By: SR Shearer
June 9, 2012


Speaking concerning the "end of the age," Jesus warned His disciples:

"Beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils [neighborhood watch committees], and they will scourge you in their synagogues ... [churches];

"And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them [the leaders of today's church] and the Gentiles [the leaders of the American New World Order System]." (Matthew 10:17-18) [Please see our article regarding the development of "Neighborhood Watch Committees," "The Development of a New National A Security Apparatus in the United States and What It Will Mean to You: Part 2 - Life in a Surveillance Society."]

Note carefully that this warning is in reference to two specific entities:

  1. a religious entity referred to in the text as "synagogues" (churches)


  1. a political entity referred to in the text as "councils."

Very obviously, the two - the religious entity (or authority) and the civil entity (or authority) - are in league with one another, which is EXACTLY what the prophetic scriptures prophesy concerning the political and religious conditions prevalent in "BABYLON THE GREAT" (i.e., the United States) at the end of the age. [Please see Part 1 of Chapter XII of the NEW ANTIPAS PAPERS, "In Search of Babylon."]

F.C. Jennings,

Concerning the relationship between these two authorities at the "end of the age," the great Bible expositor F.C. Jennings writes:

"Turning then to the seventeenth chapter of the Book of Revelation, we see the whole stage filled with two personalities only: a 'Beast' and a 'Woman' ... these two ... picture ... the future prophetic earth ... there can be no argument or discussion as to this speaking of both the CIVIL [political, economic, and military] and ECCLESIASTICAL [religious] conditions that will rule and characterize that part of the earth that is within the limits or boundaries of Prophecy. The whole of it will be filled with what shall answer to this "Beast" and this 'Woman'. The two [the "Beast (which answers to the Civil Power) and the 'Woman' (which answers to the Religious Power)] are thus indissolubly co-related, and tell us to what end all [this is] trending; and that is that there will eventually be a one World-Empire and a one World-Church, and these will cover the whole of what is now called CHRISTENDOM; the one Empire supporting the one Church, [as] the 'Beast' in the picture supports the 'Woman', and the 'Woman' is supported by the 'Beast' ..." [Please see APPENDIX 1 to this article, "The Relationship between the Church and the State at the End of the Age."]

And so we begin to grasp the fact that - just as Jesus was dragged before a religious council before He was dragged before a political council - Christians who dare to speak out against the impious union of church and state in the "end of days" will suffer the same fate as did Jesus. (Matthew Chapters 26-27)

Regarding the shared fate between disciple and Master, Jesus said:

"The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.

"It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?" (Matthew 10:24-25)

BUT, we are not left without any consolation here; Jesus went on to say:

"When they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.

"For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you." (Matthew 10:19-20)

And He went on to say:

"Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul [man]: but rather fear him [God] which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

"Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.

"But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

"Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows."

He then added the following somber proviso:

"Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.

"But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 10:28-33)

Brothers and sisters, Listen to me carefully here: Already the mechanisms needed to trap REAL Christians in the "end of the age" are being constructed by the agencies of the super-state; the following article describes the development of one these mechanisms; specifically, the wicked, underhanded mechanism of "ENTRAPMENT." At present, this immoral mechanism is being used against the POLITICAL opponents of the state; but soon - very soon now - it will be utilized by the church against its opponents. [Please see our article, "Rick Santorum and the Continued Drift of the GOP into the Grip of Radical Right-Wing Christianity."]

-- Antipas



West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2, defines "ENTRAPMENT" as -

"... the act of law enforcement officers or government agents to induce or encourage a person to commit a crime ..."

Prior to 9/11, the defense against police "ENTRAPMENT" was a fairly absolute matter, especially in light of its illegal use during the 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s: West explains:

"The rationale underlying the defense is to deter law enforcement officers from engaging in reprehensible conduct by inducing persons ... to engage in criminal activity."


Since 9\11, however, the government - at all levels, local, state and federal - has chipped away at the ability of a defendant to use "ENTRAPMENT" as a defense against police misconduct, to the point that now most jurisdictions -

"... require a defendant who raises the defense of "ENTRAPMENT" to prove he or she did not have an intent to commit the crime."

This requires a defendant to prove a negative - an action that asserts a proposition is true IF it has not been proven false. This means that IF the government asserts that a defendant -- in a case where, for instance, "ENTRAPMENT" is raised as a defense against a terrorist charge -- cannot prove that he did NOT possess the intent to commit the terrorist act, then the defendant cannot use "ENTRAPMENT" as a defense. IF THIS SOUNDS ILLOGICAL, IT'S BECAUSE IT IS ILLOGICAL.


Nonetheless, this is the kind of "logic" behind which the government has been hunting down so-called "Muslim terrorists" ever since 9/11; it gives license to the government to use "ENTRAPMENT" as a ruse to bring a terrorist charge against a citizen. [Please see our article concerning the creation of Muslims as an "Enemy Absolute," "PREPARING THE GROUND IN AMERICA FOR THE EMERGENCE OF ANTICHRIST, Part 1, The Acceleration of the Growth of Radical Christianity."]

The chicanery that lies behind this effort is mind-boggling and includes the use of thousands and thousands of "paid informants," most of whom are "creeps" and "sneaks" of the worst kind. Shady informants, of course, are as old as the FBI itself; indeed, an old saying in the bureau is, "To catch the devil, you have to go to hell."

The government uses thousands and thousands of "paid informants," most of whom are "creeps" of the worst kind. According to an old FBI saying, the ra-tionale behind this is, "To catch the devil, you have to go to hell."

Commenting on all this, Mother Jones Magazine reports:

"Ever since 9/11, counterterrorism has been the FBI's No. 1 priority, consuming the lion's share of its budget—$3.3 billion, compared to $2.6 billion for organized crimeand much of the attention of field agents and a massive, nationwide network of informants. [For those who wish to know more about America's fiendish involvement in the creation of the menace of radical Islam, please see our article, "Radical Islam."]

"After years of emphasizing informant recruiting as a key task for its agents, the bureau now maintains a roster of 15,000 spies—many of them tasked with infiltrating Muslim communities in the United States.

"In addition, for every informant officially listed in the bureau's records, there are as many as three unofficial ones, according to one former high-level FBI official, known in bureau parlance as 'hip pockets'.

NOTE: This number of informants - 45,000 official and unofficial informants - approaches on a per capita basis the number of clandestine informants the Stasi arrayed against the citizens of Communist East Germany - and this does not include informants (formal and informal) that local jurisdictions maintain.

The Ministerium für Staatssicherheit, Ministry of State Security (or Stasi), was the primary intelligence and security agency of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), or East Germany, during the Cold War. The Stasi created a widespread network of civilian informants. These informants were citizens who cooperated with Stasi agents, sometimes in exchange for money or goods. These unofficial informants used their jobs, social influence, and family networks to spy on fellow citizens. Informants were required to report suspicious or anti-government behavior to Stasi authorities. Tips from informants were followed by further agent surveillance or immediate arrest. The Stasi garnered a reputation for its use of brutality, torture, and blackmail as routine methods of extracting information and coercing cooperation.


