The NATO 3, three incarcerated Occupy activists, were charged under the Illinois material support for terrorism statute on the eve of a large anti-NATO demonstration in Chicago in May 2012. The defendants allegedly filled four beer bottles with gasoline, acts apparently instigated by undercover police agents. On Monday, their legal team started picking the jury for their trial, which is expected to last approximately three weeks.
The case is one of several examples of a pattern of entrapment in which law enforcement authorities choreograph arrests of activists by employing informants or undercover officers. In Chicago, police spent approximately $1 million on equipment in the months before the demonstration. According to a Rolling Stone article quoting Kade Crockford, director of the Massachusetts ACLU’s technology for liberty program and the writer of the PrivacySOS blog,
Flush with fancy new equipment, police turn to communities they have long spied on and infiltrated: low-income and communities of color, and dissident communities.
If you’re in the Twin Cities, please consider attending a fundraiser for the NATO 3 on Saturday from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.