Indymedia Lille / mercredi 2 février 2022
In january 2022, one person, who is a foreign student in France and lives in another region than us, got convocated by « Captain Ribery » to answer questions about three comrades of us, who are political refugees. They also asked questions about comrade who have political case abroad and question about our oganisation squat, Marbre, in Montreuil.
Why sharing this experience
We chose to publicly share this information to share experience and advices with the next people who will be approached by cops. To participate in spreading collective defense reflexes in order to preserve our movements. And to push people to also publish something next time it will happen again.
A friend got convocated for profilage
In january 2022, one friend, who lives in another region got convocated by « Captain Ribery » cop by letter, without any motive. She called them to know the reason, but they didn’t want to explain why. When she arrived in police station, the local cop from national police didn’t know that she was convocated, but another cop approched her. This cop told her that he works in all France, and that he came especially to talk to her.
Two cops interrogated her. They had a file with her name and family name. They asked questions about herself : her motives to stay in France, why she chose this country, her plans for future, her ressources, what she thinks about system in France, where will she live when she will be graduated, where she will work, where she traveled in France, if she has problems with law in foreign coutries, if she has fines to pay, if police calls her for other topics. They told her that they will show her photos of 3 people and ask questions. They asked if she knows them 3. What are their names. If they live in France or in Belgium. From where and how long she knows them. Why they came in her city. They asked if they had some business or if they just came to visit her. They knew who and when the comrades were in her city. They asked how long they stayed in the city and when she visited for the last time Paris and Brussels. They wanted that she describes tatoos of one of our comrades. They asked how to recognize one of them with specific signs. They asked if this comrade has some problems with law in France. They asked names of her parents and boyfriend.
They also asked if she knew a squat in paris called « Marbre » and asked if she knew a man who is currently imprisoned in russia in political case.
When this friend came last time in France, begining of January, in passport controle zone, the worker pressed a buttom and securities approched her. They bring her to a special room and searched her and her luggages. After one week, the same situation happen with her boyfriend.
In general, she didn’t give information except about herself, plans, motives, and that she knows them, because she thinks that it was useless to deny it. For the rest of the questions, she said that she doesn’t know.
If we get a convocation : no panic, just don’t go
Anyone can get convocated by cops by letter, in person, or by phone. They can also take advantage of other convocations that we have (to the prefecture for instance) to start speaking with us. In general, for our safety and the one of our comrades, it’s better to avoid any interaction with cops, and don’t give any proof that we received a convocation. The better thing to do is to not open door to unknowned people, not answer phone to unknown people. And if they succeed to meet us in person to give us a paper, not take it, or not sign anything.
In any case, in France, convocation is not a justice act. It has no legal power. You don’t have to go. In fact, we can see it as we just received the information that they want to see us.
If they convocate us, it can mean very diferent things. For example, they just want that you give information to them about you or your comrades. They can convocate you and take advantage of this situation to ask your fingerprints. It already happened several times that after comrades totally ignored cops trying convocating them to continue an investigation, and finally cops just gave up. So, not going to a convocation of cops means that we want to have a chance to finally not get involved in any cop procedure.
In any case, if cops really want to see us, they will find a way to arrest us at home, at work, or when we go to another convocation (to court for example). And to arrest you at home, they need order from judge, raid authorization, and it’s also our job to make their shit more difficult.
If we received a convocation, we can talk about it with comrades or reach local collective defense / legal team to get adviced if needed.
If we are in front of cop after convocation : the better thing to say is « No comment » »remain silent »
Everything we say can be used against us and comrades, included if it out of interview (in corridors, in street, at home). So, we keep calm and take our time to think before anything. We want to say that it’s not the same thing to answer « I don’t know » and « I keep silent » »No comment » ? »I remained silent » ?. To remain silent is a right in France, and we should absolutely use it. To say I don’t know, or I don’t remember = to say something. Maybe cops have proof that you know, and will reveal it after, to put pressure on you saying that you lie. So, we can just confirm our identity if we want, and all the rest, we « chose to remain silent ». Remain silent is also a way to not have thousands of questions in our head : we know what we are doing, and that it is the safest way to behave for all of us.
If cops approach us : protect the trust of you comrades, break the informal process.
Cop’s job is to make us talk to charge us or other people. Answer their questions is not only dangerous for us and our comrades, but it can also lead to an informal collaboration. If we give an information, they will see us as a person who could give them more. They can put more pressure on us, or use some kind of chantage. The tricky thing is that they will rarely ask us to work for them formally. As a result, there is no clear border between just answering their questions and being a snitcher.
If we have feeling that cops is recruiting us informally as a snitcher, we should find a way to stop this process as soon as posible. Stop answering questions. Talk about it as soon as posible to comrades to protect our trust. Make it public. Cops can organize meetings with us if they see that we want to collaborate. We can join this meeting with 10 comrades to break this informal process.
Let’s keep in mind that cops don’t necessarily approch people randomly. They usually chose people that they see as « weak ». For instance, undocumented people, people who use drugs, who have money problems, justice troubles. they will use any weakness to create chantage, manipulation and have a mean of pressure on us. Let’s also remind ourselves that such rewards as getting documents for example almost never happened. It is their mean of pressure so they don’t have any interest to actually give you what they promise to give you.