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At anarchist gathering, talk of May Day at the forefront

KIRO Radio attended the Black Coffee Co-op's Open Mic Night Friday, where conversation included grand jury resistance, the FBI, Seattle police and protests planned for May 1. (KIRO Radio/Brandi Kruse)

During a gathering at an anarchist coffee shop on Capitol Hill Friday night, the conversation quickly turned to May Day.

In between songs at the Black Coffee Co-op’s Open Mic Night, those in attendance discussed grand jury resistance, the FBI, Seattle police and Wednesday’s planned protests.

“I’m not telling you to throw anything through a window, but if you do do that, let’s be intentional about our targets, shall we?” said a member of a local musical duo whose offerings included songs about grave-robbing and alien encounters.

He turned his attention to FBI agents who have reportedly been knocking on doors of local anarchists in recent days to gather information about activities planned for May 1, 2013. Last year on that day, a group of anarchists known as the “Black Bloc” were blamed for violence and vandalisms during what was an otherwise peaceful protest downtown.

“Don’t ever talk to the FBI. Ever,” he said. “For any reason at all.”

“Or the cops,” added his bandmate.

“They’re the same as some random (expletive) who comes to the door and says ‘I want to talk to you,'” he said. “You’re under no obligation to do it and you have every right to say ‘(expletive) off.'”

KIRO Radio recognized many at the event from May Day 2012, as well as past Occupy Seattle rallies and Seattle Solidarity demonstrations. A woman who appeared to be in charge told those gathered that a friend had helped her out earlier in the day, referring to an encounter with the FBI.

“We got to stick together,” she said.

According to a post on the Puget Sound Anarchist website, FBI agents have visited “a number of houses and The Evergreen State College looking for various people.”

If your house is visited, do not open the door. Ask the feds who they are looking for, and tell them that you have nothing to say to them. Let people know that you have been visited. If they say someone’s name, make sure you notify that person.

Make a plan. What would you do if you were subpoenaed? Would you resist by appearing and refusing to testify? Are you prepared to go to prison?

The post recommends keeping cash on hand in case you have to pick up and leave.

“Flight is not easy, but it should be considered,” it reads. “There are numerous people on the run.”

A spokesperson for the FBI field office in Seattle could not confirm that agents have visited anarchists leading up to May Day.

Meanwhile, local anarchists have planned marches for Wednesday in Olympia, Seattle and Vancouver, Canada. In Seattle, demonstrators will hold a rally at 6 p.m. at Seattle Central Community College “in solidarity with our comrades facing repression from last year’s May 1 demonstrations,” according to a post online.

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