FBI attempts to question LA activist
Los Angeles, CA – On the morning of July 5, Los Angeles activist Jared Hamil received repeated phone calls from FBI Special Agent A. Brett Fears.
Hamil told Fears that had nothing to say and the agent could contact his lawyer. Hamil has a long history of speaking out against repression and helped to lead the 2012 march on the RNC in Tampa, Florida.
“Agent Fears with the FBI called me three times today, once while I was at work. I made it real clear that I am not going to talk to him or anybody else from the FBI. There's nothing good that can come from talking to them. The FBI has a long history of harassing, intimidating and jailing activists,” said Hamil.
Special Agent Fears is based in Tampa. Early this year he tried to question Tampa activist Jessica Schwartz – who helps lead the local chapter of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression and has been active in the campaign to defend Palestinian American leader Rasmea Odeh. Schwartz did not cooperate with the FBI.
The attempt to question Hamil comes in the context of stepped-up FBI spying and harassment as the Republican and Democratic conventions approach.
Steff Yorek, of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, states, “The FBI is using its powers to try to frighten people away from exercising our First and Fourth Amendment rights at the political conventions like the RNC in Cleveland. It's important for folks to know that the only safe course of action when confronted by an FBI agent is to decline to speak to them.”