Snitches and their Supporters Unwelcome in Southern Oregon

Luke Ruediger and Suzanne Savoie

Luke Ruediger and Suzanne Savoie

Anti-snitch community members and activists working together successfully shut down a scheduled presentation by Luke Ruediger, an active supporter of green scare cooperating witness Suzanne Savoie (a.k.a. India). Ruediger recently self published a book he authored about hiking trails, and wilderness preservation in southwestern Oregon. He was scheduled to discuss it at an event organized by a local group called The Williams Community Forest Project. The Williams Community Forest Project chose to continue to promote the event, and even attempted to hold it after they were fully aware of the concerns of those in the community who felt that a snitch supporter should not be allowed to speak at such a forum. The Williams Community Forest Project only relented and agreed that the event should not go on when people opposing Ruediger’s participation arrived with fliers about his and Savoie’s complicity with the state’s efforts to imprison numerous environmental activists.

Suzanne Savoie was indicted in the operation backfire case that saw the arrests and convictions of more than a dozen environmental and animal rights activists who had participated in actions under the banner of the Earth or Animal Liberation Fronts. Savoie quickly decided that her spending as little time in prison as possible was worth more than her loyalty to her comrades. With Luke Ruediger by her side she accepted a deal and became a cooperating witness for the government. In doing so she agreed that that she could be called on by the government to provide information at anytime, even long after her sentence had been served. In exchange for her betrayal a judge allowed her to serve 8 fewer months in prison than she would have had to otherwise.

Ruediger and Savoie married, after she turned snitch, and now live together in a remote off-the-grid cabin, at the foot of the Siskiyou Crest, above Applegate Lake in South Western Oregon. Rudiger himself was on a list of potential witnesses who non-cooperating defendants were barred from communicating with before sentencing. Ruediger, himself a former activist has according to locals has “fully supported her decisions” to cooperate with the state. “Has lied and been misleading about the facts, and he has arrogantly and unapologetically encouraged her to rejoin activist circles.” He spoke in support of her at her sentencing.

Scott Crow Shares How He Was Duped By an FBI Informant

Scott Crow and Brandon Darby

Scott Crow and Brandon Darby

Author Kristian Williams sat down with anarchist activist Scott Crow for an emotional and in-depth accounting of how he came to know and work with a man for many years, who was later discovered to be a paid FBI informant. Brandon Darby became well known nationally as an activist when he became a spokesperson for the Common Ground Relief organization in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He has often been credited as a co-founder, but during the interview Scott set the record straight about Darby’s role in Common Ground, and how he was absent when the organization was founded and got going, only to join the effort later.

While acting as interim director of Common Ground Darby was already working as an FBI informant. Not surprisingly his tenure in that position was marked by strife and division. Darby was responsible for firing numerous unpaid organizers and shutting down some of organization’s aide programs.  It’s unclear when exactly Darby began working as an informant, but it happened at least as far back as 2006.

Crow relates putting aside serious concerns about Darby to join him in responding to the emergency situation left in the wake of the storm, and how the trauma they experienced in a city littered with dead bloated bodies, racist white militias and unaccountable police run amok bonded the two. Common Ground according to Scott was operating under a siege mentality as they were being targeted by state authorities using heavy handed COINTELPRO tactics against them.

“COINTELPRO repression was in the back of all our minds. Homeland Security was everywhere in all of their incarnations. We we’re asking ourselves, are there informants? Provocateurs? What’s wingnut behavior, and what’s targeted destruction? All in this incredible crisis; not in a rational, reasonable, or safe place to sort it.”

Darby was known for machismo and militancy and often spoke of his fantasies of carrying out acts of what he saw as revolutionary political violence. One plan involved an attack against a small independent bookstore that stocked some nativist and anti-immigrant books. “Brandon developed this plan where he wanted to set off smoke bombs or something — I don’t know the details — and then the sprinklers would go off and ruin all of their inventory. Then we’d ride off on his motor scooter in the alley. I think I literally responded with, ‘That’s fucking stupid! Strategically, this is a dumb idea. This bookstore is nothing. There’s a long list of things I would burn down before I ever tried to burn down this bookstore.’ Also this building has a lot of people in it who are not related to that bookstore. What if something happens to them? He pressured me and I refused to do it. I didn’t do it, so he tried to enlist this friend of mine instead…She said flat out, ‘I’m not going to do that. That’s just fucking dumb.’ She’s a long-time anarchist organizer who could see the stupidity.”

It wasn’t until 2008 that Darby was successful in convincing some younger impressionable youths to actually consider carrying out such an act. Austin activists Bradley Crowder and David McKay were arrested after purchasing materials used to construct Molotov cocktails that were never used. Brandon Darby had set them up and before long a reporter published in a local paper exposing him as an informant.

