Anti-NATO protesters held on terrorism charges, extreme bail. Call States Attorney to demand their release!
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. 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 at 773-674-6209. Demand all charges be dropped against anti-NATO protesters!
Release them all now!
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