I wanted to spread the word that I have been contacted by the SF Police Department about an apparently open investigation around a public protest during the Rising Tide Day of Action Against Extraction on April 20th in downtown SF. I did not provide any information to the officer and instead consulted with a lawyer through the National Lawyers Guild (NLG). If you or anyone you know is personal affected by this issue please do NOT contact me directly about it, as that would be counter-productive. However, if anyone is similarly contacted by law enforcement they can call the NLG at (415)285-1041 for a referral to a lawyer for legal advice.
Here’s a summary of what happened:
In brief, the story is that Rising Tide was contacted by the media about a protest in downtown SF April 20th, where some folks allegedly chained gas pumps together at a number of gas stations downtown. Notes were allegedly left with the Rising Tide web address, and the press contacted the Rising Tide team working on media for the DoA. I did a brief TV interview about the Day of Action and the action in SF.
Several weeks later, I got a phone message from a man identifying himself as a Sergeant in the SFPD, and asking me to give him a call about the protest. I did not return his message. Last Friday, I got another call from the same officer. He told me that he got in touch with me because I had done the TV interview, and that he had recognized where I lived from the interview, and that he had been to my house. He asked me a number of questions, including:
- Did I know who planned and did the action?
- How is Rising Tide organized?
- What did Rising Tide think of these actions?
- Would I be willing to identify people in photographs?
I gave him no information and ended the conversation. He called me the next day with a name he asked me to identify, and I told him I needed to talk to my lawyer, and he hung up.
I consulted with an attorney and am considering possible responses. If I am contacted by law enforcement again I plan to invoke my rights, not speak with the officer, and refer the officer to my attorney. I suggest that other people do the same. Again if you or anyone you know is personally affected do NOT contact me directly. The National Lawyers Guild can be reached at (415)285-1041. The NLG asked me to specify that you should call this number only if and after you are contacted by law enforcement concerning this event.
Hopefully this will end here, and will not be a big deal at all, but I wanted to make sure that people know about this problematic and troubling investigation into our movements for environmental and social justice.