Wednesday night’s bizarre warrantless raid on an apartment building in Chicago and the rounding up of a number of “suspected protesters” took another turn for the odd today, when officials revealed that three of the captives are now being charged with terrorism.
The allegation is that some of the protestors were intending to use beer bottles (apparently there was actual beer-making equipment where the bottles were seized) to make Molotov cocktails.
There is also an allegation of actual police misconduct:
Michael Deutsch, the lawyer for the three detainees, says that they were all non-violent protesters and that of the people “arrested” that night (most of whom were released without charges) two were actually undercover police there to “egg on” the protesters to move from non-violent to violent action.
If true that changes the character of things materially, doesn't it?
So what really happened?
I'm not sure we'll ever find out. What I do know is that I distrust both sides on this one; the alleged bomb-makers were supposedly part of "Black Block", which is a loosely-associated group of people that travel from protest to protest, typically dressed all in black with their faces obscured and do frequently engage in actual violence. Examples were seen in Oakland at Occupy where some of these folks appeared and were involved in vandalism with a couple of instances where the rest of the protest actually restrained the violence-initiators.
Fox news is reporting that there have now been two more arrests although whether they're related to the previous ones is unclear:
Two more alleged plotters, Sebastian Senakiewicz and Mark Neiweem, have also been charged. The Cook County State Attorney's office said in a statement Sunday that Neiweem, 28, is charged with attempted possession of explosives or incendiary devices and Sebastian Senakiewicz, 24, is charged with falsely making a terrorist threat.
What the police say they intend to do is leave peaceful demonstrators alone but bust those who initiate violence. This may in fact be what they did and do, but in the modern era where frauds and scams are the order of the day, and are overlooked by the government agencies that allegedly are supposed to promote the truth and see that justice is done, I'll reserve judgment on both sides here for now.
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