I am, and have been a committed anarchist and community organizer for well over a decade. I have been consistent and successful in both starting and sustaining numerous projects. This includes a number of radical community spaces, events, and mutual aid projects. As a result of my consistency and dedication I have a national profile within anarchist circles and amongst law enforcement. In the run-up to the 2004 Republican National Convention (RNC) my photo was shown on ABC’s “Nightline” and I was described as “troublesome, even dangerous.” My picture and those of many of my friends was shown because police agencies had included me on a list of “50 leading anarchists” under police surveillance. During the RNC demonstrations, my roommate Brad Will and I were followed by a police helicopter for nearly a hundred blocks as we traveled by bicycle. I understood that these were some of the consequences I took on as an active and high-profile anarchist organizer. What I did not expect was the fact that I would later be the target of far greater harassment and intimidation.
In the Summer of 2013 FBI agents went door-to-door to the homes of activists or former activists, in Brooklyn, New York, asking people to provide information about me and telling them that they should inform on me because I am a "scumbag," and a bad person. The agents provided printouts from websites that featured anonymous attacks against me, many of them vague and nonspecific. The anonymous attacks against me may have originated with state agents, or perhaps and even more likely these rumors and the real life conflicts that have followed, have just been promoted, influenced, and exploited by state agents as we saw in August.
The following month a book was released by AP writers Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman that revealed how the NYPD had utilized informants in my community to provide them with detailed information about my organizing and social activities at least as far back as 2005. Their book Enemies Within and related documents showed that the NYPD made me the primary target in an investigation into the 2007 bombing of the Mexican Consulate on the first anniversary of the murder of Brad Will, and the 2008 bombing of the Time's Square military recruitment center. My home was visited by NYPD the morning after both actions.
In interviews to promote their book Goldman and Apuzzo revealed more details about how the NYPD spied on, infiltrated, and undoubtedly influenced organizations and communities that I was a part of. The book, and the previously published articles which much of it was based on, mainly focused on the NYPD's efforts to infiltrate and spy on Muslims in the years following the 9/11 attacks. Once the extent of the undercover spying was revealed the ACLU along with a number of Muslim organizations and individuals brought a lawsuit against the City of New York. As a result of that ongoing case it is likely that more information related to spying on activists may soon be released.
Since 2008 people I do not know, and would otherwise have nothing against, have attacked me both with words and violence. Even more vicious verbal attacks or rumors about me have circulated, hampering, but not preventing my ability to continue organizing. Through all of this I have had the fortune of being part of a strong community of people who support and care about each other. Mine is a community of people committed to actively challenging hierarchy and oppression. I have been and continue to be accountable within my community. Many of them have offered their names and stories contradicting many of the rumors and allegations have done so openly, despite the fact that others who have taken similar stands in the past have been targeted by harassment, threats, and even violence and arson that have resulted in broken bones and homelessness. In the face of this violence, people are still publicly making their voices heard because they feel that speaking their truth is necessary in a community committed to accountability and confronting injustice irregardless of personal risk.