During the march against police terror on February 14th, multiple people were arrested. These people are going to need our help and support. We are asking for any and all donations to help with court fees, bond, and other associated expenses. If you would like to donate, go to our Fundly at: https://fundly.com/donate-to-denver-anarchist-black-cross# You can also donate via paypal at firstname.lastname@example.org We thank you all in advance for your support. Solidarity with the arrestees and the families and friends of those murdered by the DPD!
Daniel’s partner Jenny posted this to Facebook this morning:
“daniel was taken into custody this morning and is now at the federal
detention center in brooklyn getting processed. so much for following
the rules, getting a job immediately and doing what you’re told! god
bless america! updates on Support for Daniel McGowan to come.”
Forthcoming updates will be posted as soon as they are available.
(AP)SAN FRANCISCO— They’re called national security letters and the FBI issues thousands of them a year to banks, phone companies and other businesses demanding customer information. They’re sent without judicial review and recipients are barred from disclosing them.
On Friday, a federal judge in San Francisco declared the letters unconstitutional, saying the secretive demands for customer data violate the First Amendment.
The government has failed to show that the letters and the blanket non-disclosure policy “serve the compelling need of national security,” and the gag order creates “too large a danger that speech is being unnecessarily restricted,” U.S. District Judge Susan Illston wrote.
She ordered the FBI to stop issuing the letters, but put that order on hold for 90 days so the U.S. Department of Justice can pursue an appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The DOJ said it is reviewing the decision.
FBI counter-terrorism agents began issuing the letters after Congress passed the USA Patriot Act in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
The case arises from a lawsuit that lawyers with the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed in 2011 on behalf of an unnamed telecommunications company that received an FBI demand for customer information.
“We are very pleased that the court recognized the fatal constitutional shortcomings of the NSL statute,” EFF lawyer Matt Zimmerman said. “The government’s gags have truncated the public debate on these controversial surveillance tools. Our client looks forward to the day when it can publicly discuss its experience.”
Illston wrote that she was also troubled by the limited powers judges have to lift the gag orders.
Judges can eliminate the gag order only if they have “no reason to believe that disclosure may endanger the national security of the United States, interfere with a criminal counter-terrorism, or counterintelligence investigation, interfere with diplomatic relations, or endanger the life or physical safety of any person.”
That provision also violated the Constitution because it blocks meaningful judicial review.
Illston isn’t the first federal judge to find the letters troubling. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York also found the gag order unconstitutional, but allowed the FBI to continue issuing them if it made changes to its system such as notifying recipients they can ask federal judges to review the letters.
Illston ruled Friday that it’s up to Congress, and not the courts, to tinker with the letters.
In 2007, the Justice Department’s inspector general found widespread violations in the FBI’s use of the letters, including demands without proper authorization and information obtained in non-emergency circumstances. The FBI has tightened oversight of the system.
The FBI made 16,511 national security letter requests for information regarding 7,201 people in 2011, the latest data available. The FBI uses the letters to collect unlimited kinds of sensitive, private information like financial and phone records.
The DOJ didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Toronto G20 State Repression Goes International With the Arrest and Request for Extradition of American Activist
On Thursday, February 14th, at 6 o’clock in the morning, federal marshals arrested an American activist, Joel Bitar, in his New York, NY home on a provisional arrest warrant issued by the US Attorney’s office, acting on a foreign extradition request from Canadian authorities. The complaint against Joel cites 26 counts, almost all relating to property damage that occurred during the G20 summit protests in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in June 2010. After a temporary delay in court proceedings—due to an outbreak of lice in the federal prison where Joel and many others have the misfortune of being held, the weekend, and a national holiday on Monday—Joel went before Magistrate Judge, Gabriel W. Gorenstein, on Tuesday, February 19th, to determine whether he would be granted bail as he awaits his extradition hearing in the United States. During the proceedings, a general timeline of the actions of the Canadian and US authorities was established.
