THREE ACTIVISTS who were in Chicago for the demonstrations against the NATO summit were arrested in a midnight raid on May 16 and now face terrorism charges—in a case that civil liberties advocates and antiwar organizations are calling a “frame-up” designed to intimidate those who wish to protest war and austerity.
The three—Brian Church and Brent Vincent Betterly of Florida and Jared Chase of New Hampshire—are charged with conspiracy to commit terrorism, providing material support for terrorism and possession of an explosive or incendiary device. A judge set bail at $1.5 million for each. Two more men were charged with terrorism-related offenses over the weekend, though police are unclear about whether they are trying to connect them to the original three.
Church, Betterly and Chase were staying with other activists in an apartment building in the South Side neighborhood of Bridgeport. Shortly before midnight on May 16, police kicked in the front door, rounded up everyone inside, shackled them and placed bags over their heads before taking them to the Organized Crime Unit.
Darrin Annussek, one of the nine people detained in total and released, told CBS News: “For 18 hours, we were handcuffed to a bench and our legs were shackled together,” he said. “Some of our cries for the bathroom were either ignored or met with silence.”
Language and framing: resistance to western capitalism becomes terrorism.