Tag Archives: anonymous

Sentencing of UK Lulzsec Hacktivists Highlights Disparity in Sentence Guidelines as US Activist Jeremy Hammond Still Faces 42 Years in Federal Prison

Sentencing of UK Lulzsec Hacktivists Highlights Disparity in Sentence Guidelines as US Activist Jeremy Hammond Still Faces 42 Years in Federal Prison

[New York & London] Three English co-defendants who plead guilty to being members of the Lulzsec hacktivist group were today sentenced by a UK court. Ryan Acroyd, the most technically experienced of the three, received the longest sentence – he will spend 15 months in prison.

By contrast, their American co-defendant Jeremy Hammond has already spent 14 months awaiting trial in a federal case that carries charges that could result in up to 42 years of prison time – a virtual life sentence for the 28 year old. Hammond has been denied bail or access to family members.

“It’s a disturbing commentary on the U.S. criminal justice system that Jeremy Hammond, a young activist who is an asset to his community, will spend longer in pre-trial detention for his alleged participation in these online protests than any of his international codefendants will when they have fully served their sentences,” said National Lawyers Guild Executive Director Heidi Boghosian.

The three online activists, Ryan Ackroyd and Jake Davis will be imprisoned for 15 months, and one year, respectively – al-Bassam will not see jail time, but will have to complete 300 hours of community service.

The U.K.’s sentencing structure allows people convicted of crimes to serve out the second half of their sentences on “licence,” the equivalent of the United States’ parole, meaning that Ackroyd’s and Davis’ 30 month and two year sentences will result in the prison times mentioned above. The three have been free on bail since their arrests in March 2012. Two Irish Internet activists accused of participating in LulzSec have gone free without charge in Ireland, which does not have an extradition treaty with the U.S.

The acts the English activists plead guilty to—gaining access to and disseminating information from corporate and government websites—mirror the charges facing Hammond. Hammond is accused of publicizing internal emails of the private spying agency Stratfor through the whistle-blowing website Wikileaks. The emails contained many revelations, including Stratfor’s spying on Bhopal activists at the behest of Dow Chemical and monitoring Occupy Wall Street for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

United States attorneys charged Hammond with five felony counts, including three under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). Each of the CFAA counts carries a ten-year maximum prison sentence. Written in 1984 and long criticized for being outdated and vague, the CFAA has seen increasing use against information activists in an effort to criminalize everything from the sharing of links to violating terms of service agreements. The most highly publicized CFAA case involved 26 year-old information activist Aaron Swartz, who was threatened with decades in prison for downloading freely available documents from the academic database JSTOR. Swartz took his own life earlier this year.

Jeremy Hammond & Jason Hammond

“Jeremy is a gifted person who cares deeply about the world,” said Hammond’s twin brother, Jason Hammond. “My family is shocked at the treatment he has received by the Department of Justice. Jeremy is accused of committing a non-violent crime yet we are forbidden from seeing him or speaking to him on the phone, he has been denied bail and he’s facing what amounts to a life sentence.”

For more information on Jeremy Hammond please visit http://FreeJeremy.net. Press requests should be directed to Abi Hassen of the Jeremy Hammond Support Committee at Press@FreeJeremy.net

 

Jeremy Hammond on Aaron Swartz & the Criminalization of Digital Dissent

Jeremy Hammond on Aaron Swartz & the Criminalization of Digital Dissent

[New York, NY] The following is a statement released today, February 20th, 2013, by Jeremy Hammond’s lawyers. Supporters and lawyers have announced that they will be holding a press conference and rally at the Federal Courthouse at 9:30am February 21st, 2013 details are available HERE.

The following is Jeremy Hammond in his own words, written from solitary confinement at The Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in New York City:

The tragic death of internet freedom fighter Aaron Swartz reveals the government’s flawed “cyber security strategy” as well as its systematic corruption involving computer crime investigations, intellectual property law, and government/corporate transparency.

In a society supposedly based on principles of democracy and due process, Aaron’s efforts to liberate the internet, including free distribution of JSTOR academic essays, access to public court records on PACER, stopping the passage of SOPA/PIPA, and developing the Creative Commons, make him a hero, not a criminal. It is not the “crimes” Aaron may have committed that made him a target of federal prosecution, but his ideas – elaborated in his “Guerrilla Open Access Manifesto” – that the government has found so dangerous. The United States Attorney’s aggressive prosecution, riddled with abuse and misconduct, is what led to the death of this hero. This sad and angering chapter should serve as a wake up call for all of us to acknowledge the danger inherent in our criminal justice system.

