Snitch Alert: Brandon Darby Will Be at RNC Filming Protesters with Former FTP Protester Cassandra Fairbanks
“If you know about someone planning violence at the RNC or DNC but are afraid to tell FBI, contact me. I’ll help. Bdarby@breitbart.com” ~ Brandon Darby June 27, 2016
Surveillance and infiltration by law enforcement, agents, and private contractors are par for the course during events like The RNC, so here’s a warning of two individuals who radicals, leftists, protesters, etc should stay far away from.
THE RNC 2016
On June 23 2016, The Intercept reported that “law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, have been knocking on the doors of activists and community organizers in Cleveland, Ohio, asking about their plans for the Republican National Convention in July.” Those visited include Black Lives Matter activists, Food Not Bombs organizers planning to distribute food at the RNC, a 66-year-old retiree organizing a march to end poverty, and parents of a student involved in a 2015 protest of the acquittal of a Cleveland police officer charged with voluntary manslaughter.
With intimidation comes surveillance and entrapment. One strategy used by snitches is to joke about the use of violence or bait activists into discussing violence only to later aid law enforcement in entrapping them. In a courtroom, jokes, observations, or off-handed comments can appear as evidence that nonviolent activists were plotting acts of terrorism. Many anarchist prisoners were framed for “terrorist” acts when out-of-context statements were presented by the prosecution. As history shows, the FBI and law enforcement agencies go to great lengths to manufacture “terrorism” charges. In 2012, four Cleveland anarchists (Douglas L. Wright, 26; Brandon L. Baxter, 20; and Anthony Hayne, 35, Connor C. Stevens, 20, and Joshua S. Stafford, 23) were arrested by the FBI after a paid FBI informant/provocateur spent months guiding this “plot” and produced the explosives. See Cleveland4Solidarity for more details on the case and info about how to support our entrapped comrades.
The links at the bottom provide information to help keep you safe, know your rights, and practice security culture.
Of immediate concern...
Avoid Brandon Darby and Cassandra Fairbanks
Protesters attending the RNC and any other political events must avoid notorious FBI Informant Brandon Darby and his close associate Cassandra Fairbanks. Given Ms. Fairbanks’ long history of access to the activist community, her close association with Darby makes her a threat. Snitches like Darby love to prey on “friends” and/or exploit their networks.
Below are a handful of public statements made by Darby and Fairbanks in June of 2016.
“If you know about someone planning violence at the RNC or DNC but are afraid to tell FBI, contact me. I’ll help. Bdarby@breitbart.com” ~ Brandon Darby
“Informant Brandon Darby will be at the RNC. Be safe.” — @cleresistrnc
“With many videographers. It will help identify your friends who commit crimes so they can be prosecuted.” ~ Brandon Darby [in response to @cleresistrnc on Twitter]
“Unlike you, I’ll be at the GOP protests without a mask- filming you and yours.” ~ Brandon Darby
“You misspelled ‘honored to have worked with the FBI” ~ Brandon Darby in response to @chalkupydaytona calling him a snitch on Twitter.
“Anarchists. Stop jacking with me. Our dance didn’t work out so well for you last time. I’m stronger now and your movement isn’t. Leave me be.” ~ Brandon Darby
Cassandra Fairbanks (@CassandraRules on Twitter) has publicly expressed her adoration of Darby and plans to spend a great deal of time at the RNC with him.
“Brandon Darby is a journalist/good person” ~ Cassandra Fairbanks (6/12/16)
“I’m sure I’ll be hanging out with him at the RNC, so no need to alert anyone prior, you guys can just come say hi in person, it will be easy to do.” ~Cassandra Fairbanks
“I’ll be at a way cooler adult table (with Brandon and his friends). ~ Cassandra Fairbanks
“He’s really a great person. People like to erase all the good he’s done because of the Molotov thing…but I’m really happy I know him.” ~ Cassandra Fairbanks.
“@JahbaHimself how insane y’all are acting has me adoring @brandondarby even more than I already did, which I didn’t think was even possible” ~ Cassandra Fairbanks
“@Ergoat I don’t owe you anything. @brandondarby is my friend.” ~ Cassandra Fairbanks
“The apartment I got for Cleveland is within the confines of the RNC no protest zone it looks like lol” ~ Cassandra Fairbanks.
“If I was anti trump I would totally hang a banner from the window or something to protest the noprotest rule, but I’m not.” ~ Cassandra Fairbanks.
Background on Darby
Brandon Darby is a notorious FBI informant who, in 2008, directly facilitated the incarceration of two men through a diligent entrapment scheme at the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota. In September of 2008, the FBI arrested two men from Texas, Bradley Crowder and David McKay.
