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More Information on RNC-WC Infiltrators

Fri, 5 Dec 2008
by Shift Shapers

We are releasing this communiqué and information because we have encountered confusion and uncertainty amongst others in the radical community, both in the Twin Cities and elsewhere, regarding the infiltration of the RNC Welcoming Committee and the status of the four RNC-WC infiltrators. These four self-described "members" attended RNC Welcoming Committee meetings, were a part of our activist community, visited our homes, shared our food and befriended our comrades over much of the RNC Welcoming Committee's existence. Without going into all the legalities that would bore all but the (sensational, stalwart, and superlative) lawyers among us, the repercussions of the actions of these individuals and the entirety of the police state before, during and after the RNC lead us to be discrete about the information we share at this present time. As the cases of those facing serious RNC-related charges progress through the courts in Minnesota - or as charges are dropped - more information about these informants will become public.
We do not speak on behalf of any organization, but simply as individuals who participated in anarchist anti-RNC organizing, who continue to be involved in the RNC aftermath, and who are particularly interested in using our experience surrounding these infiltrators to make our movements stronger and more secure.

And now, here they are—the 2008 RNC Hall of Shame:

Marilyn Hedstrom, pseudonym "Norma Jean Johnson" - Ramsey County Sheriff's Department Narcotics Officer

"Norma Jean" entered the radical community through Minneapolis Food Not Bombs with her supposed niece, "Amanda Clara" (see below) late in 2007. They soon began attending and surveilling RNC Welcoming Committee meetings, as well as meetings of RNC-WC committees and the meetings and functions of other, non-anarchist organizations until the end of August. She is in her late 40s/early 50s with curly blonde, graying hair and a medium build. She portrayed herself as divorced and becoming politically active for the first time. She was confirmed to be an infiltrator on September 1st. Since then, she has been seen multiple times on duty in Ramsey County District Court.

Rachel Nieting, pseudonyms "Amanda Clara" and "Amanda Amey" - Ramsey County Corrections Officer (now allegedly a Sheriff's Deputy)

"Amanda", in her early 20s and resembling a college student, began attending RNC-WC and committee meetings along with Marilyn/"Norma Jean." Unlike her co-conspirator, however, "Amanda" ceased involvement in the spring of 2008; her role as an infiltrator appears to be the most limited of the four infiltrators known. Since the convention, she has also been seen on duty. Her fake MySpace account is currently still being used. She also has a Facebook (make sure to poke her!).

Chris Dugger (real name) - Ramsey County Confidential Reliable Informant (now allegedly a jail guard)

Chris began attending RNC-WC meetings very early in 2008. He was also active in attending committee meetings and meetings with non-anarchist groups through the end of August. Like Marilyn/"Norma Jean," he portrayed himself as participating in a radical project for the first time and avoided helping except for the most basic tasks. He is around 30 years old (looks older) and is short with a very large, muscular build and several tattoos. He was confirmed to be an infiltrator on September 1st by observations of his behavior in downtown Saint Paul. Chris is not a cop, but an informant - presumably paid or rewarded by some other means.

Andrew Darst (real name, aka Andy/Panda/Pandy, online names Warchyld, Killswitch) - Federal Confidential Reliable Informant

"Panda" began attending RNC-WC meetings around the time of the pReNC in the fall of 2007 and stayed with the group through late August (including during the 2nd pReNC 5.3). He was introduced to the group as an avid urban explorer, and was (and still may be) active in the regional urban exploring scene, as a participant and as an administrator on websites devoted to the subject. At the first pReNC, he attended the event with two other urban explorers, known to be sympathetic to government agencies. He was first seen within the anarchist circle at the Crimethinc convergence three years ago, and has attended the convergence annually ever since. Like the other infiltrators, he was active in committee meetings and attended functions with other, non-anarchist organizations. Importantly, however, "Panda" was also involved in anti-RNC activity independent of and unrelated to the RNC Welcoming Committee. He participated and organized around Sector 5, and it appears that he remained on the streets in some form or fashion throughout the convention protests. His relationship with Matthew DePalma was the basis for DePalma's recent RNC-related federal case, and he also appears in court documents relating to the "Texas Two," Austin activists also facing federal RNC-related charges. He audio-recorded various gatherings and meetings, including the second pReNC (5.3). His apartment at 26th St and Bloomington in Minneapolis was wired for audio and video recording. He is around 30 years old with sharp features and has dark brown hair and eyes. He is tall (around 6'2) with a large, stockier build (see photos). He was confirmed to be an infiltrator by - among other incidents - observations of him assisting police in downtown Saint Paul on September 1st. Like Chris Dugger, he is not a cop but an informant (in this case a federal informant) - presumably paid or rewarded by some other means.

MOVING FORWARD

It is important for us to use this case of infiltrators as a learning tool for our future activist excursions, especially in our home cities. The Welcoming Committee and surrounding communities made several mistakes regarding the issue of infiltration. The issues surrounding our mistakes should be part of an ongoing conversation that addresses the issues of state harassment within our circles. Everyone can and must use the experience of the RNC to expand the effectiveness of our organizing and activism. Currently, however, there is little to no structure within our communities to build substantial trust around ourselves and our comrades. Infiltrators have done their dirty deeds for decades, even centuries, and they will continue to do so. We urge our communities and our movements to take the threat they pose seriously, and understand that while we cannot allow the state's disgusting tactics to dictate the terms of our resistance, we do not have to put up with them, either. Clearly, even in an open, aboveground group such as the RNC Welcoming Committee, they can wreak havoc.

We support the demand that the charges against all RNC arrestees, including the RNC 8 and the "Texas 2", be dropped. The real criminals are those who attempt to destroy our communities and relationships through deception, greed and collaboration with state repression of dissent.

We welcome comments and questions (within discretion) about this situation. If you encountered these individuals, we may be interested in your stories, and they could potentially be used for the defense of those facing RNC-related charges. For guidelines on telling us your RNC informant experience, email us at observations - at - riseup - dot- net.

Url:  link to shiftshapers.gnn.tv