As for what he would have done differently Crow says: “I wish that when he had acted on bad behavior, I just had cut him off and just gone with my gut instinct, which said that this guy’s problematic. Don’t let him in. No matter what he does, just don’t let him in. Because I think things would have looked different.”

UK Police Try to Recruit Students to Spy on Peers

Police would like Cambridge University students to learn to be well behaved little snitches for them, but one student activist flipped the script and secretly filmed a police informant recruitment session with an officer. The video was released by the Guardian (who anonymized the officer’s face.) The officer explained to his potential recruit “not to think too much” about things and listed what kind of groups they were interesting in gathering information on including “student-union” type activity as well as anti-fracking groups and ones opposed to budget cuts. The constabulary have defended their actions as lawful, but academics within Cambridge University have condemned the police tactics and their efforts to recruit young pupils to spy on their peers.

The Circled A Radio Sits Down with Rob Evans Author of ‘Undercover’

Jim-Boyling aka Jim Sutton

Jim Boyling, an undercover policeman known to activists as Jim Sutton

Recently Yodet Gherez of The Circled A radio program had a conversation with Guardian journalist Rob Evans whose recent book explores how U.K. police have been able to infiltrate and in some cases totally disrupt protest groups. In the book Undercover: The True Story of Britain’s Secret Police, Evan and his co-author Paul Lewis profile the some of the recently uncovered cases of police officers who had been exposed after infiltrating activists.

It’s wonderful to see The Circle A, again taking on the issue of undercover police surveillance of radical movements. A previous episode which aired in July featured an interview with long time activist Ellenor Hutson who had encountered and even unkowingly worked with three of the individuals who have since been exposed as police officers including Jim Boyling who went by the name “Jim Sutton”, Mark Kennedy who went by the name “Flash” or “Mark Stone”, and the Nottingham based “Rod Richardson“. Boyling infiltrated Reclaim the Streets and manipulated and spied on a younger female activist, who he then convinced to change her name and sever ties with friends in the movement. The two later married and had two children, but are now divorced.

Ellenor is still active and encourages others to continue organizing and not to be discouraged by fears of police spying: “Don’t be put off by this nonsense infiltration, the vast majority of problems that you’ll come across as an activist are caused by egos, people falling out with each other, bad planning; very normal mundane things”

Last year’s interview with Austin based anarchist and Common Ground Collective co-founder Scott Crow also discussed the issue of informants specifically Brandon Darby. Darby was one of many who spied on Scott.

All previously aired episodes of The Circled A radio program can be streamed freely from their website.

Judge Rules NYPD Must Reveal Spying Documents

nypd_watches you who watches them Brooklyn U.S. District Judge Pamela Chen has ordered that the NYPD must turn over documents related to it’s undercover spying operations that targeted Muslims. The ruling came as a result of an ACLU case, brought by a number of individuals, mosques, and a religous based non-profit group in the aftermath of a series articles by Associated Press writers Matt Apuzo and Adam Goldman. The work by Apuzo and Goldman to expose NYPD undercover activities was the basis of their recent book Enemies Within: Inside the NYPD’s Secret Spying Unit and bin Laden’s Final Plot Against America. The book, along with the articles, also exposed NYPD’s efforts to spy on and undermine anarchists and other like minded social justice activists. Much of their revelations were made possible thanks to secret internal NYPD documents that outlined what undercover officers where doing. Many of these documents were published shortly after the book was released and include details about both surveillance of Muslims and activists. The NYPD has two months to turn over the requested documents which are likely to reveal even more about who and how they obtained information from within both Muslim and activist communities.

Jeremy Hammond Continues to Shine the Light

Jeremy HammondSince the sentencing of Jeremy Hammond, who was prosecuted thanks to the infamous FBI snitch Hector Xavier Monsegur a.k.a. Sabu, much has been revealed about the surveillance state. Following a harsh ten year sentence being handed down to Jeremy a huge trove of documents that Jeremy had uncovered while hacking the databases of the private security company Strategic Forecasting or Stratfor, was released by Wikileaks. Among these documents were emails from undercover police officers, Stratfor agents monitoring Occupy Austin, references to phone calls received from the FBI snitch Brandon Darby, and a mention of Denver Anarchist Black Cross being suspects in the 2008 Texas Governor’s Mansion arson.

Srdja Popovic

Srdja Popovic activist, U.S. corporate double agent

Most recently Srdja Popovic the Serbian revolutionary non-violent former activist, who has been cheering the toppling of “bad guy” despots around the world was exposed to in fact be an agent in the pay of Stratfor. In his emails to others at Stratfor and apparently in life he was careful to specify that the regimes he opposed were ones also opposed by the U.S.. Popovic went so far as to draft a plan for toppling Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez before his death. It is unlikely were a coup to be successful that a new U.S. / business backed regime would be more democratic. More than likely Chavez would have been replaced with a more repressive state with foreign masters.