Brandon Darby, a Texas activist who it turns out was working for the FBI as an informant from within groups that protested the 2008 Republican National Convention, pleads his case in the Pioneer Press today and in a statement he released earlier this week. He is “CHS1″ (Confidential Human Source 1) in an FBI affidavit alleging that Darby’s fellow Texans David Guy McKay and Bradley Neal Crowder made bombs to use during RNC protests. (McKay and Crowder will be tried in federal court late this month.) Information from Darby and other informants will likely play a big role in the upcoming trials of the RNC protesters known as the RNC8 who face felony terrorism charges.
Darby’s statement and a short video clip in which Darby, co-founder of Common Ground Collective, advocates for Hurricane Katrina victims.
December 29, 2008
To All Concerned,
The struggles for peace and justice have accomplished significant change throughout history. I’ve had the honor to work with many varying groups and individuals on behalf of marginalized communities and in various struggles. There are currently allegations in the media that I have worked undercover for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This allegation no doubt confuses many activists who know me and probably leaves many wondering why I would seemingly choose to engage in such an endeavor. The simple truth is that I have chosen to work with the Federal Bureau of investigation.
As compelling as the natural human desire to reason and express oneself can be, regardless, I must hold my comments at this time on certain aspects of the situation. That said, there are a few statements and generalizations I will make relating to my recent choices.
Excerpt from comment on MnIndy story
“The conclusion a reasonable person would make is: people talk shit but that’s not how they were going to act when the time actually came. This is hardly surprising.
“What Brandon Darby helped do is to criminalize talking shit in private. “
Though I’ve made and will no doubt continue to make many mistakes in efforts to better our world, I am satisfied with the efforts in which I have participated. Like many of you, I do my best to act in good conscience and to do what I believe to be most helpful to the world. Though my views on how to give of myself have changed substantially over the years, ultimately the motivations behind my choices remain the same. I strongly stand behind my choices in this matter.
I strongly believe that people innocent of an act should stand up for themselves and that those who choose to engage in an act should accept responsibility and explain the reasoning for their choices.
It is very dangerous when a few individuals engage in or act on a belief system in which they feel they know the real truth and that all others are ignorant and therefore have no right to meet and express their political views.
Additionally, when people act out of anger and hatred, and then claim that their actions were part of a movement or somehow tied into the struggle for social justice only after being caught, it’s damaging to the efforts of those who do give of themselves to better this world. Many people become activists as a result of discovering that others have distorted history and made heroes and assigned intentions to people who really didn’t act to better the world. The practice of placing noble intentions after the fact on actions which did not have noble motivations has no place in a movement for social justice.
The majority of the activists who went to St. Paul did so with pure intentions and simply wanted to express their disagreements with the Republican Party. It’s unfortunate that some used the group as cover for intentions that the rest of the group did not agree with or knew nothing about and are now, consequently, having parts of their lives and their peace of mind uprooted over.
There is no doubt in my mind that many of you reading this letter will say and feel all possible bad things about my choices and for me. I made the choice to have my identity revealed and was well aware of the consequences for doing so. I know that the temptation to silence or ignore the voice of someone who you strongly disagree with can be overwhelming in matters such as this one; and no doubt many people will try to do just that to me. I have confidence that there will be a few people interested in discussion and in better understanding views different from their own, especially from one of their own. My sincere hope is that the entire matter results in better understanding for everyone.
Many of you went against my wishes and spoke publicly in defense of me. Those involved were correct when they wrote that I wasn’t making my choices for financial reasons or to avoid some sort of prosecution. They were incorrect that my ideology didn’t support such choices. One individual who publically defended me stated that they didn’t believe I was working undercover because the government would have used my access to take down a more prominent activist if the allegations were true. If indeed the government or I was interested in doing so, it could have happened in such a manner. However, the incorrect notion that the government was out to silence dissent was the cause for the mistake made by that person. In defense of the individuals who openly did their best to do what they thought was defending me, they did not know the truth and they had no way of knowing the truth due to their ideological and personal attachments to me. It’s unfortunate that the truth couldn’t have come out sooner and that the needed preparations for such a disclosure take time. I really did mean it when I said that I didn’t want to discuss it and that I didn’t want folks addressing the allegations.
Again, I strongly stand behind my choices in this matter. I’m looking forward to open dialogue and debate regarding the motivations and experiences I’ve had and the ethical questions they pose.
Brandon Michael Darby