The article continues:

"The FBI regularly taps all of them [i.e., its informants] as part of a domestic intelligence apparatus whose only [domestic] historical peer might be COINTELPRO, the program the bureau ran from the '50s to the '70s to discredit and marginalize ... civil-rights organizations and other protest groups."

COINTELPRO (an acronym for Counter Intelligence Program) was a series of covert, and often illegal, projects conducted by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) aimed at surveilling, infiltrating, discrediting, and disrupting domestic political organizations. COINTELPRO tactics included discrediting targets through psychological warfare; smearing individuals and groups using forged documents and by planting false reports in the media; harassment; wrongful imprisonment; and illegal violence, including assassination. The FBI's stated motivation was "protecting national security, preventing violence, and maintaining the existing social and political order." [For information on how the FBI smeared the Black Panther Party, please see our article, "Mumia Abu-Jamal."]

Targets for COINTELPRO included organizations and individuals associated with the civil rights movement, including Martin Luther King, Jr. and others associated with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and the Congress of Racial Equality and other civil rights organizations; black nationalist groups; the American Indian Movement; a broad range of organizations labeled "New Left", including Students for a Democratic Society and the Weathermen; almost all groups protesting the Vietnam War, as well as individual student demonstrators with no group affiliation; the National Lawyers Guild; and additional notable Americans. Even Albert Einstein, who was a member of several civil rights groups, came under FBI surveillance during the years just prior to COINTELPRO's official inauguration. [Please see our articles, "The Development of a New National Security Apparatus in the United States and What It Will Mean to You," "Welcome to the New National Security State" and "The Right to Protest in Peril."]


The Mother Jones article goes on to report:

"The bureau's strategy [regarding so-called Muslim terrorists in the US] has changed significantly from the days when officials feared another coordinated, internationally financed attack from an Al Qaeda sleeper cell. Today, counterterrorism experts believe groups like Al Qaeda ... have shifted to a franchise model, using the internet to encourage sympathizers to carry out attacks in their name. The main domestic threat, as the FBI sees it, is a lone wolf. The bureau's answer has been a strategy known variously as 'preemption', 'prevention', and 'disruption'—identifying and neutralizing potential lone wolves before they move toward action. To that end, FBI agents and informants target not just active jihadists, but tens of thousands of law-abiding people, seeking to identify those disgruntled few who might participate in a plot given the means and the opportunity. And then, in case after case, the government provides the plot, the means, and the opportunity.

Expanding the use of ENTRAPMENT from its use against Al Qaeda operatives to individual Muslims living in the United States, many of whom are citizens.

"Over the past year, Mother Jones and the Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California-Berkeley have examined prosecutions of 508 defendants in terrorism-related cases, as defined by the Department of Justice. Our investigation found:

  • Nearly half the prosecutions involved the use of informants, many of them incentivized by money (operatives can be paid as much as $100,000 per assignment) or the need to work off criminal or immigration violations.

  • Sting operations resulted in prosecutions against 158 defendants. Of that total, 49 defendants participated in plots led by an agent provocateur—an FBI operative instigating terrorist action.

  • With three exceptions, all of the high-profile domestic terror plots of the last decade were actually FBI stings.

  • In many sting cases, key encounters between the informant and the target were not recorded—making it hard for defendants claiming entrapment to prove their case.

  • Terrorism-related charges are so difficult to beat in court, even when the evidence is thin, that defendants often don't risk a trial."

Commenting on this, Martin Stolar, a lawyer who represented a man caught in a 2004 sting involving New York's Herald Square subway station, writes:

"They're creating crimes to solve crimes so they can claim a victory in the war on terror."


As with so many unconstitutional government intrusions used initially against Muslims in America's so-called "War on Terror," the illegal and semi-illegal use of "ENTRAPMENT" is now being used by the police against those who dare to protest against the greed and avarice of America's financial elites. [Please see our article, "The Police and Agents Provocateurs."]

Van Auken

Bill Van Auken reports on what happened recently in a case of "ENTRAPMENT" against "occupy protesters" in Cleveland:

"Federal authorities Tuesday, May 1, charged five men described as 'anarchists' with plotting to blow up a bridge linking two Cleveland, Ohio suburbs. The charges were the culmination of a six-month long sting operation involving a paid confidential informant that ended with undercover FBI operatives supplying the five with fake explosives and then arresting them.

"An affidavit presented by the FBI to secure warrants for the arrests claims that the case grew out of a decision of the agency's Cleveland office to send their informant into an Occupy Cleveland demonstration last October to investigate a 'report of potential criminal activity and threats involving anarchists'.

"The so-called 'terrorist plot' traces its origins to this FBI fishing expedition and, as the affidavit makes clear, would never have existed outside of the agency's informant and undercover operatives egging on the five defendants, organizing their activities and supplying them with the fake explosives."

Van Auken goes on to describe the shocking details surrounding the "ENTRAPMENT:"

Manufactured conspiracy

"In its description of the 'Confidential Human Source', or INFORMANT, who has yet to be identified, the FBI affidavit states that he, or she, '... has a criminal record including one conviction for possession of cocaine in 1990, one conviction for robbery in 1991, and four convictions for passing bad checks between 1991 and 2011'. The informant was paid $5,750 for his services and $550 for expenses.

"This is a typical profile for the informers used by the FBI. They are individuals facing jail for criminal offenses who are offered leniency and cash in return for entrapping others in MANUFACTURED conspiracies ...

"Recounting the Cleveland informant's original meetings with those now charged with conspiracy and facing 25 year jail sentences, the affidavit cites casual conversations in which the five toss out ideas such as setting off smoke bombs or stink bombs and knocking bank signs off of downtown Cleveland buildings ..."

Now stop for a moment and think about that! - stink bombs! My heavens: Using this as a criteria, hundreds and hundreds of college students could be similarly prosecuted for pranks used on an almost routine basis on college campuses throughout the country.

LEFT: The kind of bombs occupy protesters are using. RIGHT: The kind of bombs the American government is using against its enemies. [We URGE you to see APPENDIX 2 of this article, "FBI targets THE LOST BOYS."]

Van Auken continues:

"The informant was sent to meet with the five men targeted by the FBI wearing a concealed recording device. Even the portions of what the FBI presents as transcripts of recordings indicate that the informant worked deliberately to steer them toward the use of explosives.

"As with scores of Muslims who have been framed up and jailed, they [the 'Cleveland 5' - all of them non-Muslims protesting against America's financial elites] were lured by an informer and undercover agents into playing assigned roles in a crime that was staged and controlled from the outset by the FBI.

"The government's purpose in staging these operations in relation to Muslims in the US is clear. They are designed to lend substance to the so-called war on terror, justifying wars of aggression abroad and increased surveillance and repression within the US itself in the name of 'keeping Americans safe' from a supposedly ubiquitous threat of Al Qaeda attack."


Van Auken then "cuts to the chase" regarding what the government is now doing:

The worm turns

"What is the government's aim in now turning these same methods against alleged anarchists expressing hostility to corporate America?