Aaron’s case is part of the recent aggressive, politically-motivated expansion of computer crime law where hackers and activists are increasingly criminalized because of alleged “cyber-terrorist” threats. The United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, whose office is prosecuting me and my co-defendants in the Lulzsec indictment, has used alarmist rhetoric such as the threat of an imminent “Pearl Harbor like cyber attack” to justify these prosecutions. At the same time the government routinely trains and deploys their own hackers to launch sophisticated cyber attacks against the infrastructure of foreign countries, such as the Stuxnet and Flame viruses, without public knowledge, oversight, declarations of war, or consent from international authorities. DARPA, US Cyber Command, the NSA, and numerous federally-contracted private corporations openly recruit hackers to develop defensive and offensive capabilities and build Orwellian digital surveillance networks, designed not to enhance national security but to advance U.S. imperialism. They even attend and speak at hacker conferences, such as DEFCON, offer to bribe hackerspaces for their research, and created the insulting “National Civic Hacker Day” – efforts which should be boycotted or confronted every step of the way.

Aaron is a hero because he refused to play along with the government’s agenda, instead he used his brilliance and passion to create a more transparent society. Through the free software movement, open publishing and file sharing, and development of cryptography and anonymity technology, digital activists have revealed the poverty of neo-liberalism and intellectual property. Aaron opposed reducing everything to a commodity to be bought or sold for a profit.

The rise in effectiveness of, and public support for, movements like Anonymous and Wikileaks has led to an expansion of computer crime investigations – most importantly enhancements to 18 U.S.C § 1030, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). Over the years the CFAA has been amended five times and has gone through a number of important court rulings that have greatly expanded what the act covers concerning “accessing a protected computer without authorization.” It is now difficult to determine exactly what conduct would be considered legal. The definition of a “protected computer” has been incrementally expanded to include any government or corporate computer in or outside the U.S. “Authorization,” not explicitly defined by the CFAA, has also been expanded to be so ambiguous that any use of a website, network, or PC that is outside of the interest, agenda, or contractual obligations of a private or government entity could be criminalized. In Aaron’s case and others the government has defined violating a service’s Acceptable Use Policy (AUP), Terms of Service (TOS), or End-User License Agreement (EULA) as illegal. Every time you sign up for a service like Gmail, Hotmail, or Facebook and click the “I agree” button that follows a long contract that no one ever reads, you could be prosecuted under the CFAA if you violate any of the terms.

The sheer number of everyday computer users who could be considered criminals under these broad and ambiguous definitions enables the politically motivated prosecution of anyone who voices dissent. The CFAA should be found unconstitutional under the void-for-vagueness doctrine of the due process clause. Instead, Congress proposed bills last year which would double the statutory maximum sentences and introduce mandatory minimum sentences, similar to the excessive sentences imposed in drug cases which have been widely opposed by many federal and state judges.

The “Operation Payback” case in San Jose, California is another miscarriage of justice where 16 suspected Anonymous members (including a 16 year old boy) allegedly participated in a denial-of-service action against PayPal in protest of it’s financial blockade of Wikileaks. Denial-of-service does not “exceed authorized access,” as it is virtually indistinguishable from standard web requests. It is more akin to an electronic sit-in protest, overloading the website’s servers making it incapable of serving legitimate traffic, than a criminal act involving stolen private information or destruction of servers. PayPal’s website was only slow or unavailable for a matter of hours, yet these digital activists face prison time of more that 10 years, $250,000 in fines, and felony convictions because the government wants to criminalize this form of internet protest and send a warning to would be Wikileaks supporters.

Another recent case is that of Andrew “Weev” Auernheimer, who last November was convicted under the CFAA. Andrew discovered that AT&T was publishing customer names and email addresses on it’s public-facing website, without password protection, encryption, or firewalls. Instead of acknowledging their own mistake in violating customer privacy, AT&T sought prison time for Andrew. Andrew has defended his actions saying, “We have not only a right as Americans to analyze things that corporations publish and make publicly accessible but perhaps a moral obligation to tell people about it.”

