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Chicago police broke into a home with an unsigned warrant, repeatedly calling an activist "commie faggot" and arrested 9 activists, including Kossack TarheelDem, ahead of this weekend's protest of NATO according the the National Lawyers Guild and Kevin Gostzola.

Chicago, IL -- The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) condemns a preemptive police raid that took place at approximately 11:30pm Wednesday in the Bridgeport neighborhood, and instances of harassment on the street, in which Chicago police are unlawfully detaining, searching, and questioning NATO protesters. The Bridgeport raid was apparently conducted by the Organized Crime Division of the Chicago Police Department and resulted in as many as 8 arrests.

According to witnesses in Bridgeport, police broke down a door to access a 6-unit apartment building near 32nd & Morgan Streets without a search warrant. Police entered an apartment with guns drawn and tackled one of the tenants to the floor in his kitchen. Two tenants were handcuffed for more than 2 hours in their living room while police searched their apartment and a neighboring unit, repeatedly calling one of the tenants a "Commie faggot." A search warrant produced 4 hours after police broke into the apartment was missing a judge's signature, according to witnesses. Among items seized by police in the Bridgeport raid were beer-making supplies and at least one cell phone.

"Preemptive raids like this are a hallmark of National Special Security Events," said Sarah Gelsomino with the NLG and the People's Law Office. "The Chicago police and other law enforcement agencies should be aware that this behavior will not be tolerated and will result in real consequences for the city."

Kossack TarheelDemwas released this morning, with no charges filed. It is apparently a case of preventative detention of putative protesters.
Note to friends here from TarheelDem. I was one of the persons arrested in an early morning police raid in the Bridgeport neighborhood early Thursday morning. I was release with no charges this morning (Friday). I am fine. There are still five or six in custody. (Tracking down where folks are held has been difficult for the NLG.) Calls to Rahm Emanuel’s official voicemail would be helpful. The folks at Occupy Chicago and NLG worked rapidly and effectively to ensure our release. The whole charge is transparently bogus and meant for the media to reduce turnout to the march on Sunday. The permitted march will be relatively safe, providing you leave fairly soon at the end of the march (unless you want to risk arrest yourself by intentionally staying). A large turnout is crucial. Everyone who can make it to Chicago should; a larger crowd makes the entire effort safer.
Police confiscated a home brewing kit. An unnamed "police source" apparently told a local news station that Molotov cocktails had been recovered, but it's not credible that Chicago police don't know the difference between a beer and a cocktail.
Local news reported a “police source” had recovered “Molotov cocktails.” There is no evidence of the existence or production of Molotov cocktails. The police did confiscate a home brew-making kit. And, Hermes says, if this is what they are using to allege Molotov cocktails were being made, “it’s pretty far-fetched and incredible.”
And shredded the 4th Amendment of the Constitution.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Update:

Indymedia report of incident at 6:00 minutes in.

NLG press release early hours May 19:

National Lawyers Guild Decries Terrorism Charges Against Occupy Activists protesting NATO Summit
Preemptive raids and conspiracy charges are common characteristics of National Special Security Events

Chicago, IL — After holding NATO protesters for up to 48 hours, and releasing 6 out of 9 arrestees without any charges, the City of Chicago filed state charges last night against 3 Occupy activists from Florida, including possession of explosives or incendiary devices, material support for terrorism, and conspiracy. On Wednesday night at approximately 11:30pm, police raided a house in the Bridgeport neighborhood, detained several people in multiple apartments, and arrested 9 activists. Police broke down doors with guns drawn and searched residences without a warrant or consent.

“The National Lawyers Guild deplores the charges against Occupy activists in the strongest degree,” said Sarah Gelsomino with the NLG and the People’s Law Office. “It’s outrageous for the city to apply terrorism charges when it’s the police who have been terrorizing activists and threatening their right to protest.”

NLG attorneys are questioning why it took the city 48 hours, the limit on holding arrestees without a court hearing, to impose such serious charges. Although some accusations of Molotov cocktails have been made by police, they have provided no evidence of criminal intent or wrongdoing on the part of the activists. On Thursday, when asked about the raid at a press conference, Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy knew so little about the alleged terrorism investigation that he said he would have to gather further information before commenting.

The 3 activists charged are Jared Chase, Brent Beterly, and Brian Jacob Church. Last week, all three defendants were surrounded by several police squad cars outside of a CVS, detained for no apparent reason and asked questions about why they were in Chicago and what they planned to do during the NATO summit. One of the defendants recorded the encounter and posted an edited version on YouTube. When Superintendent McCarthy questioned the validity of the footage in the media, the entire video was quickly posted.

Originally posted to Frustrati on Fri May 18, 2012 at 02:35 PM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, Occupy Wall Street, Your Government at Work, and Progressive Hippie.

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