"After the five men were arraigned in federal court in shackles and leg irons Tuesday afternoon, US Attorney Steven Dettelbach told a press conference that,

'This case demonstrates that the threat we face is a diverse one; that terrorism can come in many hues and from many homelands'."

And so "the worm turns." Van Auken explains:



And as sure as was Van Auken's warning, so sure was what happened in Chicago a few months later. Kurt Nimmo explains:

"On Saturday Chicago police arrested three patsies 'accused of making Molotov cocktails' and who were 'planning to attack Obama's campaign headquarters, Rahm Emanuel's home and other targets during this weekend's NATO summit', according to prosecutors. The incident follows a familiar pattern. According to defense attorneys, police agents provocateurs are responsible for the Molotov cocktails and the arrests were timed to discredit protests against the NATO war council held this weekend in Chicago. [Again, please see our article, "The Police and Agents Provocateurs."]

"Defense attorney Michael Duetsch said:

'This is just propaganda to create a climate of fear. We believe this is all a setup and entrapment to the highest degree.'

"Two government provocateurs going by the names 'Mo' and 'Gloves' were arrested on Wednesday along with the other men but have since mysteriously disappeared.

NOTE: Obviously, the two that were "mysteriously disappeared: are "Mo" and "Gloves;" in other words, they were "sprung" by the Feds and went into hiding.

"Brian Church, 20, Jared Chase, 24, and Brent Vincent Betterly, 24, are charged with providing material support for terrorism, conspiracy to commit terrorism and possession of explosives. They are being held on $1.5m bond each.

NOTE: Betterly's so-called criminal history consists of strolling into a public high school last year after a night of tequila drinking and taking a swim in the pool. Chase is an Occupy activist and does not have a criminal record.

Brian Church, 20, Jared Chase, 24,
and Brent Vincent Betterly, 24

Kevin Gosztola continues the story:

"All but three of those arrested [i.e., Church, Chase, and Betterly] ... were finally released Friday night ... The activists had been held without charge for close to thirty-six hours ... Dan, one of the activists, described a horrifying experience where he had been held for a 'number of hours' but did not know how long exactly because the police did not ever give the activists the time. They were not charged at any point during their detention, but Dan says he was threatened with felony conspiracy charges.

"The police held them as long as they did so they could get them to falsely confess or snitch on someone in the movement, Dan adds.

'Officers were rude. They would not provide the activists information on why we were being held in custody. They would not make a differentiation as to whether we were being detained in custody or whether we were under arrest and charged with something. The limbo was held over our heads to terrify us and make us say something the police could use against other activists here to protest NATO.

'We were shackled. We were taunted and called junkies, terrorists and told we smelled'."

1968 Police Riot in Chicago [Please see our article, "What Happened at UC Davis Was No Aberration."]


NOTE: Rahm Emanuel claims that the police "crack-down" in Chicago against the NATO protesters (May 17th - May 21st) was an attempt to prevent a repeat of the 1968 riot during the Democrat national convention; but in a 1975-'76 investigation into what really occurred then, a bi-partisan Senate committee (the famous "Church Committee") characterized what happened as a riot instigated by the police. [Please see our articles on the "Church Committee," "Remembering Dachau while Pondering the Fate of the CIA's Prisoner Scattered around the World," "The Ghosts and Phantoms that Lurk behind the CIA" and "Ashcroft: Making a List of Dissenters."]

In addition, it is important to note that all the activists arrested with Church, Chase, and Betterly were part of an anti-police march that took place on the south side of Chicago on Tuesday night (May 17th). They marched on the streets of Bridgeport and wound up making some of the residents angry.

Finally, one should make note of the fact that the three activists who remain in jail - again, Church, Chase, and Betterly - are in a video of several Chicago police officers pulling them over in Bridgeport on May 9. THE VIDEO, which went viral, features police questioning the protesters (i.e., Church, Chase, Betterly and others in the car) and threatening them ahead of the NATO protest. They searched the protesters' vehicle and threatened "pre-emptive police violence against those" who planned to attend the NATO summit protests.

One officer can be heard in the video saying, "We'll come look for you, each and every one of you." The police are then heard making the now infamous line later chanted by the protesters:

CPD Officer 1: "You like that, he knows these guys know, '68. You guys know all about '68. What did they say back in '68?"

CPD Officer 2: "Billy club to the fucking skull."

National Lawyers Guild attorney Sarah Gelsomino described THE VIDEO in question to the press:

Sarah Gelsomino

"They were driving in a car and were pulled over without any kind of justification or reason by the Chicago police department. They were surrounded by police and they were questioned for a very long period of time about what they were doing in Chicago, why they were here to protest, what their political affiliations were, how they identified politically—All kinds of absolutely outrageous questions that certainly do not indicate any kind of illegal behavior because it is not constitutional simply to accuse them of a crime because of a political belief.

"The charges [against the three for terrorism] came when it was 2 am in Chicago. They likely knew they would issue these charges around 9 pm when two activists were released. But since authoritarianism or police repression works best under cover of the night, they waited until very late in the night to issue charges.

"It is important to recall that back in 2008, prior to the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, eight activists were preemptively raided and ultimately charged with "conspiracy to riot in furtherance of terrorism." The national security state has a script, and when it comes to "National Special Security Events," they stick to that script pretty well'." [Please see our articles, "An Inventory of Practices that Chill Free Speech" and "Are You Willing to Speak out."]


[We URGE you to see the DEMOCRACY NOW'S Amy Goodman's interview with Sarah Gelsomino at APPENDIX 3 of this article.]


TOP: Police battering down the door in Bridgeport; BOTTOM LEFT: Damage to the door that was busted down; MIDDLE: Home-brewing kit which police consider to be evidence of Molotov cocktails (it was later proved that it was impossible to make Molotov cocktails with this apparatus); RIGHT: Overturned apartment after unwarranted search in the apartment.


Gosztola continues:

"The Chicago Tribune is playing its role as a lapdog that is willing to serve and be manipulated by the Chicago police. Here's an interesting nugget from the Tribune's coverage:

'The arrests were the result of a month-long investigation into a group suspected of making Molotov cocktails — crude bombs usually created by filling glass bottles with gasoline, according to law enforcement sources and police records obtained by the Tribune'.

"Why does that strike me? The attorneys representing the arrestees have not been shown any police records on any "month-long investigation." The details I have been able to gather from speaking to arrestees personally make it seem like the police have, in the past 48 hours, fabricated all of these details about having some investigation in progress. Yet, the press get to see the records on arrestees so that the police can be sure people take the charges against the activists seriously and do not suspect police abuse or repression of activists." [We URGE you to see our articles, "The Corporate State and the Mass Media," "The Mainline Media: One Enormous Propaganda Machine" and "Presenting a Lie as the Truth."]


A Gestapo operation - rounding up so-called "enemies of the state."

