"The goal here is clearly to associate a form of activity—acting anonymously, defending oneself against police attacks—with a kind of people: terrorists, evildoers, monsters. This is a high priority for the authorities: they were able to crush the Occupy movement much more quickly, at least relative to its numbers, in cities where people did not act anonymously and defend themselves—hence Occupy Oakland’s longevity compared to other Occupy groups. The aim of the FBI and corporate media, with the collusion of Chris Hedges and others, is to ensure that when people see a masked crowd that refuses to kowtow to coercive authority, they don’t think, “Good for them for standing up for themselves,” but rather, “Oh no—a bunch of terrorist bombers.”
To recapitulate the FBI strategy:
-divide and conquer the movement by isolating the most combative participants
-stage-manage entrapments of vulnerable targets at the periphery
-use these arrests to delegitimize all but the most docile, and to justify ever-increasing police violence.
What Comes Next
The authorities are explicitly announcing that there will be more of these “sting operations”at the upcoming Republican National Convention in Tampa. We can expect more and more “unsportsmanlike” entrapments in the years to come.
For decades now, movements have defended themselves against police surveillance and infiltration by practicing security culture. This has minimized the effectiveness of police operations against experienced activists. However, it can’t always protect those who are new to anarchism or activism, who haven’t had time to internalize complex habits and practices, and these are exactly the people that the FBI entrapment strategy targets.
Three years ago, we called for acollective security culture that could protect even newcomers against infiltrators. "
"If we are to protect the next generation of young people from these predators, our only hope is to mobilize a popular reaction against entrapment tactics. Only a blowback against the FBI themselves can halt this strategy. This will not be easy, but there is no better alternative.
Don’t stop speaking out, organizing, and fighting—that won’t stop them from repressing us or entrapping people. Retreating will only embolden them: we can only protect ourselves by increasing our power to fight back, not by withdrawing, not by hiding, not by behaving."