As 5G is deployed, the fight against this controlling society continues apace. Attacks against telecommunication antennas or companies involved in them also continue: in France, more than a hundred sabotage actions have been carried out since March 2020. Enough to piss off this capitalist society and the state that protects it. The repressive wave knows no truce, and the cops use all the technological surveillance tools at their disposal to try to repress and stifle any hint of revolt.
Since last year, about thirty people have been raided, indicted or imprisoned for sabotaging cell towers. This is the case of Boris, a fellow anarchist who was sent to prison in Nancy in September 2020 for burning two of them in Jura, and is now in the hospital following a fire in his cell. In a letter written from prison, he mentions the devices used by the cops and gendarmes to spy on his daily life during the investigation: imsi catcher suitcases, cameras in front of a home, GPS under the cars of people close to him, live listening and geolocation, GIGN undercovers (from Versailles) following him around and staged in hideouts, requests for placing microphones in a home and in the wall of a park where he regularly met friends, discreet seizures of beer bottles left in public spaces,…
In Besançon, a few months after Boris’ imprisonment, at least two people have been approached by the cops since the beginning of 2021. If we don’t know what happened to the first one, the second one has been approached several times. A classic move; blackmail for papers combined with, as is often the case, isolation, precariousness, possible legal problems, or simply the fact that these people gravitate towards the periphery of anarchist militant circles.
It all starts with a first meeting: they are offered a job, money or accommodation in exchange for information. They are told that they will be able to speed up their administrative procedures, and that they will be slowed down if they refuse. Under pressure, this person thus put his finger in the gears and agreed to go to regular meetings with plainclothes cops in a park near the police station.
His missions were the following, while the investigation against Boris was not closed and he was still under investigation for “criminal association”:
– To participate in collecting information about people designated as close to him, to locate the relationships between them and to identify vulnerabilities/pressure tactics, to be on the lookout for future actions of support/solidarity.
– going to militant places and events (outdoor struggle assemblies, canteens) to identify the presence of particular anarchists, understand the links between groups and individuals in the same city, identify political connections between different cities.
– identify certain profiles and attitudes: potential saboteurs, people who are more vehement or charismatic than others (in their own image, the cops are always looking for a leader!)
This kind of situation is very disturbing and cannot be ignored. The manipulation of cops has no limits, and the use of informants has always been part of their methods to map subversive and anarchist networks and try to glean sensitive information.
We can’t say it often enough: it’s useless to think you’re a double agent, it would be known by now if it worked. Talking to the cops is playing their game and exposing yourself to further pressure. Talking to them means informing them, even in a harmless way, for example by divulging details that are not meant for them. Talking to them means putting others at risk.
To talk to them is to collaborate. To talk to them is to betray those close to you and to lose any bond of trust while ruining your militant life.
The eyes and ears of the state will never cease to intrude into our intimate and political lives, with technology as well as with human intelligence.
In the face of this, let’s be careful everywhere and all the time without becoming paranoid, by finding ways to build and deepen relationships of trust and affinity, while learning in general not to speak lightly, including among ourselves.
Anarchists from Besançon,
[Translated by Dark Nights]