The Cleveland 4 Support Network expresses solidarity with the current targets of FBI repression in the northwest. The following statements are the initial call for solidarity and an update on how you can participate. There have already been over 160 organizations and groups who have signed on since this original statment was issued. Please pass these on to the members of your groups, personal networks and other people you think might be interested in the support work.
On Wednesday July 25th, the FBI conducted a series of coordinated raids against activists in Portland, Olympia, and Seattle. They subpoenaed several people to a special federal grand jury, and seized computers, black clothing and anarchist literature. This comes after similar raids in Seattle in July and earlier raids of squats in Portland.
Though the FBI has said that the raids are part of a violent crime investigation, the truth is that the federal authorities are conducting a political witch-hunt against anarchists and others working toward a more just, free, and equal society. The warrants served specifically listed anarchist literature as evidence to be seized pointing to the fact that the FBI and police are targeting this group of people because of their political ideas. Pure and simple, these raids and the grand jury hearings are being used to intimidate people whose politics oppose the state's agenda. During a time of growing economic and ecological crises that are broadly affecting people across the world, it is an attempt to push back any movement towards creating a world that is humane, one that meets every person's needs rather than serving only the interests of the rich.
This attack does not occur in a vacuum. Around the country and around the world, people have been rising up and resisting an economic system that puts the endless pursuit of profit ahead of the basic needs of humanity and the Earth. From the Arab Spring to the Occupy movement to now Anaheim, people are taking to the streets. In each of these cases, the state has responded with brutal political repression. This is not a coincidence. It is a long-term strategy by state agencies to stop legitimate political challenges to a status quo that exploits most of the world's people.
On Wednesday, the 25th of July, a pre-trial hearing was held on motions put forward by the defense. However, at 9:00 am, the starting time of the hearing, it was clear that something was not right. All of the defendant’s were present except for Anthony Hayne and his lawyer, Michael O'Shea. Around 9:10 all of the lawyers went out into the hallway for a meeting with O'Shea. Meanwhile, the other four defendants were taken out to the courtroom. Soon after, all of the lawyers again entered the room and Anthony Hayne was brought into the court room wearing street clothes instead of the usual prison orange. Emotions were running high as what many of the supporters and loved ones feared the most unfolded before our eyes. Around 9:30 AM Anthony Hayne formally entered into a cooperating plea agreement with the government on the basis that he was found guilty on all three charges. The judge seemed hesitant about Hayne's move, as it included a mandatory minimum sentence of roughly 16-20 years in prison (188-235 months served). The exact amount of time served would be dependent on the level of cooperation with the government. Formal sentencing will not occur until the trial is concluded.
As the Cleveland 5 support group, as friends and loved ones of all of them, we are shocked by his decision. Particularly by his decision to enter into a plea that would, by its nature, require the exchange of information that would implicate and/or potentially make worse the case of his other co-defendants. As this is and will remain a political case, we can no longer express support and advocacy on the behalf of Anthony. As was explained to and agreed upon by the co-defendants, our support only exists as long as they stay strictly non-cooperative with the government. Anthony is no longer at CCA and we do not have information about where he was transferred to, and where he will spend the time of his incarceration. We our deeply saddened by his decision and hope that, in the end, it does not hurt the other four, who continue to struggle for the justice they deserve.
We will gather July 25th 8am outside the Akron Federal Courthouse to show our support for the Cleveland 5, five men who were entrapped by the FBI on May 1, 2012 in Cleveland, OH. We want to expose the government’s sneaky and illegal tactics of repression, and stand with the Cleveland 5 who are fighting for their innocence. Please join us, bring signs and make some noise. Following the rally, we will show our solidarity in the courtroom during a hearing for the Cleveland 5. No signs or noise makers allowed in the courtroom, and please remember to be respectful and quiet during the proceedings.
Wednesday July 25th 8am Akron Federal Courthouse 2 South Main St. Akron, OH
9am Hearing in Courtroom 4 with Judge Dowd
For Ride information from Cleveland please call 216-912-8070