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We are the 99 percent

Free the #NATO3!

Posted 12 years ago on May 19, 2012, 6:29 a.m. EST by OccupyWallSt

Update, 1:30pm ET: Protesters are gathering outside the bond hearing. The Sheriff originally allowed only three people to enter before ultimately allowing 10. Bail has been set at $1.5 million each. Mainstream corporate media are reporting that the 3 arrested activists were planning attacks on police stations, the Mayor's home, and the Obama campaign headquarters -- despite the fact that authorities "have provided no evidence of criminal intent or wrongdoing on the part of the activists," according to a press release from the Chicago chapter of the National Lawyer's Guild. Chicago Police admit they had infiltrated organizers. According to the Chicago Sun Times, ¨the undercover operation had been underway for weeks.¨ Lawyers, friends, and family of the accused maintain the ¨bomb making¨ equipment seized by police was actually a homebrew beer-making kit belonging to one of the residents and that the terrorism charges are sensational allegations to terrorize NATO protesters. It seems to have had an opposite effect - #NATO3 is trending on Twitter. A solidarity march has been called for LaSalle and Jackson to Daley Plaza at 3:30PM Central.

This video shows Chicago police questioning occupiers about Occupy Chicago, the NATO protests, and threatening violence after arbitrarily pulling over their car in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago earlier this week. The video went viral after the activists posted it to social media. Now, three of them are being charged with terrorism in the wake of a warrantless preemptive raid on activists' homes in Chicago.

An attorney from the National Lawyers Guild describes the video:

They were driving in a car and were pulled over without any kind of justification or reason by the Chicago police department. They were surrounded by police and they were questioned for a very long period of time about what they were doing in Chicago, why they were here to protest, what their political affiliations were, how they identified politically—All kinds of absolutely outrageous questions that certainly do not indicate any kind of illegal behavior because it is not constitutional simply to accuse them of a crime because of a political belief.

One officer can be heard in the video saying, “We’ll come look for you, each and every one of you.” Police also made references to the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, where protesters were violently beaten back by National Guardsmen:

CPD Officer 1: “You like that, he knows these guys know, ’68. You guys know all about ’68. What did they say back in ’68?”

CPD Officer 2: “Billy club to the fucking skull.”

Late Wednesday night, nine #noNATO activists were arrested in a preemptive raid in the southside Chicago neighborhood Bridgeport. Chicago police broke into multiple homes with guns drawn and began rounding up the sleeping activists and bystanders.They did not present a warrant. Police ransacked the home, destroying property, throwing possessions around, dumping bags out, insulting people with homophobic slurs, and seizing cell phones. One person who had been staying at the house but was not present during the raid was even arrested while at a nearby pharmacy.

They were then held in the Organized Crime Division for nearly 36 hours until Friday night. One of the activists said police held them without ever saying why and threatened them with felony conspiracy charges in an attempt to get them to falsely accuse someone from the movement. While in detention, they were shackled, taunted, and called terrorists by police. Six were later released without charge.

Three of them have now been charged with “possession of incendiary or explosive device, conspiracy to commit terrorism & providing material support for terrorism,” according to attorney Sarah Gelsomino with the National Lawyers Guild. The three being charged are the same people who posted the viral video depicting police threatening activists.

Police waited until 2am, when most protesters were asleep, to announce the charges. The 3 are still in jail. Occupy Chicago has called the trumped-up charges retaliation for posting the video exposing police threatening activists. The NLG declared, “Charging these people who are here to peacefully protest against NATO for terrorism when in reality the police have been terrorizing activists in Chicago is completely outrageous.”

The three activists will appear in bond court at noon (May 19) at 26th & California. Occupy Chicago is calling for jail support! Arrive at 11am Central.


Chicago Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild
For Immediate Release:
May 19, 2012

National Lawyers Guild Decries Terrorism Charges Against Occupy Activists protesting NATO Summit
Preemptive raids and conspiracy charges are common characteristics of National Special Security Events

Chicago, IL — After holding NATO protesters for up to 48 hours, and releasing 6 out of 9 arrestees without any charges, the City of Chicago filed state charges last night against 3 Occupy activists from Florida, including possession of explosives or incendiary devices, material support for terrorism, and conspiracy. On Wednesday night at approximately 11:30pm, police raided a house in the Bridgeport neighborhood, detained several people in multiple apartments, and arrested 9 activists. Police broke down doors with guns drawn and searched residences without a warrant or consent.

“The National Lawyers Guild deplores the charges against Occupy activists in the strongest degree,” said Sarah Gelsomino with the NLG and the People’s Law Office. “It’s outrageous for the city to apply terrorism charges when it’s the police who have been terrorizing activists and threatening their right to protest.”

NLG attorneys are questioning why it took the city 48 hours, the limit on holding arrestees without a court hearing, to impose such serious charges. Although some accusations of Molotov cocktails have been made by police, they have provided no evidence of criminal intent or wrongdoing on the part of the activists. On Thursday, when asked about the raid at a press conference, Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy knew so little about the alleged terrorism investigation that he said he would have to gather further information before commenting.