“According to the FBI’s documents, Darby, posing as an activist, had been covertly gathering information for the FBI since at least February 2007, twelve months before he ever met Crowder or McKay or knew of any plans for the RNC. “As an older seasoned activist, Darby had a lot of sway over Crowder and McKay, making them susceptible to his often militant rhetoric,” said Gabby Hicks, who was in St. Paul with Darby during the Convention. “He was always the one to suggest violence, when the rest of us clearly disagreed with those strategies.” FBI documents make it clear that Darby did not restrict his informing to people he alleges were planning illegal activities. He also gathered information on numerous people who were engaged in lawful activism; including some who had no plans to attend the Republican Convention. “The wider net cast by Darby in his information gathering shows that he was part of an FBI campaign to suppress political dissent and activism,” said Will Potter, an award-winning independent journalist. “By gathering information on law abiding activists and then defending his actions as stopping violence, Darby contributes to the public perception that political dissent is criminal, which has a chilling effect on free speech” (Austin Informant Working Group).
In addition to his work with the FBI at and before the 2008 RNC, Darby infiltrated Common Ground, a New Orleans grassroots response to Hurricane Katrina. While Common Ground was focusing on setting up a free medical clinic, cleaning and gutting homes, distributing clothes and personal hygiene products, organizing free legal services, planting gardens, and all sorts of other stuff to rebuild New Orleans, Darby was busy with often abusive and unrestrained sexual engagement with volunteers. It has been documented repeatedly that Darby’s leadership role and actions led to systematic problems of sexual harassment and abuse at Common Ground. Darby’s presence at Common Ground is an example of his infiltration and sabotage of a nonviolent grassroots group to serve the state. His sexual harassment directly contradicts Ms. Fairbanks history of protesting rape culture.
Obviously, Cassandra Fairbanks’s close association with Darby makes her a threat to any leftist/anarchist/activist community. Ms. Fairbanks is somewhat uniquely positioned to assist Brandon Darby in his attempts to identify protesters at the RNC, as well as to attempt to match online accounts to users’ real identities, should she continue to collaborate with him, which she claims she has every intention of doing.
Fairbanks has a long history of access to a national activist community, at one point contributed to the Twitter account @YourAnonCentral (she no longer does) and participated in many Anonymous Ops with shady anons like KYAnonymous and Commander X. In 2015, Fairbanks traveled to protest FBI informant Sabu speaking at a conference. She wore a “Fuck Sabu” shirt to show outrage at the snitch who entrapped Jeremy Hammond.
For years, Fairbanks has traveled the United States going to “Fuck The Police” protests, #BlackLivesMatter protests, Occupy Wall Street protests, Anonymous Million Mask March protests, Steubenville rape protests, and has extensively filmed and photographed protesters she then kept in contact with.
The backlog of anarchist/activist/anonymous contacts Ms. Fairbanks can now pass on to her good friend Darby, Breitbart, and law enforcement is staggering.
Ms. Fairbanks’ entire career has apparently been embedding herself in radical leftist anarchist movements, which she suddenly claims she no longer cares about.
“I don’t hang out with activists anyway.” ~ Cassandra Fairbanks
Until recently, Fairbanks was an avid Bernie Sanders supporter but she’s now thrown her support behind Donald Trump and will be attending the RNC as a Trump supporter and journalist and good friend of Brandon Darby, who she adores. She currently writes for Sputnik News and recently wrote an article “Radicalized at Home: FBI Tried to Lure Orlando Shooter Into Terror Plot,” for which Brandon Darby provided input.
Ms. Fairbanks now supports an American presidential candidate who cites Breitbart, a news outlet that gives NeoNazis a platform and employs a federal informant who acted as a agent provocateur. Ms. Fairbanks’ support for a right-wing candidate is inconsistent and perplexing given her history as a protester tied to anarchist movements, Black Lives Matter, Anonymous and Occupy Wall Street, etc. Ms. Fairbanks’ willing collaboration with a known FBI informant is most troubling, as it a) contradicts her support of Chelsea Manning, Jeremy Hammond, Black Lives Matter, and just about every social justice cause she has made a career and reputation supporting and b) betrays her former community and puts it at risk.
Fairbanks has for years belonged to a national network of anarchists, anti-police groups, citizen journalists who support protests, activists, Anonymous hacktivist protesters, Sanders supporters, and leftist protesters. Her collaboration with Darby, and her shift from an ACAB/FTP protester to an avid supporter of a right-wing candidate and good friend of an FBI informant is suspicious at face value.
Again, Ms. Fairbanks, who has numerous activist/leftist/anarchist/anonymous contacts, will be at the RNC in Cleveland, hanging out with her good friend Brandon Darby, as he films protesters with the intent to identify them to assist in their prosecution.
Ms. Fairbanks reportedly has already been identifying activists to Darby online.
Communicating with Ms. Fairbanks is dangerous. Splitting hairs between whether she is exercising her first Amendment right as a right-wing journalist or willingly collaborating with a snitch avoids responsibility for what she very clearly has already begun doing — not only adoring a snitch but assisting a snitch in identifying potential RNC protesters to have them prosecuted.
Since Darby has made his intentions to attend the RNC clear, numerous individuals have engaged @brandondarby on Twitter, and Darby is happy to keep a log of any “threats” tweeted at him, including photographs of rat poison.
