Censorship is saying: 'I'm the one who says the last sentence. Whatever you say, the conclusion is mine.' But the internet is like a tree that is growing. The people will always have the last word - even if someone has a very weak, quiet voice. Such power will collapse because of a whisper.”
~Ai Weiwei

Political dissent in modern times

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A registered Republican, a friend of mine was going to attend a Democratic primary event and a cop came to his door the day before and “suggested” he not attend and left without another word.  Now Trump can have his private goons throw people out of public events (held on private property, there’s the catch) and they don’t even have to be wearing their “pussy hats” to be plucked from the crowd; it doesn’t matter if you’re politically left or right for this to be wrong.

I’ll just skip to the point, there is so much wrong in these two articles I could write a thesis.  Here’s the thing: we should not be put away for political dessent, we have that right.  “The Internet does not forget” – two years of FBI surveillance thumbing through every email, purchase, contact, text message, plane ticket and everything else will provide them with something they can use to arrest an innocent person.  Even if they don’t arrest that person, he can be flagged as a dissident and troublemaker;  if he goes to tie a shoelace at the security checkpoint or is pulled over and he reaches into his pocket…  the cops are already on edge and they would just shoot him. That already happened as a result of racial bias, much less with “present at 2016 New York protest” on the screen if they pull him over and run his plate.

Googling “death of a president” could mean an interest in assassination, or it could be someone looking for the movie which discouraged it – actions should decide that case, not a government hell bent on pinning a crime on someone to make an example of them and to sow fear among citizens.

Lastly, money is allocated to these social control programs, the “law enforcement professionals” can’t come back empty handed – they’re actively looking for people to make examples of and are arranging evidence against them. Citizens taking the fall leads to promotions and a bigger budget.

You’re already too far gone if “Law enforcement” is surveilling you and breaking down your door, the best thing to do is not get on their radar at all.  Here’s what you can do:

Note – the tips below are not provided to help evade law enforcement (nobody can), they are to prevent the culmination of circumstantial evidence while you research what you want to research, collaborate and congregate with others as you engage in peaceful, meaningful political dissent (remember when library records were confidential?).

  • Use a VPN provider, always.
  • Don’t use Google, use duckduckgo.com . If you really want to use Google, don’t log into a Google account and use a browser in Private mode which will isolate your cookies.
  • Don’t post your dissent to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or anywhere else where it can be directly associated with you.  It should be okay – free speech and all – but it’s not, not anymore.  If nothing else you can be harassed, arrested and later have the case dismissed… they can (and have, I’ve seen it first hand) make your life miserable.  Create an account that can’t be tied to you and only post how you really feel using a pseudonym from a cafe or other public wireless over a VPN.  Don’t always use the same cafe, either.  It’s not paranoia: https://www.cnn.com/2013/10/04/world/americas/silk-road-ross-ulbricht/index.html
  • Your license plate is scanned on every street corner – walk to a protest from a mile/half mile away.  Taking light rail isn’t bad except that they can stop the rail and arrest everyone inside; in a light rail car you’re already captive.  If a single person on that train broke a shop window or threw a rock at a cop, they’ll stop the train in the middle of nowhere and arrest every passenger – take a light rail from a distant and unrelated station if need be and walk the rest of the way. You could even rent a bicycle.
  • Your cell phone is being tracked at all times, even if it isn’t infected with spyware. Put it in airplane mode, pull the battery unless you really need it or if it doesn’t have a removable battery just leave it in the car (best option). If someone does something stupid near you and you have to get outta there, you’ll be glad you did since they can’t knock on your door and take you away on suspected association.
  • GMail, Outlook.com / MSN, Yahoo mail etcetera are all vulnerable to secret warrants. Use Hushmail or other mail services that use secondary encryption so that even the provider can’t read your mail.
  • Beware political events on private property with private security – this is Trump’s favorite ploy to control his audience and only let people who like him stay.
  • Facial recognition is inherently racist, but this time it works to the minority favor as it’s less accurate the darker the skin tone; it has a harder time distinguishing facial characteristics.  All it takes to defeat it is a smear of white facepaint somewhere.
  • If you have a lighter complexion, wear make up to defeat facial recognition systems (don’t wear a mask to a protest, it’s a magnet for trouble) – highlight the shadows in your face and darken the light spots – use your hair and have fun with it. What a great time for face painting!   https://cvdazzle.com/
  • Be careful keeping the company of actual militants who want to incite violence – not only could they be a government mole but that dramatically increases the chance of your being surveilled for YEARS and taken in later when it’s a distant memory.  You have to accept the risk of not just your own actions but that of the people you’re with.
  • As above, if you’re in a peaceful protest and a group starts inciting violence, leave the area fast!  Soon after comes water cannons, tear gas, rubber bullets and then real bullets and mass arrests. At best you’ll go to jail and have to prove you weren’t guilty of any crime, which will be a bitch because they already have enough “evidence” to have arrested you on top of whatever they added while you’re in jail.  This has already happened to hundreds of people in the last year.
 
Lastly, there’s the idea of barricading the residential door with something like a Foxlock.  While good on the surface, this is problematic for a number of reasons:
  • Cops will explosively remove whole walls to gain entry, this kind of thing will buy you maybe a minute, assuming you have no windows larger than a stun grenade (not kidding, that’s happened too – a little girl in the apartment was terribly burned).
  • In the case of Rakem Balogun, it would have bought him enough time to grab his firearm and defend his home and his son from the intruders, almost certainly resulting in his death and probably his son’s.  Cops nowadays are a militarized force that citizens can no longer compete with, there’s no winning that scenario.  If he would have succeeded his own stated wishes and killed cops before he died he would have been demonized as a “cop killer”, so there’s not even a righteous legacy to stand on.  At that point, there’s just nothing left.  As it is “law enforcement” has really screwed up his life, but both he and his son are alive and he has still engaged in no wrong doing.
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