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Common Ground co-founder Brandon Darby admits to role as FBI informant (at RNC '08 and more)
by Austin Informant Working Group (texas.solidarity [at] gmail.com)
Friday Jan 2nd, 2009 2:11 PM
See bottom for letter from Brandon Darby, co-founder of Common Ground in New Orleans, admitting to role as informant.
Below is a statement by a group of Austin-based community organizers that
documents that a local activist, Brandon Michael Darby of Austin, is a
government informant/provocateur.

Brandon now publicly acknowledges that he is working with the FBI and has
been for some time.

Sometimes You Wake Up and It's Different: Statement on Brandon Darby, the
'Unnamed' Informant/Provocateur in the "Texas 2" Case from Austin, Texas

As part of the wave of government repression against activists protesting
at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota in September,
2008, the FBI arrested two men from Texas, Bradley Crowder (22) and David
McKay (23), and indicted them for allegedly possessing molotov cocktails.
Crowder and McKay have been in jail since the RNC. They have not been
granted bail and their trial has been postponed indefinitely. They are
facing 7 to 10 years in federal prison.

As outlined in the affidavit against Crowder and McKay (found here:
http://media.houston.indymedia.org/uploads/2008/09/090808_mckay_affidavit.pdf),
the case was built almost entirely on the statements of two informants
covertly working with the FBI, identified in the affidavit as
"Confidential Human Sources" or just "CHS".

One of these informants was working in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area ("CHS
2" in the affidavit) and has been previously identified as Andy/Panda by
people familiar with the situation and the informant. This statement ends
speculation and anticipation concern about the identity of the other
informant who was operating in Texas and Minnesota.

Using FBI documents previously unknown to us, but recently provided by one
of the defendant's defense teams, we have positively confirmed the
identity of the unnamed informant ("CHS 1" in the affidavit) as Brandon
Michael Darby of Austin, Texas, based on the following evidence:

1) The FBI documents detail private conversations between Darby and
several individuals named in the documents, including scott crow and Lisa
Fithian, who have closely reviewed the documents and confirmed that they
had the conversations in question with only Darby. In addition they can
confirm his participation in events reported in the documents.

2) In verbatim reports from the informant to the FBI, the language,
personality, skills, and interests of Darby are readily apparent to those
who know him.

3) Cross-referencing the time line provided by the FBI in the documents
with people familiar with the situation and course of events shows that
Darby was in a position to have the incriminating conversations with McKay
referenced in the affidavit.

4) In all of the documents Brandon Darby's name is conspicuously absent
from any and all meetings and events which he attended and was involved
in. In fact Darby's name only appears at the end of all the documents in a
confession made by David McKay upon his arrest in Minnesota.

Numerous people familiar with both Brandon Darby and the legal situation
of Crowder and McKay have verified this information.

Over the years Brandon Darby has established strong ties with individuals
in many different radical communities across the United States. While it
is not yet clear how long or to what extent Darby has been acting as an
informant, the emerging truth about Darby's malicious involvement in our
communities is heart-breaking and utterly ground-shattering to those of us
who were closest to him.

Darby operated in and around the Austin community for about 6 years, and
this is the same Brandon Darby who participated in the Common Ground
Collective in New Orleans during 2005-2006. Based on the evidence we have,
Brandon has been giving the state information since at least November
2007, but there is also information that suggests his informant activities
may go back further, at least to 2006 or earlier. In the documents, Darby
makes numerous remarks that are inflammatory and often untrue or grossly
taken out of context. There is also compelling evidence to suggest that
Darby, more than just reporting on Crowder and McKay's activities, was
actively encouraging, enabling, and provoking the two men to take illegal
action.

We recognize that suspicions and accusations of Darby have been
circulating for some time now, including one corporate media article by
David Hanners in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on October 29, 2008. Our aim
in releasing this information is to clear the confusion that has
circulated in the last few months.

We want to point out that while the conclusions of these suspicions and
accusations turned out to be correct, these conclusions were not based on
any verifiable facts, and thus, their public airing was inappropriate and
irresponsible. When these accusations surfaced, we did what we could to
quash them, trusting what we believed to be true about people in the
absence of any compelling evidence to the contrary. Having been presented
with new evidence, we are acting on it promptly and deliberately.

Through the history of our struggles for a better world, infiltrators and
informants have acted as tools for the forces of misery in disrupting and
derailing our movements. However, even more dangerous to our communities
than setting people up, turning them in, or gathering information,
informants sow seeds of fear, paranoia, and distrust that fester and grow
in paralyzing and destructive ways. We must be forever vigilante against
deceptive, malicious and manipulative actors, while we defend the trust
and openness that give our communities cohesion and power.

Now we must get on with the work of supporting the "Texas 2". In light of
these revelations and what we know about Brandon Darby, we believe they
were set up and that the charges should be dropped. We urge you to join us
in a campaign to "Free the Texas 2"

In solidarity,
The Austin Informant Working Group

For questions , comments or concerns please contact us:
texas.solidarity [at] gmail.com

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Brandon Darby admits to working with FBI

Fwded message:

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.

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.

In Solidarity,

Brandon Michael Darby

All are welcome to contact me via email. Please understand if it takes
me awhile to respond.

brandonmichaeldarby [at] gmail.com
Some of you in SC might know him, may have worked with him, or were inspired by his heroics in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Brandon Darby is a lowly traitor, a double agent of the state.

Indy media Houston has the full story, including a pathetic and megalomanic response by Darby himself. Sad, pathetic, and worrisome. Make it known...

(Oh, and it ought not matter if the Texas 2 were contemplating tactics that may not resonate with your's. The FBI or police should not be arbiters in social movement disputes. His double crossing predates the RNC.)


http://houston.indymedia.org/news/2008/12/66041.php
LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
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Hats off to BrandonPapaGeorgioMonday Feb 9th, 2009 8:06 AM
Fact check requestAnonWednesday Jan 7th, 2009 12:29 AM
BRANDON DID IT FOR THE LULZBrandon Darby, Super NinjaMonday Jan 5th, 2009 8:34 PM
Check Brandondarby.comBilbo BagginsMonday Jan 5th, 2009 5:06 PM
PhotocosMonday Jan 5th, 2009 3:15 AM
NYTimescpMonday Jan 5th, 2009 2:49 AM
Regarding FactsHMonday Jan 5th, 2009 12:35 AM
NowonmaiNowonmaiSunday Jan 4th, 2009 10:41 PM
timingcpSunday Jan 4th, 2009 6:28 PM
morons@Sunday Jan 4th, 2009 12:35 PM
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