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Hey Everyone! Thank you so much for your donations. We are still raising legal funds for the Cleveland four! Their pre-sentencing hearings are scheduled for November 5th and 6th. During these hearings the four will be presenting evidence for entrapment and arguing against the Terrorism Enhancement Charge. Every penny that is raised from now until November will go towards preparing for these hearings. The money we are raising is not going towards a greedy lawyer’s salary. Arguing a case of this magnitude requires hiring specialists and investigators who do not do pro-bono work. There are also fees associated and equipment costs. Originally (when we were going to trial) we were trying to raise $50,000, now we are trying to raise $10,000 in the next 6 days. We have already raised $2,000 please help us reach our goal by spreading the word to your friends and family!
Hello, I’m Susanna and I am part of the Cleveland 4 Justice Support Committee. We are a group of friends, family members and concerned citizens who are raising awareness, doing legal support, and prison support for 4 guys who were arrested in Cleveland, OH on May 1, 2012. With this campaign we are raising $50,000 for our legal defense team for the Cleveland 4. It is vital for these 4 guys to have the best legal representation they can get because of the magnitude of what not only they are facing, but what the outcome of this case could mean for future organizing groups and activists in this country.
The Cleveland 4: Doug L. Wright, Brandon Baxter, Connor Stevens, and Joshua Stafford were arrested on May 1, 2012 after allegedly attempting to blow up a bridge outside of Cleveland,OH.. What you have to understand is that it was the FBI who came up with the plan, who got the supplies for carrying it out, and who coerced these four into coming along. This is not a conspiracy, it’s called FBI entrapment.
The FBI, was sent into Occupy Movements across the country to disrupt and discredit Occupy in the eye of the American People. In Cleveland, they sent in an informant to identify individuals they deemed to be “fringe”, who could be easily isolated and coerced to do something they would have never dreamed of without the help of the FBI. This FBI informant befriended a few of these guys and began to earn their trust by employing them and giving them endless amounts of drugs, alcohol and pharmaceuticals. Over the course of 6 months, this informant slowly isolated them from friends and family by keeping them working all day long, and never letting their supply of drugs and alcohol run out. These guys were further worn down by often staffing the night shift at the Occupy Cleveland tent. During these six months, the FBI informant started instigating conversations with the guys about doing violent actions. Many of these conversations were recorded, and are featured in the affidavit as evidence against the four. But what has been put forth is clearly taken out of context and is being used as a smear campaign to paint these four guys as violent anarchist terrorists. Furthermore, the FBI informant told the guys he could get C-4 and then supplied the $ to buy it. These guys weren’t looking for explosives, and would have never had money or the incentive to buy them. This scenario was completely masterminded by the FBI and made possible with their $ and supplies.
But why would the FBI want to create terrorists you ask?
If you look at the history of activist movements in the US you will find a track record of FBI involvement. From the red scare, to co-intelpro – where the FBI infiltrated the anti-war movement, the civil rights movement and the Black liberation movements of the 60’s and 70’s, to the Green Scare—where FBI targeted environmental and animal rights groups, to again the anti-war movements and anti-capitalist movements of the 90’s and 2000’s and now the Occupy Wallstreet movement.
But why the Occupy wallstreet movement?
Occupy Wallstreet is a movement for economic justice in the US. It appeals to the 99% of people living in this country who own 1% of the wealth. Occupy Wallstreet began as a protest against the government bailing out banks and multi-million dollar corporations after the finacial crisis of 2008. Occupy Wallstreet asked the question “why are we bailing out these corporations who are using the $ for CEO bonuses instead of bailing out the American people who are losing their homes and jobs across the country”. This question resonated with the majority of people in America. Well, corporations didn’t like that, they wanted business as usual. So the FBI was sent in to the Occupy Movement to disrupt, discredit and destroy it from the inside out. And how do they do this? They link occupy with actions and words that already have a negative connotation amongst the American People, like: weapons of mass destruction, terrorists, and anarchists—they even wanted the Cleveland 4 trial to start on Sept. 11th! With the help of the media, this entrapment is working. After a showy FBI press conference, newspapers eagerly printed sensational headlines about anarchist terrorist cells plotting a string of bombings.
The city evicted Occupy Cleveland from their downtown encampment, the group canceled their Mayday actions, and they officially turned their backs on the four, issuing a face-saving statement distancing themselves from these dedicated members of the movement. In one move, the FBI refocused our attention at Occupy away from social change and the collective survival of the 99%, to pointless debates about tactics the FBI invented in the first place.
But we are not going to be silenced on this unjust entrapment!
What We Need
That is why we are building the best legal defense we can for these guys. We have hired a lawyer Terry Gilbert who is a well known civil rights attorney. Along with Terry, we need to hire an investigative team who can sift through the 70 plus hours of recordings and evidence. We need to hire specialists to use during the trial who can testify to the authenticity of the recordings and other evidence being used against the five. All of these things, plus the cost of the trial and court fees etc. amount to a huge bill. We need this money in such a short time because this trial is being fast tracked by the FBI so that the defense has as little resources and support as they can get. We have already put our own savings on the line to secure the defense. Please help us with as much contribution as you can give. All money raised will go directly to the Cleveland 4 Legal fund.
In the next 30 days, we hope to raise at least $50,000! The trial date is set for September 18th that gives us only 6 weeks to prepare!
Although this is a joint defense, all money collected for the Cleveland 4 Legal Defense fund will go solely to Connor Stevens’ legal representation. Doug L. Wright, Brandon Baxter and Joshua Stafford have court appointed attorneys with independent budgets.
We need to expose the FBI’s unjust tactics during this trial; the evidence is there, it’s just a matter of having the resources to do it. This trial will set a precedent as to whether the FBI can get away with this kind of entrapment in the future, these 4 guys could be any of us. We can not let 4 innocent men, who dedicated their lives to fighting for justice, be used like puppets by the government to make an example to scare other people from expressing their 1st amendment rights.
Other Ways You Can Help
Please visit our website for other ways you can support the Cleveland 4. And help spread the word and make some noise about this campaign.