This information was taken from a pamphlet on activist security:
Anytime law enforcement officers show up at your residence, or the residence of someone's home who you happen to be at, NEVER OPEN THE DOOR. Instead, tell them you will not talk to them and to go away. Unless the officers present a search warrant, you do not have to talk to them or let them in. Be firm about this. If they say that they have search warrant, make them show you the document through a window or peak hole. Never even crack the door. Once inside, officers can stay and search the immediate area. Excuses such as "we just want to clear a few things up" have been used. Never fall for this or other justifications.
What is a raid?
Raids essentially give law enforcement the ability to search your residence or car without your consent. Before this can happen, a judge must grant approval to the law enforcement agency. This approval comes in the form of a search warrant. Search warrants are typically tied in one way or another to an investigation. However, just like the majority of investigations, they can be used as fishing expeditions. Things such as DNA evidence (hair samples from brushes, etc.), phone books and contact lists, political materials, and electronic devices (computers, cell phones, etc.) are typically seized. Raids are one of the most deeply disturbing forms of government oppression and can do a lot of damage to political organizing activities due to the loss of expensive computer equipment, literature and other materials. While raids do not take place as frequently as other forms of government surveillance and harassment, you can still never be too prepared. There are things you can and should do now to protect yourself, your family and friends, and your movement.
Preparing for raids
• Use scenarios to strategize: Only you know the work that you do and what specifics would be impacted in a search and seizure operation. Build scenarios for yourself - what do you need to access daily that could be seized, what is your strategy for dealing with that? Do you have other illegal items (such as drugs) that could be used to bolster police criminalization of you - do you care about things like this? Walk yourself through what you would do from the moment that the police show up with a search warrant, who you would call, what you would do immediately following the raid to inform people (if you weren't arrested). Scenario building helps you to mentally and physically prepare for an event like this - though you will never be fully ready for an invasion of this scale.
• Encrypt and wipe: All files (not just those that are sensitive) on your computer hard drive should be encrypted using a program such as PGP disk (available at www.pgpi.org). This includes cache files, email (your whole email program should be set up on an encrypted partition), image archives and text documents. Wipe all free space on your hard drive weekly using a program such as PGP or Burn (for Macs), this makes retrieving data from your drives difficult if not impossible. See http://security.resist.ca
for more information on file security.
• Backups, backups, backups: If you lost all your data tomorrow - how would you function? Your best strategy for getting back to work (and thwarting organizational disruption), is making regular backups and storing them with a trusted friend, or in a safety deposit box not connected to you. You don't want it to be common knowledge who keeps your backups for you - as police could obtain a warrant to search that person's home for materials belonging to you as well. Don't just back-up your computer files, but make copies of any paper files that you could not live without and store them in a sealed envelope in a safe place.
• Clean up your desktop and filing cabinets: Ever write down a password on a piece of paper and then shove it into a file? Ever write down a phone number of a person you don't want to be officially connected to? All those little bits of paper start to add up to a lot of information after awhile, especially if cleaning office isn't your strong point. Go through all the paper bits on your desk and transfer that data into a secure place (like an encrypted disk or file), and then securely dispose of the paper. Likewise, go through filing cabinets once every few months and pull out old phone lists, research that is no longer useful or needed, and anything else you don't want the police to get their hands on.
• Know your home and contents: Had a lot of roommates or traveling friends over the years? That means that there is a good chance that things you are unaware of have been left behind in closets. Clean up after someone stays or moves out, so you aren't storing items you don't want to be. No one wants to get caught with someone else's stolen goods or incriminating evidence - so keeping a clean house is essential.
• Your PDA and Cell Phone: Are all your phone numbers stored on your cell phone or palm pilot? Where would you get that info if the police had a warrant to seize those items as well? A back-up zip disk containing important information of this type (encrypted) should go along with your computer backups.
• Emergency numbers & Support: Keep a lawyer's number on hand, as well as the numbers of any people who would support you during and after a raid. Make sure that the people you live with know where they can get that info if necessary, and also that they know what to do in case of a raid. If you live in a house with other activists, you should all participate in planning your security strategy and know what to do, and how to get in touch with other housemates if they aren't home.
What happens during a raid?
• Raids very greatly depending on the investigation and individuals being targeted. Typically, victims will either receive a phone call from authorities telling them that they have a matter of minutes to leave the property because "the area must be secured," or agents will simply come to the door with the search warrant. Either way, at this point, do not resist. Resisting can only legally complicate your situation and, considering the brutality of authorities, endanger you physically.
• The search warrant will be presented. Contained in the search warrant will be a list of items that can be seized. Make sure to get a copy of this document and study it. Sometimes, search warrants can be as broad as: all documents or materials relating to political activity, or as narrow as: all computer equipment and electronic devices.