Joel was arrested in Toronto, along with a little over 1,100 other people, during the G20 protests on June 26 and 27th 2010, in what is thought to be the largest mass arrest in Canada’s history. Joel was processed and released without any charges. In December 2010, lead G20 investigator, Det. Sgt. Gary Giroux, announced to various Canadian news agencies that Canada was seeking the extradition of three Americans for damages amounting to $500,000. Soon after, Joel retained the services of an attorney, Martin Stolar, who contacted Giroux. According to Stolar’s testimony on Tuesday, Giroux confirmed that Joel was a suspect and they were investigating him on charges relating to property destruction. The Assistant U.S. Attorney said that the original complaint against Joel—which details the charges—was prepared in October 2011. Canadian authorities then spent some time going through their image and video database from the G20, as well as obtaining Facebook posts that Joel allegedly made regarding the G20 summit in Canada, and submitted a request for extradition in October 2012 which jumpstarted a winding process involving the US Embassy in Washington DC, the State Department, and the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs. It is worth noting that in this time period beginning in December 2010 up until his arrest in February 2013, Joel traveled overseas several times, and was not arrested, although he was stopped by the Department of Homeland Security and questioned. Joel’s response was that they should speak to his lawyer.
Establishing this timeline of events took up the longest part of the proceedings, and there was much back-and-forth between the Assistant U.S. Attorney—who opposed bail, pressed US legal obligations in respect to treaties with Canada, and claimed that the allegations against Joel, which mostly relate to property damage, are extraditable offenses that endangered Canadian citizens—and Joel’s current attorney, Philip Weinstein—who argued several special circumstances (such as delay, the political nature of the charges, and community ties) that allow for bail in extradition cases. After some consideration, Judge Gorenstein granted bail on the basis of the special circumstance of “delay” (it had been over two years since Det. Sgt. Giroux had spoken with Martin Stolar, and alleged Joel’s involvement) and acknowledged Joel’s low risk of flight. The stipulations of the bail are steep: Joel was granted bail to the tune of $500,000—a little tit-for-tat—as well as house arrest with electronic monitoring. He was released into the custody of his parents on Wednesday, February 20th. His next court date—which is his actual extradition hearing—is currently scheduled for March 20th.
For those who may be unfamiliar, the G20 is a collection of finance ministers and central bank governors from nineteen powerful countries plus the European Union—along with representatives of international financial institutions. At G20 “summits” these figures are joined by top politicians to discuss their ongoing exploitation of the planet, its people and resources. Downtown Toronto was placed under heavy police control during the summit and protesters were arbitrarily arrested and held in a large film-studio, that was converted into a prison, specifically for the purpose of crushing dissent. It is well known that many were brutalized, insulted, or sexually humiliated by Canadian police, outraging large sectors of Canadian society. Protest organizers were attacked by police in their homes, arrested and charged for attending meetings and discussing protest plans.
The extradition of a protester for property damage is almost unprecedented in the histories of both the United States and Canada. Considering that state repression has been ratcheted ever higher in both countries over the past several years, this latest development comes with little surprise. Governments claim that property damage somehow endangers the lives of citizens, all the while their police and military forces brutalize and kill people at home and abroad that they deem undesirable—non-citizens. As long as there are states—and international summits of states—there will be protest and revolt by the non-citizens of the world. We are in solidarity with Joel Bitar—who is a friend, a son, a nephew, a Palestine solidarity activist, a co-worker, a prospective nursing student, and a real person whose life cannot be categorized so easily into the familiar tropes. The US and Canadian governments want to call him a criminal, and eventually, an inmate. We fight this legal process and will support Joel throughout this predicament. Joel’s case may be unique, but state repression is not. We are in solidarity with all comrades who face state repression, especially those in jail from G20 protest charges in Canada and the Pacific Northwest Grand Jury Resisters here in the US.
More updates as necessary.
I would like to start by saying that I send nothing but love and unbreakable solidarity to my alleged subpoenaed non-cooperating comrades, especially Leah. Whether we called each other friends in the past or have never even met, through this experience our struggle is even more connected.
About two weeks ago I received some information that led me to believe that the FBI was searching for me in order to serve a subpoena. While in all actuality, and in the eyes of the court, this is nothing more than someone playing a cruel joke on me, I remain very startled. So startled, that i decided I should get out of town for a while, to a place where I would feel more safe. Luckily, I have more than enough support from my friends and loved ones to make this situation bearable. I want to thank all the comrades and friends who have helped through the beginning of this rough situation. Whether they be on the West Coast, East Coast, or anywhere else in the world.
