Types of Repression: Surveillance

Surveillance is a type of repression.

Obvious surveillance is when you can tell that someone is watching you. This is often used to  scare or intimidate a person or group of people to get them to stop protesting or to see how they react. Some examples of this are someone clearly following you (this person could be in a police uniform but usually is not) or police squad cars parked outside of your home, work or other places you frequent for several hours or days without interacting with anyone in the neighborhood. 

Less obvious surveillance is when it is unclear that someone is watching you or gathering information on you or others you are in community with. The purpose of this is to find out people’s living situation, habits, social circles, political affinities, and possible vulnerabilities. Examples of this are break-ins at your home or your car, a wallet or phone going missing, unknown people taking photos of your home, subpoenaing (legally requesting access to) social media accounts, emails, or text messages, or cars that you have not see before suddenly parked for a long time outside of your home, work or other places you frequent.

Obviously being surveilled can be scary and in fact that is the purpose. Try to remember in these moments that the police are trying to silence you and stop you from taking action. Notice what agency the officer is with and who they are, what kind of uniform or car they are in, when and for how long they are watching you. Tell your friends and comrades what is going on so they can look for and be aware of similar things happening. Getting emotional support, staying as calm as you can, and just going about your life like you would otherwise are the best ways to deal with the situation. 

If you discover that the state is surveilling you in less obvious ways, stay calm. Reach out to your comrades and friends in a secure way and talk about what you think is going on. They may be experiencing something similar. Get in contact with a lawyer you trust or reach out to GDC and NLG and we will put you in contact with a lawyer. There are many reasons law enforcement could be surveilling you so just be aware of what is happening, get emotional support and make a plan with your comrades and lawyer about the possible future outcomes of this surveillance. 

In either situation, contact the GDC at pdxgdc@riseup.net or 503-442-0866 or the NLG at (503) 902-5340 and let us know what is going on.