When violent White Supremacists show up to “protest” in your city, what will you do?

  1. Remember that white nationalism isn’t emerging, it’s been around all along. Self-defined white supremacists aren’t simply “outside agitators” (some are), they are also your emboldened neighbors. White supremacy isn’t simply an ideology of hate, it’s a practice of systemic power via racial hierarchy. It’s structural, not interpersonal — even when it manifests between individuals.
  • Assume that police are in collusion with white supremacists* and don’t let your phone data get into police officers’ hands. If you participate in an action or go to observe, there is a chance you may be arrested and/or have your devices taken from you. Instead of taking your smartphone along and compromising lots of personal data, take a cheap “burner” phone with only the info you need on it, and use a camera (not a phone with a camera) to take photos or videos. Put a PIN lock (not a fingerprint-based lock) on your phone, and take a moment now to encrypt your phone’s storage if your phone supports it and you haven’t done so already.
  • Don’t engage with white supremacists on social media or discussion channels/boards. You will not move them, and you risk becoming a target for online harassment or doxxing. If you are receiving multiple violent harassment tweets per hour, it will likely take you away from meaningful work and the mental state you need to take care of yourself and others.
  • Turn off location services on your phone and social media platforms, especially if you are leaving your home to be hear actions, and don’t tag yourself in photos from actions. With an administration that has blamed “many sides” for the violence in Charlottesville, assume that the information you give — even to services you trust — may end up in the hands of the DOJ. The more location data that is available about you online, the easier it is for white supremacists and/or police to use your location (time and place) data to make a case that you incited violence.
  • Switch to an encrypted text message program like Signal. This is helpful when you’re on site, but it’s also a better method than email or unsecure text for planning direct actions.
  • It’s ok to create event pages to help boost turnout, but Facebook and Google Drive/docs are not secure places to organize actions or recruitment where sensitive information needs to be shared. If you need to use a Google doc, change your sharing settings to that only “Specific people can access” and add only the email addresses of people who really need to view it.

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MediaJustice (formerly CMJ) fights for racial, economic, and gender justice in a digital age.

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MediaJustice (formerly CMJ) fights for racial, economic, and gender justice in a digital age.

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