More signature gatherers have been said to be crossing the line from freedom of speech to criminal activities in the last few weeks according to the American Federation of Teachers.
According to an e-mail circulated by the AFT President Jim Mahler, members have been followed home.
Some members have been threatened, and a few have claimed individuals have been going through their trash in an attempt to dig up dirt.
There has been one confirmed case of assault on an AFT member.
Rocks thrown recently through AFT affiliate Lorena Gonzalez’s window is believed by AFT members to be connected to signature gatherers.
AFT members are spreading the word about the “Decline to Sign” movement in an attempt to dissuade students from signing petitions and meeting signature gatherers toe to toe.
Jim Mahler explained that the AFT has two major objectives when dealing with signature gatherers.
The first is to deter student from signing petitions that they know little or nothing about.
Mahler claims that these petitions are bad for the middle class and in favor for wealthy individuals.
The second objective stems from the belief that many of the signature gatherers have criminal records and that the signature gathering companies hire anyone.
A recent arrest on campus of a petition gatherer who was on probation, adds to the AFT’s position.
“We do not take these threats lightly,” Mahler said about the growing number of threats and actions by signature gatherers.
Recent public announcements have introduced the belief that by signing a strangers petition you may be susceptible to illegal use of your personal information.
“Do not sign any petitions, for it only benefits wealthy people. Nothing being circulated will help students, families, or blue collared workers, and if you want to register to vote do it online,” Mahler said.