This is obvious baiting, as we know law enforcement monitors activists on Twitter. For example, documents obtained by The Intercept through a Freedom of Information Act request revealed The Department of Homeland Security’s monitoring of Black Lives Matter activists’ social media accounts .
Social networking posts have been used by prosecutors to call for harsher sentences on protesters, including those entrapped by law enforcement. One example is the state’s use of Facebook messages in the Trial of the NATO 3. The NATO 3 (Brian Jacob Church, Brent Betterly and Jared Chase) were entrapped by undercover Chicago police officers and arrested in 2012, days before the Chicago NATO summit. They received felony convictions for possession of an incendiary device and misdemeanor mob. At the trial, the prosecution presented Facebook messages to prove terrorism and conspiracy to commit terrorism. See Kevin Gosztola’s piece “‘NATO 3’ Trial: Prosecutors Present Facebook Messages With Little Evidence Related to Alleged Offenses” in The Dissenter.
Darby has been logging those who interact with him online, taking notes on those he deems “radical” and “anonymous,” posting locations of those who oppose him and logging. The alliance between Fairbanks and Darby seems designed to agitate, intimidate leftist dissent and identify potential RNC protesters. Writing for Breitbart, Darby used Ms. Fairbanks’ political video to label a Twitter user and Hillary Clinton supporter as “radical” and in contact with an account “claiming to be associated with the anonymous movement.”
That Ms. Fairbanks has intimate knowledge of numerous individuals interacting with Darby online, individuals Darby deems “radical” and “dangerous” and refers to as future prisoners is alarming.
It’s no secret that activists are spied on electronically and by undercover officers, private contractors, and informants. The state has long used agents to infiltrate political meetings and online spaces. Due to the often anonymous nature of online communications among activists, those in power go to great lengths to identify those voicing dissent online. Their use of agents to initiate conversations online cannot be overestimated. The FBI’s physical/internet surveillance of hacktivist Jeremy Hammond is but one example.
Agents of the state work to destroy the lives of people who aren’t necessarily anarchists or radicals, or contemplating violence, and there is no reason to include them in your online networks. Darby willingly worked for the FBI, and is already thoroughly unwelcome among anarchists, radicals, and activists. Though Ms. Fairbanks claims she is now simply a journalist, her history contradicts this, and regardless, her intentions do not matter. As a former activist with national contacts who is now collaborating with an agent of the state, she is a threat and should not be tolerated, just like any FBI employee, agent, informant, infiltrator, or cop who attempts to become friendly with radicals online or face to face.
Below is a statement from Jeremy Hammond, who Ms. Fairbanks has informed of her friendship with an FBI informant:
It’s hard to believe Ms. Fairbanks defends a right-wing rat-bastard, but she quite clearly does.
Links below include more on Darby’s history and some security culture info if you need it.
With Love and Rage!
Useful Information for Activists
ACLU of Ohio “Know Your Rights” for 2016 Republican National Convention. http://www.acluohio.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/ACLUOH-2016RNC-ConstitutionalPlaybook.pdf
Center for Constitutional Rights — “If an Agent Knocks” https://ccrjustice.org/sites/default/files/assets/files/CCR_If_An_Agent_Knocks.pdf
CrimethInc. Ex-Workers’ Collective “What is Security Culture?” http://www.crimethinc.com/texts/atoz/security.php
“Rats! Your guide to protecting yourself against snitches, informers, informants, agents provocateurs, narcs, finks, and similar vermin” http://rats-nosnitch.com/rats
The Ruckus Society. “Security Culture for Activists” -http://www.ruckus.org/downloads/RuckusSecurityCultureForActivists.pdf
Electronic Frontier Foundation. (2015). “Attending Protests (United States)” Surveillance Self Defense. https://ssd.eff.org/en/playlist/activist-or-protester#attending-protests-united-states
How to Avoid FBI Entrapment https://seesharppress.wordpress.com/2015/09/13/how-to-avoid-fbi-entrapment/
Manufacturing “Terrorists”: the FBI’s Entrap & Demonize Strategy (see embedded zine detailing FBI strategy to discredit the Occupy movement AND exaggerate the threat of terrorism) http://bordc.org/news/dissent-repression-comic-series-book-1-manufacturing-terrorists/
About Brandon Darby:
Better This World documentary about 2008 RNC entrapment (onine for free here) http://ffilms.org/better-this-world-2011/
Witness to Betrayal: scott crow on the Exploits and Misadventures of FBI Informant Brandon Darby
Lisa Fithian: FBI Informant Brandon Darby : Sexism, Egos, and Lies http://www.theragblog.com/lisa-fithian-fbi-informant-brandon-darby-sexism-egos-and-lies/
The Informant — Revolutionary to rat: The uneasy journey of Brandon Darby http://www.austinchronicle.com/news/2009-01-23/729400/
Inside the FBI Entrapment Strategy: An Analysis http://www.crimethinc.com/blog/2012/05/29/inside-the-fbi-entrapment-strategy/