Sprout Distro

Movement Defense Means All of Us

September 07, 2020

A guide to building resilient movements and countering repression

This guide was created by ATX Anarchist Black Cross and the Design Action Collective. We're reposting it on our website to encourage the spread of information outside the walled garden of Instagram.

Movement Defense Means All of Us

Movement Defense: Solidarity, Always

Movement Defense: Do Not Talk To Law Enforcement

Movement Defense: Build Relationships of Trust and Accountability

Movement Defense: Practice Good Information and Digital Security

Movement Defense: Do Not Cooperate with Grand Juries

Movement Defense: Do Not Spread Rumors or Conspiracies

Movement Defense: Offer Protection and Support for those Targeted

Movement Defense: Mobilize Legal Support

Movement Defense: Keep Fighting for Liberation

Movement Defense: A guide to building resilient movements and countering repression

Solidarity, Always

Our diversity of ideas, backgrounds, identities, and tactics is the source of so much of our power, and solidarity across these differences is the glue that holds it together. We won't always agree, but denunciations feed the criminalization and demonization of our movements and communities.

Do Not Talk To Law Enforcement

The only thing you should ever say is "I'm going to remain silent. I want a lawyer. I do not consent to a search." Cops are trained to lie and be manipulative. Anything else you say will be used against you or others. Stay loud in the streets, but quiet when an agent knocks.

Build Relationships of Trust and Accountability

Strong relationships are the foundation of any movement, but take time and intention to develop. Practicing good listening and communication, productive conflict resolution, patience, and humility are key. The more we really know and understand each other, the more risks we can safely take together.

Practice Good Information and Digital Security

Use encrypted messaging (i.e., Signal) and encrypt your devices. Don't take phones to protests. Don't record, photograph, or post about illegal activities. Film cops not friends! Don't communicate about illegal activities through phones or computers. Assume you are being filmed at every action.

Do Not Cooperate with Grand Juries

Grand juries are investigative tools that law enforcement uses to coerce people into talking, harass and intimidate organizers, and so distrust and suspicion in movements. Organizing resistance and noncooperation is crucial.

Do Not Spread Rumors or Conspiracies

Police spread unsupported rumors and conspiracies as a counterinsurgency tactic to divide, distract, and disrupt movements. The resulting internal witch hunts, conflicts, and respectability contests makes everyone less safe. Misinformation about police investigations can cause panic and bad judgment.

Offer Protection and Support for those Targeted

Always ask people directly affected what support they need; it may be material, emotional or political. Learn skills to protect from fascist or police violence. Be aware of trauma and prioritize care and healing. Raise awareness and support for people in jail or prison.

Mobilize Legal Support

Raise money for bail and legal fees. Track people's cases through the court system. Connect people with competent and sympathetic lawyers. Attend and provide support for court dates and trials. Publicize cases as appropriate.

Keep Fighting for Liberation

Our only real safety or security is to defeate white supremacy, settler colonialsm, patriarchy, and capitalism. Organize creatively, keep momementum and retake the initiative. Keep dreaming bigger and keep fighting to win.