Milton Mayer, a well-known essayist, describes how the German state was habituated to the kind of police-state that is now taking hold in the United States. He interviewed a German philologist who described the process in terms that might sound familiar:

"What happened was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to be governed by surprise, to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believe that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if people could understand it, it could not be released because of national security ... The separation of government from the people, this widening gap, took place so gradually and insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes. And all the crises and reforms (real reforms too) so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter ... Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, 'regretted' that, unless one were to detach from the whole process from the beginning, unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle, what all these 'little measures' that no 'patriotic German' could resist must some day lead to, ONE NO MORE SAW IT DEVELOPING FROM DAY TO DAY THAN A FARMER IN HIS FIELD SEES THE CORN GROWING ..."



Sadly, I am telling you the truth when I say that there is NOTHING that we can do to hide from what's occurring, that is to say, the transformation of the United States into a police-state - unless, that is, we crawl away into some hole and keep our mouths shut like some of my former colleagues want to do. [Please see our articles, "Understanding What You Will Be Facing during the Tribulation," "A Little Leaven Leavens the Whole Lump" and "Christians: Once again on the Wrong Side of History."]

But to do so would mean that we would have to ignore Christ's command to us:

"What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops." (Matthew 10:17)

Remember the words of Jesus:

"Whosoever shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.

"BUT whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 10:28-33)


God bless you all!

S.R. Shearer
Antipas Ministries








Then make copies and take these copies out to the campuses where you live; pass them out; OR if that seems too "daring" for you right now, post them on telephone poles, the sides of buildings, on campus bulletin boards; post them in union halls, in the neighborhoods of the poor and downtrodden, near employment offices, wherever you can.

Once again, we URGE you to read (or re-read):




Many people - especially those who have grown up in this country during the last twenty or thirty years and who are thus accustomed to thinking that civil power can be separated from religious power - are puzzled as to why the Bible speaks of two Babylons in the "Latter Days" - one a religious entity and the other a civil entity. They seem genuinely bewildered by the picture the Bible uses to portray their relationship one with the other - a woman (the religious entity) riding a beast (the civil entity). Why, they ask, does the civil power (the beast) have need of the religious power (the woman)? The fact of the matter is, however, there is a fundamental mutual interdependence between religion and politics, and today's multicultural and secular elites have been making a grave mistake in believing otherwise. Why? - because civil power, in the end, must be legitimized, and an appeal to the fickle and even capricious "democratic will of the majority" - while adequate enough during periods of cultural and economic stability - often fails to ensure that same stability during periods of turmoil and dislocation.

Religion gives sanction to obedience on the part of ordinary people and it legitimizes the exercise of power on the part of rulers. For this reason, religion has historically been impressed into all of society's experiences and actions - from simple family chores to the corporate activities of the state. The fact is, in most societies religion has been a state obligation and responsibility. It has manifested the very essence of the state itself - so much so that there has rarely been any question, at least at the popular level, concerning the vital link between the practice of religion and the health of the state. To most societies it has seemed self-evident that all authority emanated from the divine because from no where else could the certitude so necessary to social order be derived. The result of religion has been to put men and women in right relation to their society. It has assured the order and certainty so necessary to the stability of most social structures. The proposition that the state could be separated from a religious undergirding - embodied in the concept of "separation of church and state" - represents relatively new political thinking. "Politically correct" academicians in this country have been making a very grave mistake in over estimating our society's freedom from a fundamental dependence on a religiously based ethical system.

Society organizes itself around culture. Culture sets the parameters of the society. It determines what is "right" and what is "wrong." It provides the underlying assumptions upon which society is based. But what a culture determines to be "right" or "wrong" must be anchored by something. For example, who is to say whether abortion is "right" or "wrong?" or whether homosexuality is acceptable behavior? or whether divorce should be condoned or not? or whether the society should be organized as a patriarchy? or maybe as a matriarchy? One may assert that he "feels" homosexuality is wrong; that abortion is murder; and that men should be the head of the family. But that's not enough. Others may "feel" the exact opposite. And an appeal to philosophy to end the argument is more often than not futile. Philosophical or ethical speculation in the absence of some kind of an anchor has normally proven useless for such purposes. Indeed, all it seems to accomplish is to further erode fixity and stability, the essential ingredients of the bonds of social existence. In the absence of an acceptable anchor, philosophical and ethical speculation exists in a state of perpetual agitation. Should the agitation continue unchecked, it may lead to the ultimate contempt of all authority.




By Arun Gupta

With the high-profile arrest of activists on terrorism charges in Cleveland on May Day and in Chicago during the NATO summit there, evidence is mounting that the FBI is unleashing the same methods of entrapment against the Occupy Wall Street movement that it has used against left movements and Muslim-Americans for the last decade.

In Cleveland the FBI announced on May 1 that "five self-proclaimed anarchists conspired to develop multiple terror plots designed to negatively impact the greater Cleveland metropolitan area." The FBI claimed the five were nabbed as they attempted to blow up a bridge the night before using "inoperable" explosives supplied to them by an undercover FBI employee.

Then on May 19, the day before thousands marched peacefully in Chicago to protest NATO-led wars, the Illinois State Attorney hit three men with charges of terrorism for allegedly plotting to use "destructive devices" against targets ranging from Chicago police stations to the home of Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Defense attorneys for the Chicago activists claim their clients, like the Cleveland activists, were provided with supplies for making Molotov cocktails by undercover agents in an operation that included the participation of the FBI and Secret Service. This was followed up on May 20 by the arrest of two other men on terrorism charges in Chicago for statements they made, which critics say amount to thought crimes. The Chicago cases are also reportedly the first time the state of Illinois is charging individuals under its post-September 11 terrorism law.

To hear FBI officials describe it, "Law enforcement took swift, collaborative action...to eliminate the risk of violence and protect the public." To many observers, however, the government itself is the overarching threat, systematically repressing peaceful dissent.

Will Potter, who analyzes FBI entrapment plots in his book Green is the New Red, says the two incidents are "a reflection of an ongoing pattern of behavior from the FBI of singling out political activists and having a direct influence in creating so-called terrorist plots for the purpose of proclaiming a victory in the war on terrorism." Potter claims, "There have been many other cases like these in which the FBI had a role in manufacturing the plot itself. We've seen this time and again with animal rights activists, environmental activists and the anarchist movement."

Simply put, the Cleveland and Chicago cases appear to be instances of the federal government foiling its own terror plots. Two days before the Cleveland plot was supposedly thwarted, David Shipler, author of Rights at Risk: The Limits of Liberty in Modern America, presciently described in the New York Times the mechanics of the FBI trap about to be sprung. Shipler wrote that FBI terror stings typically begin by targeting "suspects for pure speech" such as comments, emails and "angry postings" on the Internet. The suspects are then "woo[ed] into relationships with informers, who are often convicted felons working in exchange for leniency, or with FBI agents" working undercover. Some suspects are "incompetent and adrift, like hapless wannabes looking for a cause that the informer or undercover agent skillfully helps them find." Noting that the FBI is "cultivating potential terrorists," Shipler asked, "would the culprits commit violence on their own?"

