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FBI Visits TMC Intern and Staff
by tmc Thursday, Jan. 27, 2005 at 12:22 PM

Yesterday [Wednesday, January 26] Bill Parks, an agent with the Pittsburgh Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) visited the home of an intern and a staff member of the Thomas Merton Center.

Yesterday [Wednesday, January 26] Bill Parks, an agent with the Pittsburgh Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) visited the home of an intern and a staff member of the Thomas Merton Center. The two arrived home to find a hand written note on their front door (inside two other normally locked doors in the building) that said “Please call Bill Parks at 412-432-4410. Thanks, Bill.” The note made no mention of who he was or why he was stopping by. Upon getting in touch with Mr. Parks, he requested a meeting with one of them to “talk about some things” and indicated he was with the FBI. Mr. Parks also stated that the individual wasn’t under investigation, this wasn’t about protesting or civil disobedience but he wanted to talk about some people the individual may have run into lately, that he wouldn’t disclose the nature of his investigation, and that “if he’d wanted to hassle him, he would have called last week” (we assume this is a reference to the individual’s attendance at the counter-inauguration protests in DC). At this point the individual stated he would not meet or talk and that his lawyer would get back to Mr. Parks.

It is clear from the FBI’s nationwide conduct over the last year that they are engaged in a pattern of harassment and intimidation against the left and that phone calls, visits to work and home places, and other type of contact are a large part of this. If there is any type of legitimate investigation in progress we would like to know its nature and what, if anything, it has to do with activists involved with the TMC.

What you can do to help:

We still don’t know if this is an isolated incident or if this is the beginning of the wider harassment progressives in other cities have been experiencing. If you or anyone you know is contacted by the FBI please let us know, call the TMC at 412-361-3022 (and see the end of this messages for what you should do if contacted).

The TMC is also asking people to contact local council members and our national representative to ask them to look into the FBI’s actions and ensure that no one is being targeted or harassed for their political views.

Congressmen Mike Doyle: Pittsburgh office 412-261-5091

City Council-

Luke Ravenstahl: 412-255-2135

Alan Hertzberg: 412-255-8963

Gene Ricciardi: 412-255-2130

Jim Motznik: 412-255-2131

Doug Shields: 412-255-8965

Sala Udin: 412-255-2134

Len Bodack: 412-255-2140

Bill Peduto: 412-255-2133

Twanda Carlisle: 412-255-2137

We would also like to remind people of the background information the TMC sent out a couple months ago in regards to FBI harassment of activists around the country. Included in that update:

Because there is a possibility that this harassment and intimidation will spread to Pittsburgh, Mike Healy (local lawyer and affiliate of the National Lawyers Guild) has asked the TMC to forward some important information - people should not talk with the FBI without calling him or another lawyer who knows what's up on this stuff. Mike expresses that his major concern is that the interviews will be used to "trap" people into making false statements - it is a federal crime to lie to an FBI Agent. For example, if someone asks, "Do you know Jane Doe, and you say "No" that is a federal crime (if you do indeed know Jane). There is no requirement that the question and the answer even be material to an investigation. No matter what the FBI or local police agents say to you, you DO NOT have to answer any questions. You can simply repeat that you will not answer any questions without first speaking to your attorney- the FBI can leave their card with you and your attorney will call them back.

Mike Healey: National Lawyers guild or 412.391.7711

Vic Walczak: with the ACLU

Here is a link to some more information to be able to prepare yourself for the situation:

add your comments

Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 16 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
Thanks Ken Sunday, Jan. 30, 2005 at 5:07 PM
.... ..... Sunday, Jan. 30, 2005 at 1:44 PM
revew your COINTELPRO history USAn Sunday, Jan. 30, 2005 at 12:24 PM
FBI sure wastes time Ken Sunday, Jan. 30, 2005 at 9:52 AM
gfhfgh ghfgh Saturday, Jan. 29, 2005 at 9:39 AM
re: the point anonymous muslim Saturday, Jan. 29, 2005 at 8:48 AM
fghfgj fgghfgh Saturday, Jan. 29, 2005 at 8:38 AM
re: jttf anonymous muslim Friday, Jan. 28, 2005 at 1:17 PM
dfghjgfj jjj Friday, Jan. 28, 2005 at 11:28 AM
re: why now anonymous muslim Friday, Jan. 28, 2005 at 8:02 AM
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