On May 19 and 20, NATO
occupied Chicago violently. Downtown residents were in virtual lockdown.
No-fly zones were imposed. Elaborate barricades were erected. Constitutional
rights were suspended.
Getting around was hazardous. Anyone could be stopped, searched, interrogated,
or arrested. Chicagoans were under siege.
NATO is the world's first global war-making alliance. Largely a US imperial
tool, it's a killing machine. Its 28 members and dozens of partner states
comprise about one-third of the world's nations.
They menace humanity. For days, thousands protested nonviolently during
their Chicago summit. Police brutality confronted them.
They faced no-holds barred surveillance, vigilantism, and brutality.
They're viciousness is infamous. Their tactics include physical confrontation,
flagrant abuses, and criminal assaults. Their odious reputation is well-deserved.
In full riot gear, they faced off against peaceful protesters. They
blocked free access to public streets. They bludgeoned anyone confronting
them. Pitched battles erupted.
Innocent victims were brutalized. Carte blanche authority let them harass,
abuse, beat, detain, and levy false charges. Dozens of arrests were
made. Most were held for a day or so and released. Others weren't as
Activists were targeted. Constitutional law was discarded. On May 17,
an NLG press release condemned a preemptive Bridgeport neighborhood
raid. At least eight arrests were made. No one committed a crime.
Witnesses said cops burst into a six-unit apartment building violently
with no search warrant. Doing so is illegal. They entered guns drawn.
One tenant was tackled in his kitchen. Two were handcuffed for two hours
in their living room while police searched their apartment and a neighboring
A search warrant produced four hours later had no authorizing signature.
Beer-making supplies and cell phones were seized.
Three youths were charged with possession of incendiary devices, material
support for terrorism, and conspiracy to commit it. An indictment explained
below added more spurious accusations.
Corroborating evidence wasn't explained because there is none. The NATO
3 are innocent.
Nonetheless, on June 20, AP headlined "NATO protesters indicted on 11
counts in Chicago, including terror-related and other charges," saying:
A grand jury indicted Brian Church, Jared Chase and Brent Vincent Betterly
on 11 counts. They include four terrorism related ones and "half a dozen
Days before NATO's summit began, they were arrested. Illinois' anti-terrorism
statutes were used for the first time. All charges were baseless.
Defense lawyers gave AP the 12 page indictment. It "provides no details
about the evidence" because there is none. Church, Chase and Betterly
are victims. They committed no crimes. They're bogusly charged.
They face long prison terms if convicted. A July 2 arraignment is scheduled.
On June 20, the National Lawyers Guild Chicago chapter headlined "NLG
Uncovers Terrorism Indictments in Chicago NATO Protest Case," saying:
"Eleven charges come without any supporting evidence."
NLG lawyers representing the defendants were initially denied access
to charges brought against them. Finally the indictment was obtained.
Providing material support for terrorism.
Conspiracy to commit terrorism.
Multiple counts of possession of an incendiary device.
Conspiracy to commit arson.
Solicitation to commit arson.
Two counts of unlawful use of a weapon.
Defendants are detained on a $1.5 million bond. NLG attorney Michael
"The prosecutor controls the grand jury and is able to obtain a rubber-stamped
indictment for any charges it desires."
"The fact that the indictment charges the defendants with 11 serious
felonies, including 'terrorism' and two separate 'conspiracy' charges
for the alleged possession of 4 makeshift incendiary devices shows that
the State is intent on continuing its strategy to sensationalize this
It's common prosecutorial strategy when no evidence exists. Juries are
intimidated to indict and convict. Headlines stoke fear. Innocent victims
are imprisoned despite no plot, crimes, or intent to commit them.
It's the American way.
Illinois terrorism statutes were used for the first time. "(I)nfiltration
and the politicization of criminal activity are common to other contemporary
high-profile cases elsewhere in the country."
Chicago NLG spokesperson Kris Hermes said:
"The common thread running through the NATO 3 case and other similar
contemporary cases is politically motivated infiltration."
"Given that no Molotov cocktails or other incendiary devices have been
used at any political demonstration in the U.S. in recent memory, questions
of whether law enforcement is in fact provoking or manufacturing criminal
activity remain unanswered and extremely relevant."
At least two infiltrators ("Mo" and "Gloves") framed Church, Chase and
Betterly. They were involved in a months-long Occupy Chicago investigation.
In April, they were arrested during protests to keep the Woodlawn Mental
Health Clinic open. Questions remain about the "intent" and "breadth"
of their involvement.
They were also arrested in Bridgeport where the defendants were apprehended.
They've since disappeared from view and haven't been seen. Six other
activists arrested during the raid were released uncharged after 30
hours in custody.
"The NATO 3 were formally indicted by grand jury on June 12th and are
expected to be arraigned at 9am on Monday, July 2nd in room 101 of the
Cook County Courthouse at 2600 S. California."
They're up against prosecutors determined to convict. They'll use every
dirty they know to do it.
Ordinary people face long odds. Victims charged with terrorist related
charges rarely achieve justice.
Despite no plot, crimes, or malicious intent, NATO 3 victims may face
decades in prison.
It's the American way!
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized
Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge
discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News
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