Progressive Movement Security and Self-Defense

O'Donnell, Sheila

Publisher:  Research for Progress
Date Written:  04/02/2016
Year Published:  2016  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX20221

A comprehensive list of security measures organizers should take to protect themselves and their groups from government, corporate and right-wing surveillance and persecution.




As our movements have become stronger and more sophisticated, the techniques of the state, corporations, and right-wing groups have also become more sophisticated. We have seen government agents, corporate security and right-wing intelligence networks share information as well as an ideology. For instance, the FBI's COINTELPRO operations targeted dissidents in America in the 1960s and 1970s. Caution and common sense security measures in the face of the concerted efforts to stop us are therefore both prudent and necessary.


If you feel you are being surveilled, your phones tapped, or that you are being followed, the best overall advice is to trust your instincts. If you feel something is wrong, trust the feeling. Your instincts are usually right. Most of us recall the times when we :felt something was wrong" or we "knew better but did it anyway." Talk to colleagues and make yourself as secure as you can. Experts claim that people who resist get away from attackers more often than those who do not. The same logic applies to keeping outsiders out of your business; it is a more subtle form of attack.
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