1/6/2009 Newsletter


  • Statement on Provocateur Brandon Darby
Brandon Darby is Delusional, Self Serving and Vicious
by Michelle Gross

In a statement written to justify his activities as an FBI informant Brandon Darby opined, "It is very dangerous when a few individuals engage in or act on a belief system in which they feel they know the real truth and that all others are ignorant and therefore have no right to meet and express their political views."  Yet this is the exact activity in which Darby engaged.  Through his actions, Darby helped to create a narrative by police that activists/protesters are dangerous.  That narrative allowed police to justify obscene expenditures on weaponry, touched off pre-emptive raids and detentions of people who had committed no crimes, and unleashed vicious assaults on people attempting to exercise our First Amendment rights during the RNC.  Rather than "protecting the movement" as he implies in his statement, Darby brought down the wrath of the cops on thousands of activists and on the movement as a whole.

By a number of accounts, Darby instigated and encouraged conversations about illegal activities.  Perhaps he will try to justify this as "smoking out 'bad' activists" but he is, in fact, an agent provocateur whose actions manufacture crimes where none exist.  Further, he seems incapable of understanding the difference between hyperbolic expressions of bravado ("smack talk") and actions taken on such talk.  His own actions are self-serving, delusional and depraved.  His claimed alliances with social justice movements are farcical.  Darby stopped being "one of us" the day he strapped on a microphone.  He turned himself into just another cop wannabe posing as an activist.

Darby's level of self-deception is evident in his ignorance of the historical role of the FBI in this country.  The FBI has long acted to destroy social justice movements.  The FBI's Counterintelligence Program (COINTELPRO), which operated from 1956 to 1971, used everything from psychological dirty tricks to murder to "expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize" the activities of many social justice and liberation groups and individuals including the Black Panther Party, American Indian Movement, various women's rights organizations, NAACP, National Lawyers Guild, Dr. Martin Luther King and others.  For more information, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COINTELPRO Further, it was an FBI informant who arranged and helped to perpetrate the massacre of five anti-racist union activists in Greensboro, NC in 1979.  But one need not dig that far back into history to find FBI interference in social justice movements.  Darby's own activities are but one example of recent FBI spying on anti-war activists and others who dare to challenge this government.  If he is as concerned about violence as he claims, Darby should have steered clear of the FBI.

Darby expresses great concern about the conversations of activists yet he raises no similar concerns about the actual lawlessness and mass death and destruction wrought by the Bush regime.  Despite ample proof that BushCo illegally spied on Americans, lied to bring us into the war in Iraq, engaged in torture, and committed a whole host of crimes against humanity, Darby focuses his energies on a few young activists whose only "crime" is loose talk.  If Darby was sincerely concerned about proposed actions by some activists, he should have raised this with those individuals and within the group.  The social justice movement is surprisingly good at self policing, but he never gave it that chance.

Brandon Darby betrayed the movement and the movement must reject his attempts to justify his actions and the tremendous damage they have caused.  We must redouble our efforts to defend those who face the brunt of this legal system as a result of Darby's irresponsible and outrageous conduct.

Michelle Gross is president of Communities United Against Police Brutality and is active in providing legal and political support for people arrested during the RNC.

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