May 3, 2011
There were two reports this week of the FBI / police in Florida seeking informants to provide intelligence on the local animal rights movement.
In the first instance, a woman in West Palm Beach who is active in dog rescue was visited at home by an FBI agent. They told her anti-vivisection activists are 'crossing the line,' becoming 'dangerous' and will 'hurt someone.' The agent told her, 'You have access that I don't have.' She was told that she would be 'rewarded' for any information she provided The agent also offered to take her to lunch. She told the agent she wasn't interested. Before leaving, the agent warned her not to associate with animal rights activists.
Earlier in April, an activist who does web design for a living was contacted by a 'fitness trainer' looking for help creating a website. The activist met the woman at a cafe and they spoke for an hour about the project. The 'trainer' supplemented her story with photos of her working out, etc. During a second meeting, out of the blue, the woman mentioned that her boyfriend was friends with someone who works for the FBI, and that the FBI would 'pay really well' for information about local animal rights activists. She claimed to be concerned that activists 'could get violent.' The activist quickly ended the conversation.
It is important to raise awareness when the FBI starts making the rounds. The best defense is always silence, and stories like this should provide a prompt for activists to remind themselves why it is never ok to talk to the police. If you have not already, please read If An Agent Knocks.
If you have been visited by the FBI, please call the NLG's Green Scare hotline: 888-NLG-ECOLAW.
- Peter Young