Drop the charges against MN Uprising defendants. Sign the Petition
Drop all charges against the NATO 5 and all anti-NATO protesters!
Protesters are still being held in Cook County Jail in Chicago. Release them all now!
Sign the Petition Here:
The charges against the NATO 5 and the others are false. All these prisoners urgently need your solidarity. Please sign our petition. Share it with your family, friends and coworkers. Signing the petition will generate a direct email to:
- Illinois State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez
- Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart
- Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, and
- Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel,
- and several other public officials, demanding all charges against the NATO5 be dropped.
Drop all charges against the NATO 5 and all anti-NATO protesters
Eight people continue to be held in jail in Chicago, arrested before or during the protests against the NATO summit in Chicago in May.
Four of the men face terrorism-related charges and the other four serious felonies, 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.
Brian Church, Jared Chase, Brent Vincent Betterly and Sebastian Senakiewicz have been charged under a State of Illinois anti-terrorism law passed after 9/11 that has never been used. Together with Mark Neiweem, they’ve been called the NATO 5 for the seriousness of their charges and because they were all targeted by undercover 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 three arrests took place in an unlawful police raid of a home on Wednesday night, May 16, during 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 Chicago Police in their attempts to locate those arrested. The next two were arrested several days later. Again, no evidence has been presented other than the statements of the undercover police. Both of those 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 three others who are 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 protesters 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 each for the first three facing terrorism charges; $750,000 for the fourth charged under the same state terrorism law; $500,000 for the last of the NATO 5; and as high as $250,000 for the rest.
It is the Chicago Police Department that is responsible for the violence that took place during the anti-NATO protests. The Chicago Police Department and the State’s Attorney are violating the law and the Constitution.
Charges of terrorism, preemptive raids and prosecution, charges based on entrapment and violence against protesters are all standard procedure when the U.S. 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 trial of Carlos Montes in Los Angeles. Now in Chicago, they’ve added the element of excessive bail.
The charges against the NATO 5 and the others are false. All these prisoners urgently need your solidarity. Please sign our petition. Share it with your family, friends, and co-workers. Signing the petition will generate a direct email to State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, demanding all charges be droppednty Sheriff Tom Dart, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, demanding all charges be dropped.
Email addresses for the targets