I am currently facing multiple computer hacking conspiracy charges due to my alleged involvement with Anonymous, LulzSec, and AntiSec, groups which have targeted and exposed corruption in government institutions and corporations such as Stratfor, The Arizona Department of Public Safety, and HB Gary Federal. My potential sentence is dramatically increased because the Patriot Act expanded the CFAA’s definition of “loss.” This allowed Stratfor to claim over 5 million dollars in damages, including the exorbitant cost of hiring outside credit protection agencies and “infosec” corporations, purchasing new servers, 1.6 million dollars in “lost potential revenue” for the time their website was down, and even the cost of a 1.3 million dollar settlement for a class action lawsuit filed against them. Coupled with use of “sophisticated means” and “affecting critical infrastructure” sentence enhancements, if convicted at trial I am facing a sentence of 30-years-to-life.

Dirty trial tactics and lengthy sentences are not anomalies but are part of a fundamentally flawed and corrupt two-tiered system of “justice” which seeks to reap profits from the mass incarceration of millions, especially people of color and the impoverished. The use of informants who cooperate in exchange for lighter sentences is not just utilized in the repressive prosecutions of protest movements and manufactured “terrorist” Islamophobic witch-hunts, but also in most drug cases, where defendants face some of the harshest sentences in the world.

For Aaron Swartz, himself facing 13 felony CFAA charges, it is likely that it was this intense pressure from relentless and uncompromising prosecutors, who, while being aware of Aaron’s psychological fragility, continued to demand prison time, that led to his untimely death.

Due to widespread public outrage, there is talk of congressional investigations into the CFAA. But since the same Congress had proposed increased penalties not even one year ago, any efforts at reform are unlikely to be more than symbolic. What is needed is not reform but total transformation; not amendments but abolition. Aaron is a hero to me because he did not wait for those in power to realize his vision and change their game, he sought to change the game himself, and he did so without fear of being labeled a criminal and imprisoned by a backwards system of justice.

We the people demand free and equal access to information and technology. We demand transparency and accountability from governments and big corporations, and privacy for the masses from invasive surveillance networks.

The government will never be forgiven. Aaron Swartz will never be forgotten.

Get involved with the Jeremy’s Support Network at http://FreeHammond.org
On Facebook at facebook.com/supporthammond
On Twitter @Free_Hammond

Please consider mailing a letter, book, or postcard of support to Jeremy while in prison:

Jeremy Hammond – #18729-424
Metropolitan Correctional Center
150 Park Row,
New York, NY 10007

Anonymous Issues Communique Announcing Plans to Disrupt State of the Union Address in Protest of #CISPA

Anonymous Issues Communique Announcing Plans to Disrupt State of the Union Address in Protest of #CISPA

[WASHINGTON, DC]  At approximately 10:22am EST an email address assigned to a Sparrow Project volunteer received a communique by a party identifying itself as the decentralized hacker collective, Anonymous. The communique details a planned effort by the groups’s affiliates online to disrupt the online streaming and syndication of the President’s State of the Union Address, scheduled for 9pm EST.

The communique goes on to elaborate that this action is in response to a proposed executive order that would reinstate the most protested elements of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Information Act (CISPA).

In 2012 a synergistic movement of progressives, legislative reformers, online activists, and autonomous hackers successfully defeated CISPA and another controversial bill, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).

Many credit Aaron Schwartz and the group which he cofounded, Demand Progress, with coordinating the successful campaign to stop these bills.

The following is the communique in its entirety, edit marked in red.

BEGIN COMMUNIQUE

Article II, Sector 3 of the US Constitution, says the President “shall from time to time give to Congress information of the State of the Union and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” At 9PM Eastern Standard Time, February [12], 2013 President Obama has planned to address a joint session of Congress to deliver the State of the Union Address. The following day, President Obama will be introducing an executive order, purportedly aimed at bolstering U.S. cybersecurity, after repeated failed attempts to pass legislation through Congress. Anonymous has reached a verdict of NO CONFIDENCE in this executive order and the plans to reintroduce the CISPA bill to Congress on the same day. As such, President Obama and the State of the Union Address will be BANISHED from the Internet for the duration of live delivery. So as not to infringe upon the President’s free speech, subsequent broadcasts will be allowed to pass unhindered. This action is being taken to underline a fact that appears to be sorely unrecognized by the Obama Administration — that the Internet is a sovereign territory, and does not fall under the jurisdiction of any nation state. We are the natives of this space, and its guardians, and we will fight until death to protect it as a neutral grounds for the unhindered interaction of all members of the human race, so long as they themselves act in harmony with this inviolable principle. Our determination is that President Obama is acting in direct contravention of this principle, and his brief exclusion is an educational, rather than a punitive measure. We hope that its lesson will be learnt. Punitive measures have not been ruled out. — Anonymous

