Brian Church, 20, Brent Vincent Betterly, 24, and Jared Chase, 24, were arrested on terrorism and possession of explosives charges. An OWS spokesperson, Gregg Housh, is saying that they were "set up" and indeed, there is even a plan "for a protest in solidarity with the three men who were arrested," (emphasis added) as reported by Boston.com.
It is reminiscent of the Occupy San Diego "moment of silence" held for Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez, who is charged with attempted assassination of President Barack Obama using an "assault rifle with an attached scope to fire a series of shots at the White House from long range on the night of Nov. 11." It is ironic that the OWS movement holds solidarity protests and moments of silence for criminals, all the while proclaiming that violence is not acceptable and that the people who are violent are "fringe" groups or "plants".
The Cook County State's Attorney's Office said the men also had weapons, including a mortar, knives and a hunting bow, as reported by Reuters. The thugs also considered "attacking police stations and cars in Chicago to disrupt police operations in the two-day NATO summit." They stated that "the men had been making Molotov cocktails out of empty beer bottles filled with gasoline and fitted with cut bandannas for fuses." The fact that Occupy would stand in solidarity with these guys is sickening. The accused have said that what the police thought was equipment to make bombs was actually a home brewing operation, to make beer.
So who are the wannabe terrorists?
Jared Chase participated in several Occupy Wall Street groups: Boston, Providence, R.I., Washington D.C., Miami and Chicago, according to his Facebook page. Also revealed on his page were several quotes: "Freedom cannot be destroyed by these corrupt pigs with badges," one reads. Another says, "Miami has the most crooked cops in the country. We should execute them before they do something well [sic] regret." His uncle said that Jared is a "wannabe rapper" with some "past arrests for civil disobedience". He was most recently charged with petty theft in January of this year.
Brent Vincent Betterly's Facebook profile reveals that Brent admires the unlikely combination of Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara, George Washington and Guy Fawkes. His hobby is "drinking". His criminal resume reveals that he and some buddies "stole fire extinguishers from school buses, discharging one into a bus and smashing a cafeteria window with the other, then sprayed the roof of the girls' locker room" at a local high school. More recently, in October, Betterly was charged "with burglary to an unoccupied structure, grand theft and criminal mischief."
Brian Church is described as the "ringleader" of this criminal trio, and allegedly asked his accomplices if they had ever seen a "cop on fire." His plan was to "to recruit 16 people Â— split into four cells Â— to conduct the attacks." Prosecutors stated that "While the Molotov cocktails were being poured, Church discussed the NATO Summit, the protests and how the Molotov cocktails would be used for violence and intimidating acts of destruction." Brian's mom is standing by her son in denouncing those evil police, "These are totally trumped up charges," she said. "I think it's retaliatory of the police." He was charged in 2010 with burglarizing his parents' home and taking a TV, drum kit, two guitars and a paintball gun. The charges were dropped, records show. Perhaps his parents should have stuck to the charges.
Were the accused set up?
The "This is just propaganda to create a climate of fear," Michael Deutsch said. "My clients came to peacefully protest." The National Lawyers Guild, a socialist lawyers group, said that the police "broke down doors with guns drawn and searched residences without a warrant or consent," which was in direct contradiction of the statement made by the Cook County State's Attorney's Office, which stated that police obtained a warrant from a judge before executing the raid and arrests.
There is an interesting twist to this story. A week before the arrests, the suspects had a run-in with police and secretly video-taped it. In the video, one officer asks another what Chicago police would have said in 1968 when they clashed with demonstrators at the Democratic National convention. "Billy club to the f**king skull," the officer responds. Another officer says to the men in the car, who the police take as protesters, "We'll come look for you." Does this mean that these criminals are actually victims of a plot by police? It is hard to imagine even in Chicago, but hopefully the truth will be revealed in court.
Gut Check: Were the defendants set up by police?
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