That's what the FBI claims - that it thwarted the deadly plans of Brandon Baxter, 20; Anthony Hayne, 35; Joshua Stafford, 23; Connor Stevens, 20; and Douglas Wright, 26. The plot allegedly began last fall after Doug Wright discussed deploying smoke bombs as a decoy while individuals toppled bank signs from skyscrapers in downtown Cleveland, and evolved with FBI planning into using "C4 plastic explosive devices" to demolish a bridge connecting the Ohio communities of Brecksville and Sagamore Hills.

Stephen Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Cleveland office, claimed during the May 1 press conference "that at no time during the course of the investigation was the public ever in danger." So if the public was never in danger, was there ever a threat?

To get to the bottom of the story I traveled to Cleveland shortly after the arrests and interviewed about 20 friends and family members of the "Cleveland 5," as supporters are calling them. They describe a group of naïve, vulnerable and even desperate individuals that the FBI preyed on. A government informant provided the five with jobs, money, a place to live, a friendly ear, beer, pot, the prescription stimulant Adderall, and most significant, the ideas and means to carry out a plot conceived by the Bureau itself.


Friends describe the five - everyone calls them boys or kids - as "quasi-hobos" and on the losing end of society. Lea Tolls, a 46-year-old mother and self-described "Occu-mom," says, "Except for Connor [Stevens] they were destitute. They are angry, some have mental illnesses, and there is alcoholism and abuse in their families."

Kaiser, a Cleveland occupier, told me that Doug Wright, the alleged ringleader, was "like a big brother to me. He ran away from his parents when he was 12." Everyone invariably mentioned Wright was a train hopper, an explanation that accounts for his mangled nose, missing teeth and abrasive manner. Ben Shapiro, 26, an environmental organizer who was active with Occupy Cleveland last fall, said, "Doug was poor. He was angry, had a hard time dealing with people and was short-tempered." Nonetheless, numerous youth said Wright was protective of and cared about them and was a hard worker. Zachy, a lanky 21-year-old who hung out with the five, says, "Doug actually did shit. He was running logistics at the Occupy camp. He was the one that knew how to tie knots and put tarps on the tents."

The story is the same for the others: lost souls wanting to help others. Most Cleveland Occupiers were wary of Anthony Hayne, the oldest of the accused, labeling him a "con man," "swindler" and "schemer." Lea Tolls defended him, stating, "Tony was an addict, and we treated him accordingly." Others added that Hayne's mother died a week before Occupy Cleveland began. Jonnie Peskar, 22, a member of Occupy Cleveland, says one night another defendant, Brandon Baxter, told him his life story, "He grew up in violence. He and his dad would fist fight. Brandon talked about how he was traumatized growing up."

Gloria, a friend of Brandon Baxter's, called him "an absolute joy to be around. He wants to help everyone he comes in contact with." But he also suffered from "horrible depression" and tried to kill himself in February by jumping off a bridge before being talked down by cops, she claimed. "He spent weeks in the hospital from the suicide attempt." As for Joshua Stafford, who is known as Skelly, his mother anonymously told the media of a troubled life, saying he had been "in and out of hospitals, prisons, jails. He's just been a troubled soul since he's been born."

Joshua Stafford and Brandon Baxter are also described as highly impressionable. Tolls says Stafford, "would have done anything anyone told him to, just to have friends." Peskar says Brandon Baxter admitted to him, "'I'm easily brainwashed because I was pulled into being a Neo-Nazi.' Brandon was in a very confused state. He always contradicted himself. He didn't know what he wanted."

Of the five, only Brandon Baxter and Connor Stevens appear to be in contact with their families. Curious as to how Stevens was caught up in the trap, I sat down with his family in their modest ranch house in the suburbs of Cleveland to hear of a thoughtful and passionate young man trying to surmount life's obstacles on the path to adulthood. Stevens' mother Gail describes her son as "extremely intelligent" although "school didn't engage him." Connor Stevens dropped out his junior year. In his sophomore year, Stevens and some friends founded a social justice group called "Fighters for Freedom" that was quickly shut down by the school administration. He was also elected class president, but was not allowed to serve because of a low grade point average. When he was 16 he told his family he was gay, which his siblings said neither surprised nor fazed them.

Gail also spoke of family troubles that affected Connor and her other children deeply - her mother and sister passing away in quick succession, followed less than a year later by her husband James running afoul of the law in 2001, which resulted in more than two years in prison for him and the dissolution of their marriage. Gail went from a stay-at-home mom to the sole breadwinner and had to handle the stress of moving her family into her father's house.

Occupy gave Connor Stevens a sense of belonging. Gail says, "I was excited for him. There was something he could actually be part of in Cleveland." In early 2012 he began to say "he wanted to be a pastor. He felt he was being called." She read a letter Stevens sent her from the Corrections Corporation of America facility near Youngstown, Ohio, where he is being held. He wrote:

"I am in good spirits and feel at the top of my game physically, mentally, spiritually. ... I have great faith and do not underestimate the power of prayers. The bible I'm reading, the New American, in which I've been focusing on the Old Testament, speaks constantly of the Lord's uplifting the oppressed, siding with the poor, the downtrodden, the widows and the orphans. I believe God is on our side. The scripture you quoted from Jeremiah is very fitting. And just before I came down to our last visitation ... I read Psalms 27:1. This is my rock, this passage. It conveys everything."

The Plot Begins

Cleveland 5 supporters claim that Connor Stevens and possibly others were threatened to participate in the plot. Others interpret as a threat a comment in the FBI affidavit in which the informant tells the group they are "on the hook" for the explosives. Interviews with more than a dozen Cleveland activists also provide evidence that a possible FBI asset by the name of Ryan is still floating around Cleveland and is cryptically mentioned just once as "Ryan LNU" (Last Name Unknown) in the criminal complaint against the five.

The FBI plot begins on October 21. On that day the city of Cleveland announced it was shutting down the two-week-old occupation in the downtown Public Square. Organizers say Occupy Cleveland held a rally on Oct. 21 more than 500 strong, including nonviolent civil disobedience, while choosing to roll up dozens of tents in the camp so as to save its equipment from imminent confiscation by the police.

Also on Oct. 21, the FBI's "Confidential Human Source" (CHS), subsequently identified as Shaquille Azir, made contact with Douglas Wright. The affidavit states: "Based on an initial report of potential criminal activity and threats involving anarchists who would be attending an event held by a protest group, the Cleveland FBI directed the CHS to attend that event." That night, the FBI report continues, while most occupiers were engaged in protest, a group of seven men "was constantly moving throughout the crowd expressing displeasure at the crowd's unwillingness to act violently."

Numerous friends of the five dispute this account, saying violence was never raised. Because there is no audio recording of the encounter, as there are for many others, the FBI claims could easily be fabricated, which would mean the basis for the investigation was spurious. People present say there was a tactical dispute between "do-it-yourself" punk kids, which the five identified with, who wanted to keep the camp going, and more mainstream, college-educated occupiers who agreed to take down dozens of tents while staging a nonviolent civil disobedience action to demonstrate support for free speech rights. Zachy and Natalie, friends of the five, say the punk kids were disillusioned with both the decision to end the occupation and what they saw as an ineffectual protest, but no one discussed violence.