My hesitation at even the thought of participating in Grand Jury does not have anything to do with “rights” or “justice”. While yes, technically a Grand Jury would be a violation of my civil rights, I do not want spend time on getting caught up on words that have such little meaning to me. I have no desire to view myself as a victim, or someones whose rights have been violated. Instead, I understand that the state views myself and my comrades as enemies, and they will do whatever they can to stifle our struggle, providing they can get away with it. The gathering of this Grand Jury is not surprising or unexpected, but that does not make it hurt any less. I completely understand that others in a similar situation want to exercise their rights to be kept out of prison, and I will absolutely stand by whatever the other allegedly subpoenaed comrades chose to do. Different people chose to resist in different ways and this is fine, as long as everyone remains non-cooperating I see no problem with any decisions that my comrades would make.
It is clear that the State is trying to send us a message, and may they hear our response. Our passion for freedom is stronger than their prisons! But our passion for each other is stronger than any feeling the vultures of the State will ever know! I am so happy to see how much support there has already been in response to this event! Much love to Seattle, Bloomington, The Bay, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Atlanta, and any other place I forgot, your actions and words make this experience a whole lot easier. All the material,emotional, and monetary support I have also received means the world to me, and I’m very thankful to have such great friends and comrades. It has been a wonderful experience getting to know new people on this journey thus far. But each time I’m introduced to someone, it’s very hard to not think of all those friends who I will not see for a long time. I imagine this is going to get easier with time. At the very rare chance that I am actually being subpoenaed this Grand Jury, I could not find myself in a better situation. I have the support and love from my friends, the feeling of safety, and the unbreakable solidarity that I share with my comrades. To quote a famous contemporary poet. “Tryna keep up wit me, but it’s nothing to me.”
I love you all and hopefully I will be seeing you soon.
Long live Anarchy!
International Call Out For Actions of Solidarity: For Those Facing The Repression of The Grand Juries in The Northwest!
from Anarchist News:
This an international call out for solidarity actions on behalf of all those facing the repression of the grand juries, fbi, and joint-terrorism task force in the Pacific Northwest. All of these incidents are related to the Grand Jury that will Occur in Seattle on August 2nd. We have reason to believe that the Grand Jury is related to the attack on the Federal Courthouse in Seattle on May Day. So far, four have been served subpoenaes and another person has a subpeonae out for them but has yet to be served.
Our solidarity must be the continuation of the struggle that triggered the repression. We have been in touch with some of those receiving the subpoenas and while some of them will chose to do different things, some of those who have been subpeonaed have vowed to remain totally non-cooperating through out this whole procedure,no matter what.
Any acts of solidarity are welcome as long as they do not seek to appeal to power. Examples of this would be affirming the notion of rights and pushing the innocent-activist theme. Things which some of those who have been subpoenaed stand firmly against!
Their actions are meant to spread fear, let them spread strength instead!
Solidarity with Anarchists Facing Repression World-Wide!
Fire To the Prisons and Those That Maintain Them!
Long Live Anarchy!
(Reuters) – Protesters broke windows of least a half-dozen storefronts in Anaheim on Tuesday and five people were arrested in the second major clash between police and demonstrators since an officer shot dead an apparently unarmed man.
Tom Tait, mayor of the southern California city, had called on Monday for a state and federal review of the shooting of the man, a suspected gang member.
Over 600 demonstrators gathered at City Hall on Tuesday, where officials were holding a regular meeting, police said.
Some threw patio chairs through the windows of a Starbucks, according to a Reuters witness. No one in the restaurant was injured, said Anaheim police spokesman Sergeant Bob Dunn.
In the same block-long strip mall, at least five other businesses also had windows smashed, according to a Reuters witness. Afterward, officers toting shotguns stood guard in front of the storefronts.
Five people were arrested in the protest and ensuing melee, and one person was injured and taken to hospital, Dunn said. Dozens of officers wielding night sticks faced off against the demonstrators, who at one point threw water bottles and rocks toward the line.
The tensions flared after police shot and killed a man on Saturday afternoon.
Two officers had tried to approach three men in an alley, who fled, Dunn said earlier this week. The officers followed on foot and one caught up to one suspect, police said.
The officer shot the man, who police said they later identified as Manuel Diaz, a known gang member. Diaz was not found to have been carrying a gun, police said.
Police fired pepper pellets at angry residents near the scene of the shooting on Saturday.
Late on Sunday Anaheim officers tried to stop a car and killed a man who police said fled and opened fire on them during a foot chase.
He was the fifth person to die in an officer-involved shooting in Anaheim this year.