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We are the 99 percent

An Open Letter to Every Occupy Supporter

Posted 11 years ago on June 26, 2012, 10 a.m. EST by OccupyWallSt

protester holding sign that read They got money for wars but cant feed the poor
photo from #noNATO protest in Chicago

via Occupy Chicago

Dear friend,

Imagine being trapped in a cage twenty-four hours a day. You have to eat food better fit for a garbage can than a human. Surrounded by guards who hate you, push you around, call you a terrorist.

This is happening right now to our friends who are in jail on trumped-up charges of domestic terrorism, even though we all know what their real crime was—standing up against the NATO warmongers. Free speech is under attack, and the NATO 5 are victims of this attack.

But you can make a difference in their lives and the lives of all those who speak truth to power. You can support those who fight to make our society a better place for you and everyone you know. Please donate right now to the bail fund and help release our friends, your friends. Our bail fund is https://www.wepay.com/donations/143498.

Brent, Brian, Jared, Sebastian, and Mark's arrests weren’t an attempt to catch “violent anarchists” that were going to smash private property and harass businessmen in suits. The arrests were simply a tool to scare away crowds from protesting the war machine.

Unlawful arrests have long been used to quell dissent. In 2003, 800 people were unlawfully arrested during an antiwar march, and the city of Chicago settled, giving $12 million taxpayer dollars to those unlawfully detained. Twelve million dollars wasted while the city shutters schools, mental health clinics, libraries, and other services. Confidential informants were sent to infiltrate peaceful activism groups, to attempt to entrap individuals. Why would the city do this? The answer is clear: to justify spending money on weapons and personnel, to justify its increasing repression of dissent without raising the ire of the average citizen—after all, with these unlawful raids, detentions, arrests, and prosecution, the government is supposedly "protecting” the public from the “violent anarchists.”

According to the National Lawyer’s Guild’s report, The Policing of Political Speech: Constraints on Mass Dissent, in the U.S. most allegations against protesters are proven false after the fact.

“Time and time again, millions of dollars have been obtained by the police departments for personnel and equipment at large events, justified by confidential informant testimony that large numbers of ‘anarchists’ are planning to attend and engage in violence. Closer examination of the facts often reveals the falsity of such allegations: numerous police informants, many with criminal backgrounds, admit when later questioned that activist groups they infiltrated never planned any violent activities. Indeed, millions more have been spent paying damages to the demonstrators victimized by these tactics.” (http://www.nlg.org/wp-content/files_flutter/1286308219bodyfinal.pdf)

In the words of Eric Ruder from The Socialist Worker, “The state has set an outrageously high bail...which itself serves as a form of pressure on defendants to plead guilty to a lesser charge or face the prospect of remaining in prison during a trial that could take years in order to prove their innocence.” (http://socialistworker.org/2012/06/14/framing-of-the-nato-five)

This is why your donation to the bail fund is so important. You can take a stand and say that they cannot take our friends and keep them locked up. That the government cannot use money as repression. That we can and will take care of our own. We have told them to expect us; now is the time to show our power.

With your help, we can free our friends who are wrongly imprisoned for standing up against war. Five innocent young men are being held in a cage—will you help get them out?

Thanks for everything you do to support this movement. I hope you will donate today.

Friend of the NATO 5




Read the Rules
[-] 2 points by forjustice (178) from Kearney, NE 11 years ago

I know the NDAA was temporary blocked, but I'm not confident that ruling will hold.

Know when you donate to the legal defense of those labeled as "terrorists", the NDAA allows them to detain you without charge or trial. The police state has begun!

[-] 2 points by geo (2638) from Concord, NC 11 years ago

Free Speech is under attack right here in America.... Charlotte NC


[-] 2 points by francismjenkins (3713) 11 years ago

Also friends, note the "share" icon on the left. If 1,000 people read this & share it on Facebook (and they have 10 friends) ... that's 10,000 people who at least have access to the other side of the story, if they have 100 friends - that's 100,000 people, if 5,000 OWS supporters share this, do the math, it adds up pretty quick (this is one way we can get information out to the public).

[-] 1 points by PetadeAztlan (113) from Sacramento, CA 11 years ago

OWS I support Occupy Wall Street and know that we are already living under a mature sophisticated form of totalitarian fascism. I remember the legals fees of the Black Panther Party were a key element in sapping their funds, along with other fascist maneuvers. We should give what we can to those in need.

Plus, remember the Power of Word of Mouth. In your conversations with others in your life tell this about this case and the repression that the OWS is still undergoing. Repression breeds Resistance!

Freedom for the NATO 5! Down with the US Rogue Regime! @Peta_de_Aztlan ~Sacramento, California




[-] 0 points by rico12story (-2) 11 years ago

. . . - - excel _ lent article , , thanks very much to the collective & collaborative spirit that / which crated and put forth such a true and moving piece . . . - - and this is placed in a tymelee manner , , because it serves to underline / undermine the COVERT AGENDA FORE ' VIOLENCE - GREED , , AND THE BLATANT MANIPULATION OF peoples - animals - plants - the environment , , behind the scenes , , while at the same tyme pretending to promote an act / drama of freedom and equality . . . - - there are several clear examples of this type of strategy , , of which PREEMPTIVE ARRESTS BEFORE PLANNED DEMONSTRATIONS , , and the setting of absurdly high bail bonds are outlined in full effect and reveal . . .

. . . - - the underlying domain agenda fore ; preemptive arrests couldn ' t be spelled out in better definition , , and as is also the case with the irrationally high bail bond setting , , it is now easy to extract and deliniate the underlyning and connecting strategy which serves and creates the appropriate sought after corrupt and violent goal state conditions . . . - - when taking a good look at both scenarios , , wii can now become very aware of this topical playing filed of human interest , , and realize this is the WAYS & MEANS fore elite transactions , , and has been the field of play since the romans perfected this manner of social - cultural interaction , , with their vision of empire , , two thousand years ago . . .