'Silly Kid Things'

Zachy says, "About a week after the collapse of tent city on Oct. 21, we created a group called the Revolutionary People's Army. We were being romantic. We were drunk and high ... Doug, Connor, Brandon, Joshua and Tony were all involved in the RPA. There were a couple of serious meetings and it turned into spray painting Guy Fawkes masks, 'Rise Up' and 'RPA' and 'circle A' anarchist symbols around town. We also plastered 'Wake Up' with circle A and Occupy stickers. RPA was real tongue-in-cheek. It was silly kid things."

Tolls calls them "boys playing cowboys and Indians with fireworks and spray paint," adding, "They were trying to empower themselves and passionately wanted to change their world. Occupy gave them hope. They were targeted by the FBI and culled from a peaceful group. They were guided toward this by individuals who provided the means and motivation. They didn't have these violent actions in them."

It was from these childish antics that the FBI claims that Doug Wright conjured up the initial plot - deploying smoke bombs as cover as while toppling bank signs from buildings such as the Key Bank tower. Friends of Doug Wright laugh at the allegations. They mention that with Wright's smashed-up face and punk attire he would not even be allowed into the building, much less be able to scale the 947-foot-tall skyscraper and blast off the enormous red key affixed to the outside.

Ben Shapiro, who is highly regarded in the activist community, says he noticed suspicious activities he interprets as police disruption. "Certain people were actively trying to isolate the Cleveland 5 from other organizers last fall by spreading rumors they were FBI agents." Additionally, says Shapiro, during the first few weeks of the occupation at the centrally located Public Square, "We saw people in strange white vans circling around the square, conducting surveillance. They were parked in an area downtown where anyone else would have been towed or ticketed within minutes."

After the encampment ended, Shapiro says he was concerned about the punk kids and cautioned them against engaging in unsafe behavior. "They had every reason to be frustrated - there were poor group dynamics and an inability to reoccupy the square." At the same time, he adds, "They were good kids and were coming up with elaborate plans on how to hide their tents in backpacks." Shapiro says the activity wasn't a strategic answer to the loss of space, but "it was very spirited."

In hindsight, says Shapiro, there was "evidence of narcs ... People spreading rumors, isolating members of the community, providing money, transportation and space." He emphasizes he is referring not only to Shaquille Azir, but to the shadowy Ryan as well. When he heard news of the arrests, Shapiro says, "I saw the list of names. I saw this group of kids that had been targeted was now entrapped. It seems so fabricated."

Zachy says during the next few months the five except for Anthony Hayne (whom he said was serving a jail sentence) would regularly stop by the one remaining tent downtown to pull night shifts. Zachy adds that in early November Ryan tried to recruit him to meet Shaquille Azir, telling him, "This guy is buying us breakfast and will give us a house with no strings attached." Zachy says he was suspicious and declined the offer. Despite multiple claims that Ryan is in contact with Azir and even recruiting people to meet him in the fall, Ryan is only mentioned once in the affidavit in February 2012.

Over the winter, according to the FBI affidavit, the contact between Shaquille Azir and Doug Wright is sporadic. Azir and Wright reconnect in mid-February at the same time Occupy Cleveland rents a warehouse as a crash pad for occupiers who were maintaining a presence at the tent.

Anarchist Romper Room

In mid-May, I ventured to the red-brick warehouse dubbed the "fortress." Entering the decrepit building was like walking into an anarchist Romper Room: tents pitched indoors, graffiti, belongings strewn about, people dozing mid-day, dirty dishes and pungent toilet odors. It was here that Brandon Baxter, Connor Stevens, Tony Hayne and Joshua Stafford reassembled. I joined half a dozen people around a table as they puffed hand-rolled cigarettes incessantly. They were clearing out as the lease was up the next day. Right off the bat, Zachy said, "A lot of us had never lived in a communal situation. This was the first time living away from our parents. Dishes were always a fight. We're a bunch of uneducated kids."

When the topic of cleaning came up, Rachel jumped in, "I got the name 'mother hen' for always complaining. 'Come on guys, clean this trash up.'"

The discussion repeatedly circled around to Ryan. The warehouse crew expressed suspicion because Ryan appeared in mid-October, saying he drove up from Florida, but soon had connections to Azir, whom virtually no one ever met outside the five. They also mentioned Ryan would take regular road trips in his car and claim his steady source of income was via his parents wiring money to him.

In April everything comes to a head. Jonnie Peskar said Doug Wright seemed excited one day in early April. He says Wright told him, "Today is going to be a really good day. My boss has some joints waiting." Peskar continues, "Shortly thereafter Doug asked Connor if he wanted work. They told me multiple times, 'It's a really cool job. He gives us beer. He smokes us out.'"

Gail said this is the first job her son ever had in his life, the first time he made money - five bucks an hour. She showed me text messages Connor Stevens sent her at the time:

"A long day of labor for me. Made $60, long day 9:30 am to 9:30 pm ... If I wanna do it again, I gotta get up at 9 tomorrow. Lifes rough."

"I kinda feel like an ant"

"My friend Doug got me the job. The $ goes fast. Turned out not to have work today. Still needa get footwear."

As the alleged plot to blow up the bridge takes shape, the warehouse members say Shaquille Azir would swing by the warehouse in the morning to pick up the boys to do home repairs, but he would sit in the car and never interact with anyone else. Rachel says she asked Doug Wright for work with Azir, but was rebuffed, as were others who offered their services. Friends of Baxter's say Wright hooked him up with work with Shaquille April.

Peskar says jobs weren't the only thing Azir was hooking them up with. Baxter admitted to him that he was taking Adderall, a widely abused prescription stimulant. Peskar says, "Connor was also taking it, and mentioned, 'I have a connect for Adderall.' Both Wright and Baxter said the connection for the Adderall was Azir. I asked Baxter where he got it from, and he said 'Doug's boss.'"

The warehouse was also buzzing with rumors that something was afoot. One individual told me that someone asked him, "Did you hear that Doug is trying to blow up a bridge?" The individual said, "I literally laughed it off. I said Doug is a moron. He doesn't know how to do anything like that." Another person fingered Ryan as the source of the rumors. Ryan allegedly told them in early April, "The warehouse is going to get raided. There are people who are going to do something dangerous with explosives. It's sitting at a house."

I pointed out to the warehouse group that after such a dramatic incident like the arrest of the five on terrorism charges, there is a tendency to see everything that happened over the previous months in a paranoid light. Julia Boyd, who is active with Occupy Cleveland, says, "A lot of the detrimental effects of this is everyone is suspicious of everyone else."

I suggested maybe Ryan is just crazy, not an FBI operative. One person got Ryan on the line and put him on speaker phone. After a minute of small talk, Ryan claimed someone they all knew had been arrested. Everyone was concerned this signaled a wider sweep of activists on terrorism charges. Except hours later I met up with the person in question who was never arrested and was adamant that Ryan is an FBI operative. I was able to find Ryan's number and called him. A male answered who claimed he wasn't Ryan and hung up after a minute. Subsequent attempts to contact Ryan by phone were unsuccessful.

