Before the weekend began, three activists were arrested on terrorism charges for an alleged plot to attack President Obama’s campaign headquarters and other sites around Chicago during the NATO summit. Jared Chase, Brent Betterly and Brian Jacob Church are accused of conspiracy to commit terrorism, material support for terrorism and possession of explosives. Police say they recovered materials for making Molotov cocktails in a raid last week. But attorneys for the so-called ”NATO Three” say they were set up by government informants who planted the explosives. Supporters also say police seized equipment that was used for brewing home-made beer. Michael Deutsch, an attorney for the protesters with the National Lawyers Guild, accused Chicago police of entrapment.
Michael Deutsch: “Obviously, we don’t have access to all the information that the state has. But what we do know is, is that there were police—undercover police officers that ingratiated themselves with people who come from out of town. And from our information, these so-called incendiary devices and the plans to attack police stations, attack the mayor’s office, is all coming from the mind of the police informants and are not coming from our clients, who are nonviolent protesters. They are not anarchists. They don’t belong to a Black Bloc organization. They’re involved with nonviolent protest. And what we believe is, is that this is a way to stir up prejudice against the people who are exercising their First Amendment rights. ”