By Angela Smith HEAL National Coordinator/Co-Founder
By some reports, Abbie Hoffman was insane, Martin Luther King Jr. was a criminal who served time in Birmingham jail, and everyone knows Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. Sometimes being a controversial public figure, even if limited to a specific cause or issue, results in your being made a target for criminal harassment by your opposition. Those who deny that that's reasonable, and many facts currently and historically show it to be true, are either incompetent, delusional, dishonest, or some combination of all three.
Abbie Hoffman was an activist who worked for civil rights, helped register people to vote, and opposed the Vietnam War. He was actively investigated and had his phone tapped by law enforcement. In addition, white supremacist organizations didn't appreciate his commitment to civil rights or social equality. And, likely many patriotic military families didn't appreciate his efforts either, especially if from their perspective China was trying to take over the world starting in South East Asia which was evidenced by the way China has treated Tibet for one. So, given many individuals and organizations, both government and NGO, didn't like Abbie Hoffman's activism that made him a target for their opposition. Now, since Hoffman wasn't breaking any laws and was from a more affluent background, it was impossible or impracticable to frame him like was done to Angela Davis. So, instead, his opposition followed, harassed, tapped his phones, and made his life miserable. When the stress was too much as a result of the harassment, and his knowing or believing law enforcement was part of that so he didn't trust to report it, people recommended he get mental health services. He was put on lithium and became reportedly a "brain dead zombie". But, perhaps open and honest discussion where we all work together for peace, justice, and understanding would result in less injustice where well-meaning activists working for just causes aren't maliciously targeted and silenced by criminals who use law enforcement as weapons against their victims seeking redress.
Now, Martin Luther King Jr. wasn't a criminal in my opinion and I would hope all reading this feel the same way. But, he spent time in jail anyway for seeking redress of grievances related to social injustice. And, he was assassinated, harassed, and by many of the same people that targeted and harassed Abbie Hoffman even though they had come from diverse backgrounds economically. All of this is well documented and if you haven't read about it check out: https://www.freedomarchives.org/Documents/Finder/Black%20Liberation%20Disk/Black%20Power!/SugahData/Government/COINTELPRO.S.pdf
And, the entire Confederacy was displeased with Abraham Lincoln for various reasons. After the war, the Confederacy was arguably broken up. Did John Wilkes Booth act alone or was he part of a group that nominated him to assassinate President Lincoln? Was he a "lone wolf"? Or, was it part of a conspiracy to take out Lincoln? See, we all know reasonably that there are people in the world who disagree with us and would rather we not exercise our constitutional right to free speech. And, Human Earth Animal Liberation (HEAL) covers many controversial areas. So, we experience higher volumes of criminal harassment than those who remain more neutral or don't involve themselves in any controversies. And, because of modern technology, remote harassment like "Cyberstalking" (See: https://app.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=9.61.260 ) can be difficult to prove or even pinpoint when there are multiple suspects which is why law enforcement finds it impracticable in many cases. However, if an individual or organization experiencing that patiently and diligently gathers evidence over a year showing the harassment while identifying two prime suspects effectively, then law enforcement should investigate and prosecute. And, failing to do that suggests we need to do a better job of honoring Abbie Hoffman, Martin Luther King Jr., and Abraham Lincoln. I'd hate to think that justice is still inaccessible and oppressors are using law enforcement to oppress victims of crime rather than enforce the law so we have justice for all. So, this is why I'm giving the system time to consider my complaint while also recognizing that if I am denied justice that reinforces the position of everyone who resorts to vigilantism and for me that's too close to "The Purge" scenario to be considered civil or reasonable. But, if there's no other option for redress, the Confederacy it is then.
The main point is if you are reasonable and capable of reasonable discourse where everyone is treated respectfully with their points fully considered, then please know HEAL is too. But, if you are not reasonable and not capable of reasonable discourse where all points are fully considered for the sake of honestly arriving nearest to the whole truth for the sake of justice, then you are likely a narcissist and/or criminal who as a result of your own hypocrisy in not listening to others deserves not to be heard yourself. And, if you compare me or anyone at HEAL to Hoffman, King, or Lincoln, it better be in the form of compliment or we'll take it as a threat and reasonably so. And, if you are evidently dishonest in most or all regards, expect we'll need more than your word to take you seriously.