It remains to be seen if Ryan is on the FBI payroll or just mentally unhinged, but lawyers told me that at minimum Ryan would be of interest for the defense lawyers for the five and it might be possible to determine if he is a paid agent. Another lawyer, who has been handling high-profile political cases like the Cleveland 5 for nearly 40 years, mentioned that in addition to the use of undercover agents and informants, the FBI employs "agent provocateurs" to infiltrate and discredit political movements, changing the name of programs to make it appear as if it has reformed its underhanded ways.

In the case of the five Chicago activists who have been swept up on terrorism charges, defense attorneys charge that two police informants nicknamed "Mo" and "Gloves" were the masterminds. In the post-9/11 era the FBI has up to 60,000 informants and spies around the United States, according to an expose by Mother Jones. The FBI cut its teeth as a repressive police force during the Red Scare after World War 1, raiding homes and deporting thousands of legal foreign-born radicals in the labor, anarchist and socialist movements. After World War II, the FBI destroyed thousands of lives and decimated the left during the McCarthy Era. The FBI famously spied on Martin Luther King, Jr., during the 1960s and at one point thousands of agents were devoted to disrupting and sabotaging the anti-Vietnam War, student and black liberation movements.

During the 1980s the FBI spied on Central American solidarity activists. Since Sept. 11 the FBI has snared hundreds of Muslim Americans in cases involving informants who supplied the ideas, motivation and means for a terrorist plot. In recent years the FBI has termed "animal rights and environmental extremists," as well as anarchists as some of the main domestic terrorist threats. It has used infiltrators, most infamously one code-named Anna, to entrap environmental activists. In 2008, the FBI sent a snitch by the name of Brandon Darby on a fishing expedition, and he managed to cajole and push two Austin, Texas youth into agreeing to make Molotov cocktails at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn. These were all political cases as are the two against the Cleveland 5 and the Chicago group.

The fact that the FBI sprang cases during the biggest Occupy events this year - May Day and NATO - indicates it has the Occupy movement in its sights. They are hardly the only ones. Reams of federal government documents secured by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund reveal widespread government surveillance and information gathering on the movement ranging from the Department of Homeland Security to the Pentagon. The public interest legal organization asserts that the documents regarding Occupy Wall Street "scratch the surface of a mass intelligence network including Fusion Centers, saturated with 'anti-terrorism' funding, that mobilizes thousands of local and federal officers and agents to investigate and monitor the social justice movement."

For now the Cleveland 5 are languishing in jail. Connor Stevens and Doug Wright have been on suicide watch according to those who visited them. Brandon Baxter wrote in a letter dated May 19, "So Skelly was just dragged out of his cell a bit ago, He wrote 'They all want me to DIE' all over his walls, They said they'll bring him back, but he may be a suicide watch for awhile."

Their trial has been set for September 17, 2012, the one-year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, after the defense objected to Sept. 11, which was originally scheduled as the trial start date.

Summing up the feeling of many supporters, Lea Tolls says, despite their hard backgrounds the five "all have good hearts and souls. I tried to give them comfort, guidance and stability. I used to call them my lost boys, and now they're very lost. The richest country in the world can't support them, give them healthcare, a proper education and they end up falling through the cracks. Instead of helping them, the FBI targets them for something nefarious and violent. It's just disgusting that the government uses them towards this end."




After the past weekend in Chicago at the NATO summit where nearly 100 protesters were arrested, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! speaks to National Lawyers Guild attorney Sarah Gelsomino who is representing on of the five activists charged with terror-related crimes. Two are accused of attempted possession of explosives or incendiary devices, and three more are accused of conspiracy to commit terrorism, material support for terrorism and possession of explosives.

While many have been impressed by what is viewed as restraint on the part of the Chicago police department as far as violence towards occupy protesters goes, the #NoNATO protests may well be unparalleled in the abuse of legal authority and flagrant disregard for constitutional rights by law enforcement.

Gelsomino says the so-called "NATO Three" were set up by government informants who planted the explosives. "Our clients who are facing the most serious charges of terrorism are actually in solitary confinement right now, we just learned," Gelsomino says. "A very top priority this week is to get them out of that extremely punitive and extremely dangerous condition that they're in right now."

Rush Transcript:

AMY GOODMAN: We turn to the protesters detained during the NATO summit. According to the Chicago Police Department, nearly a hundred people were arrested over the course of the week. Five of them stand accused of terrorism-related offenses. Two men were arrested over the weekend for allegedly engaging in threatening behavior before the NATO summit. Sebastian Senakiewicz was charged with falsely making a terrorist threat, and Mark Neiweem was accused of attempted possession of explosives or incendiary devices.

Before the weekend began, three activists were arrested on terror charges for an alleged plot to attack President Obama's campaign headquarters and other sites around Chicago during the NATO summit. Jared Chase, Brent Betterly and Brian Jacob Church are accused of conspiracy to commit terrorism, material support for terrorism and possession of explosives. Police say they recovered materials for making Molotov cocktails in a raid last week. But attorneys for the so-called "NATO Three" say they were set up by government informants who planted the explosives. Supporters also say police seized equipment that was used for brewing homemade beer.

Michael Deutsch, an attorney for the protesters with the National Lawyers Guild, accused Chicago police of entrapment.

MICHAEL DEUTSCH: Obviously, we don't have access to all the information that the state has. But what we do know is, is that there were police—undercover police officers that ingratiated themselves with people who come from out of town. And from our information, these so-called incendiary devices and the plans to attack police stations, attack the mayor's office, is all coming from the mind of the police informants and are not coming from our clients, who are nonviolent protesters. They are not anarchists. They don't belong to a Black Bloc organization. They're involved with nonviolent protest. And what we believe is, is that this is a way to stir up prejudice against the people who are exercising their First Amendment rights.

AMY GOODMAN: To discuss the implications of these charges, we're going to Chicago to speak with Sarah Gelsomino, an attorney with the People's Law Office and the National Lawyers Guild. She's representing one of the protesters facing terror charges from the summit.

Welcome to Democracy Now!, Sarah.

SARAH GELSOMINO: Thank you, Amy.

AMY GOODMAN: Talk about exactly what happened.

SARAH GELSOMINO: Well, last Wednesday night at around 11:30 at night, the Chicago police executed a midnight raid on a house in the Bridgeport area in the Near South Side in Chicago, and they entered three different—excuse me, four apartment buildings in that house. In one of those apartments, they arrested nine people. In the other three, they, without warrant or consent, detained the individuals who lived in those building—in those apartments, interrogated them about their political beliefs and about their knowledge of the people who lived in that apartment where they arrested the nine people and searched their apartments. They also entered that fourth apartment, again without showing a warrant and without any consent. And there is where they eventually arrested the nine people. They arrested two additional people down the street. Six of those people have since been released without charges. As you know, the NATO Three are facing very serious terrorism threats—or terrorism charges. And the other two are who we now believe to be police informants.

AMY GOODMAN: And how do you know that they're police informants?

SARAH GELSOMINO: You know, we haven't received any information, really at any point since Wednesday night, when this raid happened, from the city of Chicago or the Chicago Police Department. All that we know about the allegations in this case come from the proffer, which was read in court on Saturday by the state's attorneys prosecuting this case.