The 3 activists charged are Jared Chase, Brent Beterly, and Brian Jacob Church. Last week, all three defendants were surrounded by several police squad cars outside of a CVS, detained for no apparent reason and asked questions about why they were in Chicago and what they planned to do during the NATO summit. One of the defendants recorded the encounter and posted an edited version on YouTube. When Superintendent McCarthy questioned the validity of the footage in the media, the entire video was quickly posted.

More than 20 people have been arrested so far in the lead up to the NATO summit, which begins tomorrow. At least 3 arrestees in addition to the ones charged tonight are still in custody. “Preemptive raids meant to intimidate and stifle dissent are all too common during National Special Security Events, such as the NATO summit,” said Gelsomino.

NLG attorneys will be representing the 3 defendants in their criminal cases and will be at their bond hearing tomorrow at 12pm at 2600 South California Ave



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[-] 2 points by alexrai (851) 12 years ago

Wow, now my question is how did they find out where these three were sleeping, and did they let them go just so they could track them down and bust up the house in a pre-emptive raid later?

That's a bit frightening to think about... surveillance state seems to be in full force in Chicago, hopefully this is not a preview of things to come.

I do have to say though, while I completely disagree with being stopped and hassled for no reason, as a purely practical matter... it is probably not a real good idea to get lippy with a bunch of high-strung officers talking about busting skulls...

[-] 1 points by 99nproud (2697) 10 years ago

Todays settlement illustrates the government knowledge that the militaristic gestapo tactics were unconstitutional.


Obviously a pathetic amount, but a small success.

Solidarity, "Whose streets? OUR streets!!"

[-] 1 points by mrbadexample (15) from Brooklyn, NY 12 years ago

Tried to click the 'wepay' donation button but it's down. Is there another way to send money or good wishes to these three?

[-] 1 points by djrakk (1) 12 years ago

If you guys know anything about the 60s and 70s Chi City has always been the Gustapo they cant stand anyone who fights the past and wishes for a brighter future. This is an old problem thats why they said 68' the most racist place in the U.S. was Chicago at that time. Now the Occupy movement is people fighting for the rights of ALL Americans.

[-] 1 points by Odin (583) 12 years ago

The CPD are this country's new Gestapo. They will not be alone.

[-] 1 points by rioguzman (12) 12 years ago

The police must be educated also. They are part of the 99%, like enlisted men they are cannon fodder. More than 100 police officers died on 9/11 and there is e v i d e n c e that 9/11 was an inside job (www.ae911truth.org) Tell them. Use your resources. Recruit them. We need a massive campaign to recruit the police and the military. It is paramount.

[-] -1 points by Kintyre (1) 12 years ago

I am a member of the military, and there is nothing you "occupy" people have of any worth to teach me. Recruit me? Never. I stand by my oath to the Canadian Government and her Majesty the Queen, and her rightful successors according to law.

[-] 2 points by rioguzman (12) 12 years ago

This will educate you. Be brave and check it out carefully. www.ae911truth.org

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 12 years ago

Fine as long as you are not a blind marcher and your government continues to support your people. Question things that happen that are not necessary or good like destruction of your environment for the purpose of extracting fossil fuel. This is not necessary - there is plenty of green technology available for use today that could end our need for fossil fuel.

[-] 2 points by Renneye (3874) 12 years ago

I'm a Canadian...and sorry, but you're embarrassing. Never mind your government and the queen. They are amongst the most twisted people on the planet. We certainly don't need monarchies any more. Have you sworn an oath to your country's people? That is the question.

[-] 1 points by 99nproud (2697) 10 years ago

Other Occupiers who need our attention


Spread the word, fight for our fighters

[-] 1 points by Onward (1) 12 years ago

Read the charges:


They deserve representation. Should they, however, be freed?

[-] 1 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 12 years ago

Apparently the lesson the state wants to teach us is not to have bottles in our houses, since the bottles can conceivably be made into Molotov cocktails.

Unless, Molotov cocktails were actually premade (highly unlikely), the entire raid and subsequent arrests looks like a simple Gestapo scare tactic: something the FBI might concoct.

[-] 1 points by bigbangbilly (594) 12 years ago

Now we have the internet to influence an outcome. Back then with Leonard Peltier there was not enough people to care. Also, is it $1.5 million each ?

[-] 1 points by mrbadexample (15) from Brooklyn, NY 12 years ago

Any of my friends in OWS performance guild want to gather and do a fundraiser/pass the hat event for the arrestees? Perhaps Sunday afternoon at Union Square? This is getting very little coverage in major media, and an event that drew some cameras might also draw some more sympathetic coverage.

[-] 1 points by Coinyer101 (25) 12 years ago

It's just sad how pervasive abuse of authority is in this country.....,

[-] 1 points by JLivermore (-5) from Jersey City, NJ 12 years ago

As much as I disagree with everything you stand for, the "terrorism" charges sure do sound like bullshit.

[-] 2 points by tallscott (11) 12 years ago

Think about it for just a minute. If things in this country have reached the point where the authorities are literally kicking down doors and arresting people on trumped-up terrorism charges just for protesting, don't we maybe have a point?