Okay, some explanations–there is a NATO 5 and a NATO 3. The NATO 3 are in huge trouble and facing terrorism charges for alleged actions they took when NATO had its conference in Chicago last May. There are two other arrestees, and although they make a NATO 5, the other two aren’t being charged with the same level of crimes.
So yesterday (7/2) the NATO 3 were Arraigned on charges of terrorism in Cook County. Also yesterday, for the first time the Prosecution released 372 pages of evidence. Much of the evidence is based on taped conversations (including phone calls) to or from the defendants regarding the state’s charge that they were planning to use Molotov Cocktails against Rahm Emanuel’s house and Obama’s downtown campaign HQ. My guess (and it’s nothing more than that–I’m not an attorney, but I have been involved with protest movements for a long time) is that a trial will turn on whether the evidence is admissible and whether the defense can show that police ‘plants’ who hung out with the three were engaged in entrapment.Here are some statements by Attorney Michael Deutsch, representing Brian Church, regarding the ‘evidence‘. It’s worth noting that all evidence is from Chicago PD, with no evidence provided by the Feds or State. My understanding is that the Feds and the state of Illinois have declined to prosecute.
Precedent is not good: the Newburgh 4 and the Fort Dix 5 were all convicted despite serious defense evidence that the terrorism plots in question were hatched by the police informants, not the defendants themselves. To my knowledge, these are the first non-Muslim defendants to face these sorts of charges and this sort of setup. And a similar case is brewing with the Cleveland 5, accused of attempting to blow up a bridge in Ohio with explosives, expertise and encouragement from an FBI informant.
The trial date for the Cleveland 5 is September 17, 2012 (the anniversary of Occupy taking Zuccotti Park). The trial date for the Chicago 3 is set for July 22, 2013 (a trial date for two other defendants has not been set). Because of the high bail levied on them, it is unlikely that any of them will be able to leave jail prior to the trial.
Here are the websites for information on monetary support, defense fund, etc:
Cleveland 5: http://cleveland5justice.org/
Please note that the Occupy Chicago site has jail addresses for several arrestees besides the ones still held. I know that there are two other defendants, Mark Neiweem and Sebastian Senakiewicz, who are still in jail as I write this. Chase, Church and Betterly have been held in sensory-deprivation cells for the past few days.
They all need letters of support. They all need some money for commissary. they all need help with their bail funds. And NLG will definitely need money to defend them.