RSN June 14 Fundraising
FB Share
Email This Page
add comment
Print

Younge reports: "Police claim the charges of conspiracy to commit terrorism, providing material support for terrorism and possession of an explosive or incendiary device, are the result of a month-long investigation into a group they believe was making Molotov cocktails."

The National Lawyers Guild held a press conference on Friday condemning the raid. (photo: Chicago Indymedia)
The National Lawyers Guild held a press conference on Friday condemning the raid. (photo: Chicago Indymedia)



NATO Protesters Held on Terrorism Conspiracy Charges

By Gary Younge, Guardian UK

19 May 12

 

Occupy Wall Street: Take the Bull by the Horns


Lawyer says men are 'in shock' over allegations they tried to make a Molotov cocktail ahead of Nato summit protests.

hree Nato protesters, arrested in a late night raid on Wednesday, have been charged on terrorism-related offences.

Police claim the charges of conspiracy to commit terrorism, providing material support for terrorism and possession of an explosive or incendiary device, are the result of a month-long investigation into a group they believe was making Molotov cocktails. They had already been pulled over by police last week and asked about their protest plans in a stop they posted on YouTube.

Attorneys representing the men say the charges are fabricated and aimed at intimidating activists. "We cannot say enough that we believe that these charges are absolutely … very trumped up charges," said Sarah Gelsomino of the Peoples Law Office. "Clearly in an attempt to continue this intimidation campaign on activists. Charging these people who are here to peacefully protest against Nato for terrorism, when in reality the police have been terrorising activists in Chicago, is absolutely outrageous.

"All three of these guys, interestingly, were in the car about a week ago that was stopped and harassed by the Chicago police department," Gelsomino said. "They then posted that video online in an attempt to expose that police misconduct. Each of those three are now being charged with these crimes. That's as much as we know."

The three men are all in their twenties. Two come from Florida and one from New Hampshire. They were arrested in the Bridgeport area of the City after 11pm on Wednesday. Chicago police dressed in black and armed with battering rams broke down doors in an apartment building, searched the units and then arrested nine protesters for allegedly making or possessing Molotov cocktails. Lawyers say it was just beer-making equipment.

"The city has so far failed to produce any evidence or the search warrant affidavit used in the raid," said Kris Hermes of the National Lawyers Guild.

When police detained the people, they also seized parts of a beer-making kit, including bottles and caps, and a cellphone, Gelsomino said.

"This is the playbook," said Gelsomino. "Shoddy police work. It's a fear campaign."

Six were released on Friday. One said he had been handcuffed for 18 hours in an "interrogation room". Others say they were never told why they were held. Police did not inform the lawyers of their whereabouts for 17 hours.

One of the released, who blogs under the name "TarheelDem", called on activists to flood Chicago mayor Rahm Emmanuel's official voicemail. "The whole charge is transparently bogus and meant for the media to reduce turnout to the march on Sunday."

William Vassilakis, who leases the apartment, said he was appalled by the raids.

"I could not be more disgusted, enraged, terrified, by and generally totally disappointed with the city of Chicago," he told the local ABC TV channel.

 

Comments   

We are concerned about a recent drift towards vitriol in the RSN Reader comments section. There is a fine line between moderation and censorship. No one likes a harsh or confrontational forum atmosphere. At the same time everyone wants to be able to express themselves freely. We'll start by encouraging good judgment. If that doesn't work we'll have to ramp up the moderation.

General guidelines: Avoid personal attacks on other forum members; Avoid remarks that are ethnically derogatory; Do not advocate violence, or any illegal activity.

Remember that making the world better begins with responsible action.

- The RSN Team

 
+43 # RMDC 2012-05-19 17:06
This is totally insane. This is the police performing theatre. I happened to see this story on NBC news tonight and the news reader took it seriously, as if these three were plotting to blow up the Nato summit. The people are being held on 1.5 million bail but even that is just theatre.

They did not do anything. The police make a very high profile arrest, inflate some idiotic charges -- conspiracy to commit terrorism -- and all the idiotic news media in the nation lap it up as if it were ice cream.

Meanwhile, the real terrorists are in a hotel being treated like royalty. That is the world we live in. The great criminals like Bush, Cheney, Obama are treated like kings and the real activists for democracy are arrested as terrorists.
 
 
+7 # reiverpacific 2012-05-20 07:31
Quoting RMDC:
This is totally insane. This is the police performing theatre. I happened to see this story on NBC news tonight and the news reader took it seriously, as if these three were plotting to blow up the Nato summit. The people are being held on 1.5 million bail but even that is just theatre.

