ACTION ALERT: Free the Anti-NATO Nine
May 31, 2012
Committee to Stop FBI Repression
Nine people continue to be held in jail in Chicago, arrested before or during the protests against the NATO summit. They face felony charges and even terrorism charges, while the NATO generals responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands have left town to return to their occupation of Afghanistan and plotting for their next war. Five activists were arrested without any evidence of their involvement in violence, other than the statements of undercover FBI provocateurs.
Anti-NATO Protesters Held on Terrorism
Charges, Extreme Bail
Call States Attorney Anita Alvarez
Demand all charges be dropped against anti-NATO protesters! "Release them all now!"
(May 30, 2012) -- Nine people continue to be held in jail in Chicago, arrested before or during the protests against the NATO summit, according to information provided by the National Lawyers Guild. [See below.] They face felony charges and even terrorism charges, while the NATO generals responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands have left town to return to their occupation of Afghanistan and plotting for their next war.
Of those still being held, five of them have been charged under a State of Illinois law passed after 9/11 that has never been used. The NATO 5 were all targeted by undercover police officers exposed by the National Lawyers Guild. The agents went by the nicknames "Mo" and "Gloves."
The NATO 5 were arrested without any evidence of their involvement in violence, other than the statements of undercover provocateurs. The first arrests took place in an unlawful police raid of a home on Wednesday night, May 16th, in which the police kicked in doors without presenting a warrant, beat up people, shackled protesters hand and foot, and then "disappeared" 11 people for up to 40 hours. The National Lawyers Guild and Occupy Chicago activists faced repeated denials by the CPD in their attempts to locate those arrested.
The remaining two were arrested several days later. Again, no evidence has been presented other than the statements of the undercover police. Both men were held longer than the 48 hours required by law before being given access to use of a telephone or to speak with an attorney.
The other four still being held were involved in a protest action at the point which the police turned violent, causing over 70 injuries from baton blows, including many serious head injuries. Over 24 had to be treated at area hospitals for broken bones, knocked out teeth, concussions, and wounds requiring stitches or staples.
On top of the arrests and charges, the protesters are being held with outrageous bails: $1.5 million for the first three facing terrorism charges; $750,000 and $500,000 for the second two charged under the same state terrorism law; and as high as $250,000 for the remaining men. Bail for one Chicago youth, Raziel Azuara is set at $150,000.
It is the Chicago Police Department that is responsible for the violence; and the CPD and the States Attorney are violating the law and the Constitution.
Charges of terrorism, pre-emptive raids and prosecution, charges based on entrapment, and violence against protesters are all standard procedure when the US government declares a National Special Security Event as they did with the NATO summit.
These tactics were employed at the Republican National Convention in 2008, resulting in the cases of the RNC 8; the 23 anti-war activists raided by the FBI and subpoenaed to a grand jury for investigation of support for foreign terrorists; and the current trial of Carlos Montes in Los Angeles.
Now in Chicago they’ve added the element of excessive bail, as if the protesters were part of the 1%, rather than the 99%.
We must speak out against this repression. We know the charges against the anti-NATO protesters are false. All these prisoners should be free.
Call States Attorney Anita Alvarez
Demand all charges be dropped against anti NATO protesters! Release them all now!
Committee to Stop FBI Repression. Thanks for your ongoing interest in the fight against FBI repression of anti-war and international solidarity activists!
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Committee to Stop FBI Repression
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NLG Provides Wrap-up of Police
Reaction to NATO Demonstrations
Chicago Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild Press Release
CHICAGO, IL (May 25, 2012)— The Chicago chapter of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) has made an initial assessment of police actions on the streets during the week of NATO demonstrations, which was dominated by police harassment and violence, serious injuries, high-level charges, and exceptionally high bonds.
At this time, the NLG estimates that 117 people were arrested, but fewer than 100 were ultimately charged. Of those charged, the vast majority were ordinance violations and misdemeanors, including disorderly conduct, failure to disperse, trespassing, and resisting arrest. Sixteen people were charged with felonies, including 5 protesters accused of terrorism-related crimes.
The NLG was disturbed to receive reports of more than 70 instances of police brutality, most of which occurred at the end of Sunday's antiwar march at Michigan Avenue and Cermak Road. Most of the injuries were from baton blows to the body and many resulted in serious head injuries. More than two-dozen protesters were taken to Northwestern and Mercy Hospitals and treated for broken bones, knocked out teeth, concussions, and several open wounds requiring stitches or staples.
"Although police allowed some unpermitted marches to take place without incident, there were massive shows of force by police throughout the week of NATO demonstrations and indiscriminate violence perpetrated against many protesters," said NLG Chicago spokesperson Kris Hermes.
"Contrary to rhetoric from Mayor Emanuel and Police Superintendent McCarthy, the city was anything but tolerant to political dissent." Several activists' homes and organizing spaces, including the Wellington Avenue Church where activists converged, were targeted and visited by police. Numerous instances of unconstitutional stops and searches were also reported to the NLG throughout the week.
The first felony case to go to a preliminary hearing was dismissed by a Cook County Judge on Tuesday. Danny Johnson was arrested on May 15th at an immigration rally, charged with felony aggravated assault on a police officer, and held in jail for a week on $10,000 bond. "The dismissal of charges against Danny Johnson certainly raises questions about the veracity of claims against many other NATO protesters," continued Hermes.
Eleven people are still in custody, including the 5 protesters facing terrorism-related charges. Most of the felony arrestees will have court dates this week and next.
The so-called NATO 5 will have hearings on June 12th and 13th at 11:30am in Branch 98 at 26th and California. The NLG staffed a 24-hour legal office during the NATO demonstrations, dispatched Legal Observers to document police misconduct, and is committed to providing legal representation for anyone arrested and facing charges.
Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.