. . . - - what so incredible and powerfully invigorating and enlightening , , is that finally , , all of the GROUND RULES FORE ' HOW THIS METHOD

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 11 years ago

I'm confused. Before I read this, I didn't realize that in order to support Occupy, I'm expected to support the most radical black bloc elements at the fringes of Occupy. Rather than distancing Occupy from dangerous extremists, this article implies that to support Occupy, you also have to support the extremists. This kind of thing can only have the effect of turning more potential supporters away from Occupy.

[-] 3 points by PetadeAztlan (113) from Sacramento, CA 11 years ago

You tech to inform yourself brother. Do not believe the fascist framing of this event. Investigate before you judge. These brothers suffered a fascist set-up. Do not let the lies of fascism seep into your psyche. Study the case history. Check out Democracy Now!

[-] 3 points by truthspeaker (7) 11 years ago

What makes you think these guys are dangerous extremists? Because the government says so?

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 11 years ago

The indictment was my first hint, yes. Let's refer to them as "alleged" potentially dangerous extremists until more evidence comes out.

[-] 2 points by JackHall (413) 11 years ago

What happened to innocent until proven guilty of charges? The government pre-emption is unconstitutional.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 11 years ago

If Occupy has totally given up on PR and just doesn't care what the average American thinks any more, then sure. Get behind these guys and make them into a banner issue.

[-] 3 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 11 years ago

Here we go again. Black bloc indicates a tactic, used to assure anonymity while committing questionable or clearly illegal acts. The five arrested people were supposedly making "devices."

From what I read in the The New York Times article ( http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/21/us/two-held-on-terrorism-charges-at-nato-meeting.html?pagewanted=all ) the charges sound exaggerated, to say the least. At first officials said the five accused men had been making "bombs." Of course when no evidence to support their claims was found, they changed it to "devices."

If we still believe in the presumption of innocence, I see no problem in supporting the five accused men, especially considering the suspicious nature of the charges. As far as I can tell, they did nothing overtly illegal.

[-] -1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 11 years ago

Well, I guess it's too late to appeal to the mainstream anyway. So sure, rally around accused terrorist anarchists. Not good for PR but I guess nobody cares any more.

[-] 3 points by TitusMoans (2451) from Boulder City, NV 11 years ago

If they are convicted of committing a real crime, we should not support them.

I buy gasoline. I have a can at home, which I use to fill my lawnmower tank. I also have some empty bottles at home. Does possessing those items make me a terrorist?

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 11 years ago

I'll wait to see what evidence the government presents before passing judgement. But my concerns really are more about PR than about those guys.

[-] 2 points by truthspeaker (7) 11 years ago

Exactly. The government hasn't presented evidence yet, so there's no reason to assume the charges are credible.

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 11 years ago

support NO WAR

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 11 years ago

Okay, sure. But in order to support the 'no war' idea, I also have to support black bloc extremists who fantasize about throwing Molotov cocktails? That seems like kind of a contradiction.

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 11 years ago

people fantasize about all sorts of violence

but must not exercise violence


nothing in the above arrests suggested these people were arrested for violence

are these the FBI bomb entrapped people ?

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 11 years ago

According to the indictment, they "posessed and manufactured" an incindiary device.

Regardless of whether these specific black bloc extremists were guilty of actually making Molotov cocktails, there have been a lot of photos in the news of black bloc "protesters" smashing store fronts and spray-painting businesses in the name of Occupy. Does Occupy want the conversation about Occupy to be about Occupy's message? Or about the bricks that those guys like to throw through windows?

[-] 2 points by truthspeaker (7) 11 years ago

"According to the indictment". "There have been plenty of photos in the news." You don't get it, do you?

The police can make up any lies they want for an indictment and the press will dutifully report the details. Even if the charges are later dropped and even if the arrestee wins a lawsuit against the arresting agency, there are no negative repercussions for the prosecutor who cooked up the bogus indictment or the officers who lied about evidence or entrapped the arrestee.

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 11 years ago

I've seen plenty of photos of black bloc protesters associated with Occupy smashing store front windows. Were those photos computer generated or something?

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 11 years ago


[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

Sounds like this post is saying these people are not dangerous, or extremists. Why are you twisting the meaning.? The post states that these young people have been framed.! You don't believe that?. You believe the powers that be.? You don't support OWS do you? Do you stand with the 1%? Is that why you are dishonestly trying to paint these innocent framed protesters as radical black bloc.? propaganda against OWS! and at the behest of the 1%.? Are you aiding and abetting the 1% criminals who crashed the world economy and continue to prey on you and your family ? Why are you lying?

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 11 years ago

Calm down, Senator McCarthy. If you're going to show up foaming at the mouth to demand that I swear allegiance then that's also not going to make any of this any more appealing to the mainstream. I question the wisdom of turning these guys into a banner issue, that's all. Your knee-jerk paranoia is really funny but it's a distraction.

[-] 2 points by JackHall (413) 11 years ago

What has happened to free speech and freedom of assembly?

Chicago Police attack anti-NATO demonstrators

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7NG1K6xXTU [right click]

Indiana legalizes shooting cops http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbiM5TUZH_8 [right click]

Desperate measures to augment civilian review boards.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 11 years ago

You called them "dangerous", "extremist", "radical black bloc". All lies not supported by the article. Stop pretending you are not simply some stooge of the republican right wing 1% criminals who crashed the world economy. So why are you lying? Are you here to advocate for the 1%?