We need to stress the importance of choosing
your "friends" wisely. As we have seen, even cell members can
turn into informers when the heat is on and fear has taken over their
reasoning. Here are a few words on how to better choose the people that
you take action with:
Don't work with individuals who are involved
in other criminal activity, especially if it is violent in nature. When
these people are caught for unrelated activity, they will (and have) snitched
on their cell-mates to avoid other charges.
Don't work with people who are not committed to the cause. When the stakes
are high -- as it is with any illegal Direct Action -- trust your gut.
If you are uncomfortable with any potential cell member -- don't work
with them. PERIOD.
Don't allow trusted friends to "vouch" for others. You should
have first hand experience working with every cell member before even
approaching the subject of illegal Direct Action with him or her. Oftentimes
friends are blinded to their friend's quirks, which might point to the
fact that s/he is just plain not suited for this activity.
Try to imagine potential cell-mates -- and yourself – after they
are caught and are being interrogated: How would they respond? Would the
fear cause them to break? Could they handle the pressure of jail time
or their parents?
And once a person finds people they think
are of a high enough caliber to work with, next you want to:
Make sure every one of them is familiar with
police interrogation techniques and procedures so they can spot the lies
of the authorities should they be apprehended.
Make sure they all are ready to go to jail for 5 to 10 years, if the worst
happens. All cell-mates should be able to discuss what would be the hardest
thing for them to cope with should that happen -- i.e. supporting children
or non-human family members, pressure from parents to capitulate, fear
of being beaten in jail or whatever. Beware of those activists who are
so "hard" and say they could do jail time no problem - people
like this turn out to be all talk way too quickly.
Finally, even though it sounds strange, the
cell should partake in some sort of ritual where everyone promises to
other cell members to never talk to anyone (friends, lovers, cops, etc.)
about the action, and that all information will never leave the confines
of the active cell. This sort of "blood sibling" type ritual
might be the one thing that helps weaker people through a hard spot after
an arrest. It is important that all participants in an action know what's
expected from them if the shit should hit the fan.