One of the thing that I want to do here it to relate my own experiences operating with a group of mostly well regulated individuals. My hope is to shed some light on our failures and successes so that other like minded persons may learn something of value.
Something that was both a plus and minus, was that we operated as a group in the public space. I know some believe that OPSEC precludes any public face or interaction, but there is a place and a need for this type of organization. Yes there are some dangers in dealing with the public, the greatest of which is infiltration by provocateurs, but we had a long standing ‘riot act’ that was restated to every new recruit. The statement was essentially: “We have a zero tolerance policy for illegal activity. If you suggest a blatantly illegal act, you will be removed from site and the county Sheriff will be immediately notified. If you suggest an act that is either in a legally grey area, or one that may be legal on its own but illegal with ‘intent’, you will be reprimanded and given a single warning.”
It is very hard to differentiate between the naive, the stupid, and the provocateur. We normally treated them one in the same since they are pretty much equally dangerous.
The bottom line is to operate completely out in the open if you are in any way a public facing organization. Dot your ‘i’s and cross your ‘t’s, don’t be the ‘low hanging fruit’, and you will be fine.