END COMMUNIQUE

We Must Resist ‘This Gross Inversion of Democracy’ Recap of the 11/29 Press Conference in Support of Jeremy Hammond

[New York, NY] On November 29th, 2012, activists, journalists and attorneys gathered for a press conference outside of New York’s Federal Courthouse in support of jailed activist Jeremy Hammond. In a November 20th, 2012 hearing U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska denied bail to the 27-year-old Chicago activist accused of hacking into the private intelligence firm Stratfor and releasing information to Wikileaks, and notified him that, if convicted, he could face 37 years-to-life in prison (transcript).

A November 22nd, 2012 communique from hackers revealed that Judge Preska, herself, had connections to a law firm the government considers “victims” in the Hammond case. The independently verified communique revealed that Preska’s husband, Thomas J Kaveler is an employee of Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP, a current Stratfor client and associate, and moreover was himself a victim of the alleged hack (Kaveler’s Stratfor issued user ID is 234103). Court reporters have confirmed to The Sparrow Project that, Judge Preska was made aware of the published connection between her husband & Stratfor and that her husband’s Stratfor-related information was published by Wikileaks, they went on to indicate that Preska was aware of the connection long before the November 22nd communique. Moreover, Preska indicated that this personal connection to the Hammond case “would not effect her ability to be impartial.”

At the November 29th press conference, John Knefel, a journalist and cohost of Radio Dispatch highlighted Preska’s distinct conflict of interest and went on to reveal to the press in attendance that Preska, herself, was in fact formerly an associate at Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP. While Preska’s personal information was not unearthed by the hack or released by Wikileaks, this prior professional association with government-named victims in the Hammond case underscores her inability to preside over the Hammond case in the impartial manner awarded to him by the constitution.

Activists are calling on Preska to recuse herself before formal motions are filed by Hammond’s attorneys on Monday, December 3, 2012. On Monday, attorneys for Hammond will file an official motion for Preska’s recusal as well as a motion for a new bail hearing.

The Sparrow Project will be collecting statements of support for Jeremy Hammond and posting them for free use below. Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Chris Hedges, as well as other prominent activists and journalists have joined the call for a fair trial for Jeremy Hammond. Statements of support can be emailed to info@sparrowmedia.net

3 SIMPLE WAYS TO HELP JEREMY HAMMOND

1.) WRITE JEREMY!
Send Jeremy a letter, postcard, or even a book (needs to be mailed directly from publisher or seller like Amazon) to help brighten his day while incarcerated. Letters & books can be mailed to…

Jeremy Hammond 18729-424
Metropolitan Correctional Center
150 Park Row
New York, New York, 10007

2.) DONATE TO JEREMY’S LEGAL DEFENSE!
You can make a credit card donation to Jeremy’s legal defense fund (controlled by his family) via wepay.com at THIS LINK

3.) DONATE A TWEET OR FACEBOOK POST!
With this simple online tool you can donate one tweet (or Facebook post) a day to our efforts. The Sparrow Project will publish statements of support for Jeremy (like the ones below) from influential figures. Your donated posts will help us widen the audience that is exposed to this important story. Simply visit THIS LINK and click donate!


STATEMENT FROM CHRIS HEDGES

Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist
The security and surveillance state is creating a hermetically closed system of power. It is doing this by rewriting laws to subvert the Constitution and grant itself the ability to criminalize all forms of dissent. The FISA Amendment Act, the Authorization to Use Military Force Act, the enhanced terrorism laws, the misuse of the Espionage Act to silence whistle blowers, and the National Defense Authorization Act, section 1021, which empowers the government to use the military to seize and detain U.S. citizens, strip citizens of due process and hold them in indefinite detention, are chilling examples of a new America, an America where liberty and freedom have become a hollow cliché.

