Fifth Estate Collective

Feds Bug Chi Vets

DETROIT—Veterans of the Chicago battle have been approached by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in an attempt to get detailed information on Movement activities during the Democratic National Convention.

At least four local residents who were busted in Chicago have since been approached by FBI agents who said “Mr. Hoover wants to get all the facts about this business. he’s very concerned about it.”

Specifically, the FBI sought information to support a conspiratorial view of the Chicago events, asking how people traveled to Chicago and whether they knew beforehand of plans of some groups for violence.

Even before Chicago the Feds were doing plenty of snooping in the Detroit area. Bill and Wendy Zook who are active in Detroit Draft Resistance, were approached two weeks prior to the convention by a pair of agents who asked them -if they had any information about plans for the convention week, or if any of their friends were active in organizations which were planning to disrupt the convention itself.

Bill and Wendy told them that they didn’t know anything about plans for Chicago and asked the Feds to leave.

The Tuesday after the convention the same agents were back again, this time with a list of names of Detroit movement people believed to have played an active role in the Chicago events. They asked Wendy if she knew any of the people on the list, and when she said that she didn’t they began to ask all kinds of questions about the Resistance group in Detroit.

“They had a draft information fact sheet, and seemed to have the answers to all their questions already,—Wendy told the Fifth Estate. The Feds also paid a visit to Wendy’s mother, but were again unsuccessful in obtaining any information.

Fred Chase, a local draft resister who was arrested in Chicago for disorderly conduct, said that on the Monday following the “disorder” in Chicago, he received a phone call from Dave Olsten who told him that the Feds had just left his apartment after he refused to accompany them to the FBI office “to have his picture taken and to answer questions about police brutality.—

The agents were after Fred, too. The next day two agents Caine to his apartment. Fred wasn’t there but the Feds tried to get in anyway. They asked both the caretaker and the landlord for the key but were refused both times. They then went to Ann Arbor where they harassed Fred’s mother with charges that Fred was guilty of “crossing state lines with the purpose of inciting to riot,” for his part in the Chicago confrontation.

Sue Wender, another veteran of the week in Chicago, was also approached by the FBI, but before they could get into their questions, a neighbor stormed through the door woofing loudly at the two intruders. “Get the fuck out of here, she doesn’t want to talk to you, you’re the POLITICAL POLICE.” After a few minutes of this the Feds decided that they had had enough and retreated to their car.

Under the pretext of investigating the brutality of the Chicago police, the FBI is trying to uncover information to support some sort of Agnewesque conspiracy theory:

“How did you get to Chicago? Did you go with your friends? What happened from the time you arrived? Is it true that kids were hurling insults at the cops? Did you hear talk of overthrowing the government? Did you talk to people whom we might call subversive?”

The best way to deal with this type of harassment was outlined at a recent meeting of the Resistance at St. Joseph’s Church. People who have run into the FBI in the past give this advice: Don’t say anything: you’re under no legal obligation to answer questions of any kind. Be sure you don’t sign anything waiving your Constitutional rights. In other words, fuck ‘em—they ain’t nothin’ but fancy pigs.


Fifth Estate #64, October 17–30, 1968