How to Respond to Direct Repression

Now that we have talked about many of the ways that we can see repression show up in our lives and communities, we will focus on some general ways to deal with most forms of direct repression.

Firstly, don’t talk to law enforcement for any reason, especially without a lawyer present. Do not lie or give misinformation to any law enforcement. Lying to a police officer is a crime and is a common way state agents put pressure on people to turn against their comrades and collaborate with the state. If you feel uncomfortable being completely silent, repeat “I will not answer any questions. I want to speak to a lawyer.” to each question they ask. 

If law enforcement officers from any agency come to your house, do not open the door. You do not have to open the door or talk to them unless they have a warrant. Practice looking through a window or peephole before answering the door, asking who it is, and confirming who it is before you open your door. Make sure that everyone in your household has practiced this and is comfortable with this procedure. This will help you be prepared if any officers come to your house. 

If you are visited by a state or federal officer, contact the NLG, GDC and members of any organizing groups you are a part of. You can protect others and yourself by letting other people know to be prepared. You can stop the state from gathering more information or catching people off guard. Surprise is one of the state’s tactics: law enforcement offers hope to get people to make a mistake and share information due to fear or lack of preparation. 

Write down as detailed a description of what happened as possible. If you can take photos of the people who visited and their vehicles, do so to help identify them. Collect any documents including cards, warrants, etc and include this with the description. Share your description and all information with your group or organization. Let people close to you know that you have been visited. Ask for support from your comrades and community, such as checking in on you, listening to your talk about your feelings, making you dinner, doing laundry or other tasks, staying with you or letting you stay with them, getting a massage, acupuncture, or herbal treatments for stress, or other care strategies that work best for you.