But through our own investigation, we have been able to uncover evidence of these two informants. And interestingly, as I said, they were arrested in that apartment building on Wednesday night. They were held for a short period of time with the other individuals who were arrested in that building, but upon transfer from one station to another, they were pulled out. Other people who were arrested said that the police said, "Those people aren't—they're not in the computer. Get them out of here." And the police took them out of custody, and they haven't been seen since.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk about the car that was stopped on Wednesday night with the group of people that were let go then? They actually then posted the video and the audio of their arrests online, and then their house was raided, and they ultimately were charged with terror-related offenses.

SARAH GELSOMINO: Right. These three individuals who are facing these charges were stopped the previous week by the Chicago Police Department without—again, without any justification whatsoever, a legal justification, for that stop. They were pulled over by the Chicago Police Department, surrounded by numerous police cars and multiple police officers, and were interrogated for hours about all kinds of things.

And I met with them, actually, after that video was released on the internet, and they said to us that as soon as they identified themselves as being associated with the Occupy movement—they came up from Occupy in Florida to join with Occupy here in Chicago to protest NATO this week. They said as soon as the police learned that information, they became extremely harassing and threatening. And as you may have heard in that YouTube video, the police did in fact threaten those three—those people in that car, talked about in 19—

AMY GOODMAN: On what grounds?

SARAH GELSOMINO: Well, they talked about smashing skulls in 1968, and then they said, "We'll be out there this weekend, and we'll be coming to look for you."

AMY GOODMAN: And talk about—

SARAH GELSOMINO: It's interesting that those are the individuals who are now facing these charges.

AMY GOODMAN: And so, what happened when they raided their place? Talk about the beer-making equipment.

SARAH GELSOMINO: Sure. You know, what happened was, we at the National Lawyers Guild have been—have a legal support hotline, so we've been available 24 hours a day to get phone calls from people on the street about what's happening, you know, where the police have been present, what kind of police misconduct has been happening, where people are arrested.

So we received word of this midnight raid. And as soon as we received that word, we began to look for our clients. And we tried every echelon of the city of Chicago and the Chicago Police Department, as their lawyers, looking for our clients in police custody, and we could get nowhere. We called every police station. We called the superintendent's office. We called the corporation counsel's office, which is the city attorney's office. And they would not tell us that they had our clients in custody. They would not tell us that our clients had ever been arrested. And they would not confirm to us that there was a raid. So we, through our own investigation, were searching and searching and finally found these individuals at 4:00 p.m. the day after they had been taken away and held in secret for the day.

In the course of that time, we interviewed other people who were present for the raid, who observed it, and we learned some of the items that were confiscated by the police department included beer-making equipment. The individuals who live in that house are home brewers. It's a hobby that they have. And so, at least we know some of what has been confiscated by the police department is this home brewing equipment.

But, Amy, we have not seen any search warrant in this case. We have not seen any affidavit of probable cause. And we certainly have not seen any inventory of anything that was confiscated. So we are still really in the dark about what the state is claiming that the police department has to support these really sensationalized allegations.

What we saw happen on the streets of Chicago after the main permitted protest here on Sunday night was atrocious and absolutely unconscionable behavior by the police department. At the end of that protest, the police department rolled out massive amounts of police officers in riot gear—and not just the Chicago Police Department. We know at least—I had one legal observer who was on the street report to me that he saw at least five full buses of the Illinois State Police officers in riot gear pouring out at the end of that march. And they set themselves up in a way on the street to—in a way that did not permit easy egress from that position, from that place at the end of the march, shutting down half of the street, Cermak, and then positioning themselves so that whoever wanted to leave that march had to run a gauntlet single file through police officers in riot gear. And as you can see on the videos that have been shown around the country, the police ended up that night unleashing absolutely uncontrolled, indiscriminate violence against the individuals at the front of that march, with billy—wielding billy clubs that caused—we know of at least 70 very serious injuries, and we anticipate hearing about many, many more as the days go forward.

AMY GOODMAN: You know, Democracy Now! was there on the streets of the protests. There was this very solemn ceremony of U.S. vets of Iraq and Afghanistan—


AMY GOODMAN: —hurling their service and war medals at the gate of the NATO summit to return them to the generals. And as they were doing this, everyone was very quiet, thousands of people, as one by one these vets came up and explained why they were giving back their medals. The riot police were moving in, in formation, quietly lining up around the vets. And the vets were asking the police, "Why are you doing this? This is a peaceful rally," as they—as more and more of them on horseback and in helmets came. But they could not head off these formations. Then they were able to move on, the veterans, but the police moved very quickly in on the others in the crowd. And as we walked with the veterans, a young man came running up to us, three of them. One of them had his teeth bashed in, his two front teeth. We broadcast what he had to say yesterday. Sarah Gelsomino, where are your clients now, and what are your plans?

SARAH GELSOMINO: Our clients—well, we have many clients, unfortunately, from this week of protests. We know of over a hundred arrests that happened throughout this week, and the National Lawyers Guild stands ready to represent all of them.

Our clients who are facing the most serious charges of terrorism are actually in solitary confinement right now, we just learned. So we have—a very top priority this week is to get them out of that extremely punitive and extremely dangerous condition that they're in right now. They've essentially been in solitary now since they were picked up on Wednesday night. And we appear in court for the NATO Three this morning and for the other two tomorrow.

As for our other clients, our top priority is to make sure everyone's safe, that all the injuries are documented. And we will continue on to represent people in the criminal charges that they're facing. Most people are facing now misdemeanor charges. We have a—some people were released without custody after that melee Sunday night, and—but most people, as I said, have walked out with either ordinance violations, like city tickets, or misdemeanor charges. And so, at this point, we need to move forward with that criminal representation.

AMY GOODMAN: And the number of people you estimate were arrested in this last week, Sarah?

SARAH GELSOMINO: Well, over a hundred, we can say for sure we've had reported arrested to us. On Sunday night, over 60 people were arrested.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, I want to thank you very much for being with us, Sarah Gelsomino, an attorney—

SARAH GELSOMINO: Thank you, Amy.

We need your help to spread the word concerning Antipas Ministries and the eschatological viewpoint it represents; WE NEED YOUR HELP BECAUSE WE DO NOT "LINK" WITH OTHER SO-CALLED "CHRISTIAN" WEBSITES which are, for the most part, "in the tank" insofar as their loyalty to the United States is concerned - a loyalty that has made them partners in the BLOODY trail the American military has left in its TERROR-RIDDEN rampage throughout the world, as well as making them partners in the abject poverty that American corporations have imposed on the peoples and nations the American military machine has ravaged - A BLOODY, TERROR-RIDDEN RAMPAGE THAT HAS TO A LARGE DEGREE BEEN CARRIED OUT IN THE NAME OF THE "PRINCE OF PEACE." [Please see our articles, "The Third World as a Model for the New World Order," Inside the American New World Order System" and "The American Empire: The Corporate / Pentagon / CIA / Missionary Archipelago."]



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