquish goo.  I'm not into the notion of there being a strong, vibrant community that can withstand opposition and survive no matter who is in or out of it (and that only exists because there is a "not-comminity" on the outside).  But I do see radness in times and spaces of coming together that make me believe that we have something pretty fucking good going on a lot of the time.  To those who made it down this far, here's a present:  ACAB!!  Written from an undisclosed comfy-ass double bed on Turtle Island somewhere.

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Commentaires

One more thing!

If you do get into a conversation with them, and they give you the wrong information; for example, they show you a picture of someone and ask "do you know this person named ____?" and give you the wrong name; don't correct them!  They may be doing so to try to get you to say "oh, that's not Bill, it's Ben", therefore letting it slip that you know that person.  Don't be fooled!  It can be hard to tell if they're bumbling around in some Keystone Cops routine or if they're being tricky on purpose. 

thanks for posting!

remember:

 

"nobody talks, everybody walks"

"nobody signs, everything's fine"

 

FTP!

A Hit Piece

Hey!

Don't get cocky, but just to let you know, yesterday, only hours after you published it, your piece was discussed at length in court.

They obviously didn't like it that much, but they also couldn't verbalize what rule supposedly was broken...

ok, judgment was: kinda hard to read (at least when you are in a rush), some facts could have been verified, no obvious lies or hatred.

good job!

 

Speaking through a crack in the door (if at all)

To elaborate on the point of "If you choose to talk to them, do it outside or through the door or through a crack in the door

The reason for this is because leaving your door wide open gives the police a clear view of what's inside your home.  They can then use this as an excuse to let themselves in if they want, by claiming that they "Saw something suspicious that needed to be investigated."  It doesn't matter if they're lying, because the damage will already be done, and y'know... we all know THE LAW exist not to be honestly applied, but to give the police a greater ability to harass people, and show off how heavy their badges are.

So yeah... IF you open your door ONLY do so in a way that doesn't allow them any visibility and an opening to take advantage of.  They will create oppertunities for themselves, especially if you allow them.

Yes man be safe, take care of

Yes man be safe, take care of each other. But I do belief that cops are not enemy they try to stabilize any abnormal situation.

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"they try to stabilize any abnormal situation."

When the state of normality is injustice, i really can't agree with that.  Cops are cool with the status quo, and that's fucked up.

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