“This invasion of privacy is part of a current wave of political repression on the West Coast,” stated Marion Delgado, a member of the ACAC 19′s support committee. “The federal Grand Jury investigations in the Pacific Northwest and this attempt to stop us from using social media are connected. We’ve been attacking capitalism; they’re attacking back.” In April of this year, a prior attempt to gain Twitter records from an Occupy Wall Street participant, Malcolm Harris, saw Twitter fight the subpoena in court for several months. Harris was accused of using the social media tool as he was arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge on October 1, 2011 with 700 other OWS community members.
“This is not the first time the online information network has been used as a resource for state repression of political activity. This is a part of an ongoing effort to chill political movements in the Bay Area and beyond,” Delgado continued.
The ACAC 19 were arrested during a march which occurred as part of a West Coast Anti-Colonial, Anti-Capitalist Convergence. Organizers of the convergence stated that they wished to draw attention to resource extraction, the poisoning of the Earth, the genocide of Indigenous peoples through the Columbian Exchange, and the proliferation of present-day colonial projects, such as the Israeli occupation of Gaza. Members of the ACAC 19 have documented injuries including a broken nose, deep facial cuts requiring stitches, and multiple hematomas which the ACAC 19 state are the result of being beaten by the SFPD during their arrests. Despite being charged with multiple felony counts and being held on a total of over $735,000 in bail, the DA has since filed only misdemeanor charges against the defendants. Shortly after the arrests on October 6, SFPD released the mug shots and the home addresses of the ACAC 19 to media outlets, along with allegations not substantiated by the provided evidence or charges. As a result, some members of the ACAC 19 found threatening leaflets in their neighborhood with their home addresses and photos printed on them.
At least one member of the ACAC 19 has also experienced police harassment at their workplace in the past month. Members of the ACAC 19 have filed motion to quash these Twitter subpeonas in a San Francisco misdemeanor court this Friday. Their trial is expected to begin early next year. They deny all charges and have maintained their previous political efforts.
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