The 'NATO Three' Press Conference

Chicago police raided an apartment and arrested nine activists in the early morning of May 17, ahead of the NATO summit this weekend. Six of the activists were ultimately released without charge, but three of them were effectively disappeared for the 48 hours they could legally be held without charge. Finally they were charged with “possession of incendiary or explosive device, conspiracy to commit terrorism & providing material support for terrorism,” and they each have bond set at $1.5M.

This morning the state department held a press conference [video] to discuss the case and the defendants: “They are domestic terrorists who came to Chicago with an anarchist agenda to harm our police officers…​ These charges are also the result of tremendous police work, and I want to recognize and credit the Chicago Police Department for their exceptional proactive efforts in this investigation. They likely saved innocent lives…​”

Details are sparse, but we can make out the general picture: Chicago invited NATO — an organization made up of the world’s largest militaries which routinely manufacture and deploy explosive devices to blow up people, buildings, infrastructure, and entire cities — to hold a conference there. As part of the security effort for that conference, the FBI worked with the CPD to convince three kids to make Molotov cocktails and then arrested them as ‘terrorists.’ (When the state’s attorney was asked about the role played by informants in the plan, she reiterated that it was a “proactive investigation.”) The police are good guys who will protect you from the violent anarchists. Small petrol bombs are terrorism; NATO’s massive explosive bombs are freedom. I’m convinced.