Tag Archive: Anarchists in Trouble

NATO 3 Brent Betterly’s Sentencing Statement

nato3From Anarchist News

Today a member of the NATO 3 Defense Committee received a letter from Brent Betterly, which included a rewritten version of his sentencing statement. Brent ad-libbed his statement in court from notes, but says he is confident that what he has written is almost exact to what was said, save for a few grammatical differences and filler words.

***

I apologize in advance if this seems a bit long-winded and I’d just like to express my great relief and gratitude for the opportunity to utilize my own voice again after a frustrating two years. My goal in making this statement is to refute some of the negative assertions about who I am and what my intentions are.

Very briefly, I’d like to start by addressing these recent allegations of racially derogatory comments directed toward an officer with whom I’ve had virtually no contact with. It’s my position that this is a complete fabrication and is in keeping with this consistent pattern over these past couple years where I’ve been repeatedly accused of engaging in the same sort of senseless ideologies and acts of violence that I so vehemently oppose and are just antithetical to the sort of person I am. To engage in or plan out this supposed conspiracy would be to perpetuate the same cycle of fear and violence I have so desperately strived to expose and disrupt. Those who know who I really am know that I’m just not capable of harboring such ideals and intentions.

Now, I’m not a big fan of categorizations, but one label that has continuously been advanced by the State as if it was in itself a condemnation, somehow synonymous with a violent terrorist, and I will not shy away from is that of the so-called “self-proclaimed anarchist.” Without professing to be an expert in all the complexities of political philosophy, I will say that as one who identifies as an anarchist there are specific principles I strive to live by and those I choose to reject. I believe that within everybody lies the ability and the right, both individually and collectively, to responsibly govern themselves. I believe in empowering people to overcome the disadvantages and inequities imposed on them by others in power. I oppose the exploitation and degradation of human potential in every form, be it racism, sexism, homophobia, or classism, and these violently institutionalized injustices are deeply etched into the conscience of our society. Admittedly, I’m not a hundred percent sure how you completely dismantle and abolish such archaic institutions but I’m at least intelligent enough to realize that the reciprocation of these sort of violent ideologies is a historical failure and counter-productive. (more…)

Reportback: NATO 3 Sentenced to 5 to 8 Years, Receive Credit for Time Served

nato3From comrades from NATO 3 Support:

Today in the Cook County Criminal Courthouse, the NATO 3 were sentenced to between 5 and 8 years in prison. The prosecutors had argued that they should receive 14 years and serve their sentences consecutively, whereas the defense attorneys had obviously argued that they should receive light sentences, if not simply being sentenced to time served. Brian Jacob Church was sentenced to 5 years, Brent Betterly to 6 years, and Jared Chase to 8 years. They will all serve this time at 50% of the sentenced time (e.g., 6 year sentence equals 3 years served) and will receive credit for the two years they have served pending trial. Upon release, they will each have two years of supervised release as well.

Supporters packed the courtroom for the NATO 3 today despite the draconian restrictions placed on public attendance by the judge. While the prosecutors had plenty of cops lined up to smear the defendants on the stand during the sentencing hearing, their side of the courtroom was notably empty. Not even Anita Alvarez, the head attorney who has been so vocal about the defendants being terrorists, was around today. After the jury issued its verdict, Alvarez claimed in an interview that the prosecutors had not lost the case even though all of their terrorist claims had been rejected. She melodramatically asked if the reporters had forgotten about the Boston Marathon bombing. She even asked one reporter if he would like a Molotov cocktail thrown at him.

Predictably, the prosecutors continued this ludicrous line of reasoning by repeatedly comparing the NATO 3 to the Boston Marathon bombers—with the only difference being that undercover cops had found and stopped them before they did what the bombers had done. This comparison is, of course, absurd and offensive. The defense objected to this comparison but was, predictably, overruled. Also predictably, the judge promoted this twisted perspective in his explanation of his sentencing. (more…)

NATO 3 get prison terms ranging from 5 to 8 years

nato3From Corporate Media

Three out-of-state men were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 5 to 8 years in prison today for making crude Molotov cocktails in the days before the NATO summit in Chicago in May 2012.

Prosecutors had sought 14-year terms for each of the men, raising the specter of the Boston Marathon bombings during their arguments at the sentencing hearing.

The so-called NATO 3 — Brian Church, Jared Chase and Brent Betterly — were convicted in February of possessing incendiary devices but were acquitted of more serious terrorism charges, a fact stressed by their attorneys. Church was sentenced to 5 years, Chase to 8 years and Betterly to 6.

Chase’s attorney, Thomas Anthony Durkin, contended that prosecutors didn’t seem to understand they lost the terrorism case and were trying to “salvage a lousy, rotten case” with stiff prison sentences.

“They still don’t get that the whole world is laughing at them,” Durkin told Judge Thaddeus Wilson. (more…)

Ben Turk on the silencing of Sean Swain, anarchist prisoner in Ohio

seanswainFrom The Final Straw

Streaming at AshevilleFM on Monday, 04/14/2014 for a week, then podcasting later at radio4all.net and airing on KOWA-LPFMin Olympia, WA, KWTF in Bodega Bay, CA, and KXCF in Marshall, CA.

On April 6th of 2014, anarchist prisoner Sean Swain, who’s been kind enough to allow us to present his audio commentaries (available at http://www.seanswain.org) had his access to phone calls and email shut down by JPay corporation (which facilitates financial transactions between prisoners and their families and other corporations while skimming profit and also saving and mining the private user data) alongside of Global Tel* Link. This comes just after Sean was able to engage a new lawyer, Richard Kerger, who’s done work on the Lucasville Uprising death row prisoners.

This episode, we speak to Ben Turk, a supporter of Sean’s about new updates in Sean’s case, his silencing and how folks can help pressure the state to give Sean back his access to phones and email.

Prior to that interview, however, a special guest reads a script from Sean for this week’s “You Are The Resistance”. Take a listen, or find it later at archive.org as youaretheresistance04132014 alongside the past segments for download or streaming. (more…)