Sunday, November 28, 2010

Radio moment

Law and Disorder Radio

Radio moment was a planned regular feature we'd hope would be at least a monthly thing. Hasn't worked out that way. But last week on Law and Disorder Radio (airs Monday mornings on WBAI and around the country throughout the week), hosts Hosts Heidi Boghosian, Michael Ratner and Michael S. Smith discussed what to do if government agents show up to question you and, with the Barack Obama administration targeting activists, it was important information.

Michael S. Smith: Heidi, congratulations, I'm holding in my hand this beautiful red and white and yellow pamphlet "You Have The Right To Remain Silent." Congratulations on getting this out. This National Lawyers Guild pamphlet is going to come in very handy.

Heidi Boghosian: Thanks, Michael, it's actually a Know Your Rights guide for law enforcement encounters and we designed it specifically so that it could fit in the rear pocket of someone's jeans or pants. It has basic know-your-rights information: what to do if the FBI comes to your door, what if you're not a citizen, I think there's something about rights at airports, if you're under 18. It's free of charge [to download] at and if you want to get bulk amounts we will send you fifty free of charge and then we just ask for shipping & handling for orders above that.

Michael Ratner: It's interesting that it fits into your pocket because you know, Michael and I and you -- well you're not as old as us -- but when we used to give advice to people at demonstrations, we used to tell them to sew their pockets up so you couldn't plant -- the cops couldn't plant -- marijuana in their pockets. So you'd go to demonstrations with all your pockets sewn up. But at least -- Maybe they don't do that as much. You can carry this little book with you instead of writing the whole thing on your arm.

Heidi Boghosian: I'm speechless.

Michael S. Smith: She's speechless.

Heidi Boghosian: That's fascinating.

Michael Ratner: And about pockets, that's also interesting, my daughter once had to an assignment about clothes for boys or girls when she was a little girl. And, of course, what you notice is that girl's clothes have no pockets.

Heidi Boghosian: I know. I hate that.

Michael Ratner: It's terrible.

Heidi Boghosian: I only buy things with pockets.

Michael Ratner: And it's a weird sexual discrimination. Boys are supposed to carry all these things but girls --

Heidi Boghosian: I know they have to have a pocket book.

Michael Ratner: But back to the pocketing Guild pamphlet called?

Michael Ratner: Now Michael's going to say something about the substance of it.

Michael S. Smith: If you receive a subpeona call the NLG national office hotline at 888-NLG-ECOL I'll repeat 888-654-3265.

Michael Ratner: Or if the FBI starts to question you, don't answer even the first question. Just say "I don't want to speak to the FBI" or refer them to your lawyer. [laughing] And that's H-e-i-d -- No, no. But in any case, you should refer them to your lawyer or just say you're not talking to the FBI. And it's such a short little pamphlet, it's perfect for taking to demos, it doesn't have our basic position about the FBI which is: Once you start talking to the FBI or Homeland Security or any of these so-called law enforcement or police intelligence there's the potato chip example. Once you start eating potato chips, you can't stop. It's the same for talking. Heidi's waiving her arms.

Heidi Boghosian: Michael, that's a great point. And, in fact, we do have a section called "Standing Up For Free Speech." I just want to quote one sentence or two. "Informed resistance to these tactics and steadfast defense of your and others' rights can bring positive results. Each person who takes a courageous stand makes future resistance to government oppression easier for all." So just to remind listeners, if you'd like a copy or multiple copies, it's called "
You Have The Right To Remain Silent: A Know Your Rights Guide For Law Enforcement Encounters" and it's available through the National Lawyers Guild,
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