Anti-NATO, Occupy protesters release photo of alleged 'terror' device (PHOTO)

Bail has been set at $1.5 million for anti-NATO protesters charged in a terrorist plot. Supporters say they were just making beer. Read the criminal complaint here.
Photo: National Lawyers Guild

CHICAGO, Ill., May 20, 2012 — After years of calling the Tea Party Movement a “terrorist” organization, how will the mainstream media react to three anti-NATO protesters charged with terrorist acts?

On the eve of the NATO summit in Chicago, three protesters with ties to the Occupy Movement have been charged with conspiracy to commit terrorism and possession of an explosive incendiary device. The three are Brian Church, 22, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Jared Chase, 27, of Keene, New Hampshire; and Brent Betterly, 24, from Massachusetts (see PDF of People Profer to Set Bond to the left).

“The men had been making Molotov cocktails out of empty beer bottles filled with gasoline and fitted with cut bandannas for fuses,” said Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.

Three suspects charged in terrorist plot. CREDIT: CPD

According to authorities, the suspects also possessed a mortar gun, a hunting bow, throwing stars, swords, and knives with brass-knuckle handles.

But supporters of the protesters – called the “NATO 3” - are crying foul against what they call aggressive police tactics. They contend the equipment seized was for beer-making, not terrorist activity.

“The charges are utterly ridiculous. The Chicago Police Department doesn’t know the difference between home beer-making supplies and Molotov cocktails,” said Natalie Wahlberg, a member of the Occupy Chicago movement.

CREDIT: National Lawyers Guild

Attorneys from the National Lawyers Guild, which represents the protesters, released a photo of the alleged explosive incendiary device to the media on Saturday.

But a lawyer for the protesters, Michael Deutsch, has a slightly different theory of the case. According to Deutsch, undercover officers entrapped the protesters and encouraged the bomb-making effort.

“This is a way to stir up prejudice against a people who are exercising their First Amendment (free speech) rights,” said Deutsch who contends the police planted the weapons at the scene. “There were undercover police officers that ingratiated themselves with people who come from out of town.”

According to a statement on the Chicago Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild’s website, “police broke down doors with guns drawn and searched residences [where the suspects had been staying] without a warrant or consent.”

But Alvarez says police properly obtained warrants from a judge before executing the raid.

Authorities claim that the three suspects are participants in “black bloc” operations, which utilize black clothing and head masks to conceal identities. Black bloc tactics have been used to disrupt other global summits and events. Police have infiltrated black bloc groups in the past to determine protester identities.

According to court documents, the Chicago campaign headquarters of President Obama, Rahm Emanuel’s home, downtown financial centers, and police stations and cars were among the targets considered by the suspects.

One of the suspects, Brian Church, allegedly asked his accomplices, “Ever see a cop on fire?” suggesting they throw a bomb into a police station located at 3120 S. Halsted in the Bridgeport neighborhood.

‘Black bloc’ tactics

Bail was set at $1.5 million each for the three suspects at a bond hearing Saturday.

This week, protests against the two-day NATO summit in Chicago have been relatively peaceful with only about a dozen arrests.

But as President Obama and representatives from 60 countries convene to discuss the war in Afghanistan, Chicago is bracing for what is expected to be the largest gathering of protesters Sunday in Grant Park – as many as 15,000 – organized in part by the Coalition Against NATO-G8.

Chicago, better keep your fingers crossed.  

Conservative commentator and satirist William J. Kelly and Laura Kelly edit and manage the Tea Party Reports for Communities @WashingtonTimes.com. Kelly also pens Bill Kelly’s Truth Squad and is a contributor to Breitbart.com. He is a native of Chicago’s Southside. Email questions to him at williamjkellyrebuild@gmail.com.

Find Kelly on Facebook/Williamjpkelly


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Laura Kelly and William J. Kelly

The Tea Party Report is written and edited by Laura and William J. Kelly. Kelly also pens Bill Kelly's Truth Squad for the Washington Times.  Watch for his new website at www.kellytruthsquad.com. We welcome all Tea Party leaders and enthusiasts to send us their news, opinions, and stories.

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