• Once the search warrant is presented, non-resident occupants will be forced to leave the location. Sometimes, occupants can remain inside the location but will be confined to a particular room. You have the right to observe what is going on and what is being taken.
• If confined inside the property, you might not be able to make phone calls. Keep asking and keep trying. If someone is allowed to leave, the first thing they should do is contact people on your emergency list for support and advice. Try to get witnesses there to watch, document and offer support. They should have cameras and note-pads to collect as much information as possible.
• Those targeted for the search should also try to get the names and agencies of as many officers as possible.
• During the raid agents will cover the entire property, this can last for hours. The process of watching your home get torn through can be horrific, understand that this potential comes with the territory.
• DO NOT help agents open anything or search anything. You do not have to do this.
• If you are allowed to stay inside, try as best as you can to watch what's happening. Take notes. Where are they focusing? What are they taking? Are they staying within the limits of the search warrant? BUT NOT DO TALK TO AUTHORITIES! You are only required to present the information on your license.
What to do after the raid is over
• Once the raid has commenced, you will be presented with a document listing "everything" that was seized at your property and/or from within your vehicle. DO NOT SIGN THIS DOCUMENT! You will generally find the list to be vague and overly broad. References to "political pamphlets" or "computer disks" or routinely used. When you sign this form, you are stating that you agree that these and only these materials were seized. Here's where the problems can occur: they seized something that was not on that list, you now have very little legal recourse for getting that particular part of your property back; you signed agreeing that "political pamphlets" were seized, the government then takes a doctored bomb-making zine and shoves it into the "political pamphlets" stack- you've just agreed that was seized at your property.
• Once officers leave, you will find your residence to be an absolute disaster. They will not, in any way, attempt to clean up or be orderly about searching your property. Keep this in mind during the raid and be prepared for the shock. Destroying your sense of order and upsetting you are side benefits for authorities in conducting raids.
• If you do not have support people there, call them immediately for support, help with the clean up and to assist with documentation.
• Before any clean up begins, two things need to happen: take pictures of everything and document, as best as possible, what was taken.
• Clean up and in the process, prepare for any additional visits by authorities.
• Add all information gathered to your existing personal file detailing your experiences with authorities.
Note: Remember, do not talk to authorities for any reason. You do not legally have to answer ANY of their questions during the raid. You are only required to give the information on your license. Challenge anything that they are doing if it is not contained within the search warrant: taking pictures of you, etc.
>The government has already offered her
>full immunity from prosecution---meaning
>they do not suspect her of any illegal activity.
The feds' offer of immunity does NOT necessarily mean that they do not suspect her of any illegal activity. Such an offer could suggest that they DO suspect it. But whether or not they think she has any direct involvement in any illegal activity, it suggests that they believe she has relevant information about it.
Immunity Compels Testimony
A grant of immunity ("full" immunity, not "limited" immunity) has been held by the courts to override an individual's Fifth Amendment right to refuse to testify on the grounds that it may tend to incriminate them. The courts' logic is that if you can't be prosecuted, then your testimony does not place you at risk.
Logically, immunity is offered to those whom the authorities believe have crucial/incriminating evidence about suspects within a current investigation/prosecution. The person who is offered immunity may also be a suspect; perhaps one seen as less important than others, or one who has the broadest and/or most credible information.
I had read that Danae's mother's house was raided as well.
Go get em Feds.... as if its not enough to put her behind bars for refusing to wave her rights... [representing ALL OUR rights!!!]
this government feels it should then terrorize her husband at 6:30am who had only seen Danae a brief few days beforing CIVILY returning to court.... which was returning to jail
THEN THEY seem to think its alright to raid her friends house! all around the same hour.... a friend who has never considered himself an activist, who did not even know her 2 years ago, and has only in recent times acquired a vegetarian diet. the pity was.... her friends MOTHER was the only one home. confused and terrified she had to answer her front door and try and make sense out of the legal system.
HOWEVER, these Police/Feds/Terrorists [whatever you may call them] still were not through. They decided to RAID DANAE's MOTHERS HOUSE TOO.
I am so proud of every person past and present who realize it IS for a greater good to selflessly waste in prison.
I am moved by her determination and commitment to fight against the corrpution, and I am even more inspired by this situation for the lone fact that.... the raid victims had and will still continue to fully support her.
passion and love is what drives and maintains this movement.
it is not the people who talk real big or hide behind these screens mindlessly debunking a serious threat to our freedoms.
my thoughts are with the families and friends of these people. you are all amazing!
one sicken american
thanks for your concern, american. thankfully my mother has spoken to danae before and is familiar with her situation, so the raid didn't come as a *complete* surprise. although she wasn't so happy about having to have an FBI agent sit outside the bathroom (watching Good Morning America) while she showered and got ready for work.