They did not do anything. The police make a very high profile arrest, inflate some idiotic charges -- conspiracy to commit terrorism -- and all the idiotic news media in the nation lap it up as if it were ice cream.

Meanwhile, the real terrorists are in a hotel being treated like royalty. That is the world we live in. The great criminals like Bush, Cheney, Obama are treated like kings and the real activists for democracy are arrested as terrorists.

Absolutely!
And worse, Henry Kissinger has been walking free for all these years and has been treated obsequiously by the owner-media -including PBS- and their shills!
We need to keep massing at the barricades- they can't get all of us and the cops might eventually realize which side the should be on, like they did in London recently.
The national Security State is only as strong as those who are willing to play the "Divide and conquer" game on it's behalf; therein lies the shadowy enemy from within we have to root out!
 
 
+8 # Vardoz 2012-05-19 21:15
Of course. This was their obvious next move. First get rid of due process and then call peaceful protesters terrorists-What a bunch of Fking Bastards- This is what our so called Democracy has come to- those pieces of sht! This is so enraging! We have rights, we have the 1st amendment and how dare these pieces of manure do this to our citizens!
 
 
+8 # wantrealdemocracy 2012-05-19 22:43
The big boys are scared of us. The people of this nation don't want to take it any more. The trashing of our Constitution, the loss of our rights to a trial if we are accused of a crime and the militarization of our police and now the government can use the army against peaceful demonstrators seeking justice are treated as criminals and may even be held indefinitely and tortured. Or we can be killed with no charges or trial on some 'suspicion'. This is America Land of the Free? No more. If you vote for either the Democrats or the equally evil Republicans you are damning us to slavery under corporate control.
 
 
+2 # RMDC 2012-05-22 02:48
Yes, I think you are right. The fascists in NATO are scared of the 6 billion people of the world who know what they are -- terrorists, murderers, colonizers.

It is time to seize the moment. Stop cooperating with NATO governments at all level. No taxes, no support, constant revelations of their crimes.

This brings up Obama. I will not vote for him because he has allowed himself to become the central player in the GWOT. He has murdered people in many nations with his drone wars. I simply will not cast a vote for a murderer.But many people will vote for him as the "lesser of two evils." I agree that he is the lesser of two evils but he is still evil and to vote for him is to vote for the system that is evil. Stay home. Don't vote or vote for any 3rd party. Make your vote count this time.
 
 
+2 # colvictoria 2012-05-23 05:54
RMDC
I am with you! I too will not vote for a man who boasts of killing Osama Bin Laden when many believe he had nothing to do with 911. Obama's administration is just a continuation of USA's policy of assassination, occupation of sovereign nations and the depopulation of indigenous communities around the world.
Obama uses bait to get liberals, gays and women to vote for him but what good is that when his foreign policy assassinates these same groups all over the globe?
 
 
+6 # fdawei 2012-05-19 23:54
Rahm Emmanuel, the "law and order" mayor of Chicago obviously learned his craft well from The Bush and Co. criminal faction and was just biding his time while working for Obama to become mayor the city and unleash his fury on the unwary citizens of Chicago. Shame on him! This is indeed a Black day for Chicago and America.
 
 
+1 # colvictoria 2012-05-23 11:18
fdawei,
I don't see how Emmanuel is any different than that Scott Walker in Wisconsin. Emmanuel wants to destroy the Chicago Teacher's Union and pretty much get rid of collective bargaining rights of union members. Same with Arne Duncan our Secretary of Education. Obama is buddies with these two. He too favors privatization of our education system. Democrats? Republicans? to me they are both for the corporations, the bankers and privatizing everything.
 
 
+7 # sgmp 2012-05-20 05:30
If anyone isn't frightened to death by this, they should be. The saddest thing to me is that I thought that the Patriot Act was an invention of Cheney/Bush. I believed that it would go away when President Obama was elected. Sad and stupid, I guess.
 
 
+1 # zippybob 2012-05-20 07:35
More Bull from are friendly govt
 
 
+2 # Buddha 2012-05-21 09:47
Who didn't see THIS coming with the push in Congress for the NDAA to allow the indefinite detention by the government of Americans "suspected" of "supporting" "terrorism"?? Got Occupy or other protestors rocking the boat and challenging the hegemony of the status quo? Label them "terrorists", and viola, they can be locked in a hole indefinitely! And better yet, it puts fear of going up against The State into others who would protest and exercise their suppossed 1st Amendment Rights.
 

THE NEW STREAMLINED RSN LOGIN PROCESS: Register once, then login and you are ready to comment. All you need is a Username and a Password of your choosing and you are free to comment whenever you like! Welcome to the Reader Supported News community.

RSNRSN