Nearly all of the government’s actions and decisions, many of which violate our most cherished civil liberties and defy the Constitutional call for a separation of powers, are now effectively hidden from the public. These decisions are beyond the scrutiny of the press or the judiciary. At the same time, we as citizens have no privacy left. The government has handed to itself the capacity to carry out the warrantless wiretapping, monitoring and eves dropping of tens of millions of citizens. Our personal data, correspondent, histories, employment records, private activities, phone logs, emails exchanges, travel and political views are stored in perpetuity in government supercomputers. We are the most monitored, spied on, photographed, listened to and watched population in human history. Our security and surveillance state now dwarfs the cruder forms of internal control of past totalitarian states, from Nazi Germany to the Stasi state in East Germany to Stalin’s Soviet Union. Anyone, including whistle blowers at the National Security Agency or the CIA, who attempts to bring to light government crimes, as we have seen with the Obama administration’s use of the Espionage Act six times to silence dissidents within the system, is hounded, persecuted and faces the possibility of long prison terms.

Those who have the skills and capacity to electronically enter these closed systems of information terrify the state. They are treated not as criminals but as terrorists. They are denied fair trials. They are imprisoned in conditions that can only be described as torture. They are subject to murky statutes and laws that make a mockery of democracy and have no place in an open society. And the state, when it confronts those who have this capacity, uses everything at its disposal to destroy these opponents.

We are not asking today for very much. We are asking for a fair hearing in a court of law. We are asking that Jeremy Hammond be permitted to present his case before a judge who does not have a personal involvement in his alleged activities, a personal involvement that will clearly prejudice the outcome. Hammond has enough stacked against him already. It at least deserves a chance at justice.

It is a sad commentary on U.S. society that it is we, the dissidents, who call for the rule of law while the power elite and the organs of the state distort and subvert the rule of law. Our society has been turned upside down. We need to resist in every way possible this gross inversion of democracy not only for Hammond but, finally, for ourselves.

Chris Hedges
Princeton, New Jersey
November 29, 2012

 


STATEMENT FROM SAIF ANSARI

Media Relations for the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal
The Wikileaks are telling in that, despite repeated assertions that it has no outstanding liability for Bhopal, the corporate giant Dow Chemical decided to hire the intelligence and surveillance company Stratfor to spy on and monitor Bhopal activists from 2004 to 2011. In fact, as late as March Dow CEO Andrew Liveris argued that ongoing outrage about Bhopal absolutely did not pose a threat to Dow. But If, as Dow holds, Bhopal is a nonissue and all grievances are settled, why did Dow enlist Stratfor to, e.g. gather information about the current and former staff of the ICJB, document the ICJB’s online activity, as well as that of the UK-based Bhopal Medical Appeal, and report events and programs held by the Yes Men? The global outcry over Dow’s sponsorship of the 2012 Summer Olympics and subsequent public relations fiasco confirmed that, on the contrary, the issue of Bhopal remains more important than ever. If anything the leaks show that however much Dow tries to downplay Bhopal in public, that behind closed doors it is very much concerned about it.

Wikileaks released on February 27th reveal that Dow hired Stratfor, a private US company, to spy on and monitor activists who campaign for justice for the 1984 Bhopal, India gas disaster, from July 2004 to December 2011. They include emails between Dow and Stratfor that document, in the form of regular updates, the identities of current and former staff of the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal, emails exchanged on the ICJB public listserv, and ICJB conference programs and schedules, as well as tweets, Facebook posts and press releases by the UK Bhopal Medical Appeal. Also recorded are dates and locations of speaking events and film screenings by the Yes Men, who in 2004 as part of a hoax impersonated Dow on TV and accepted responsibility for the disaster.

Dow used Stratfor to monitor coverage of Bhopal in the news as well, both in India and abroad, in connection with the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, of which Dow is a sponsor, actions held around the anniversary of the disaster, such as last year’s “Rail Roko” action in Bhopal, and comparisons between Bhopal and the BP oil spill. Stratfor also monitored developments in ongoing court cases in India and in the US concerning Bhopal. Throughout Strafor meticulously recorded whether Dow’s relation to Bhopal was portrayed in a negative light or not in the media.

Granted, the intelligence rounded up by Stratfor is not secret: it is all public knowledge, available, e.g., on the ICJB website and public listserv, and can be collected in the main by anyone with competence enough to use Facebook, RSS feeds and Google Reader. But for a company that vehemently denies responsibility for the disaster (which in 1984 killed tens of thousands, injured and afflicted with permanent illnesses many times more, and continues to, via the contamination of drinking water in around the disaster site) and argues that all past grievances are settled, Dow sure is concerned. Why contract Stratfor if Bhopal is a nonissue?

Is it because, contra Dow, both US and Indian courts continue to debate Dow’s liability? That in 2011 the Indian supreme court produced a curative petition, in an effort to secure just compensation for the victims, more than the meager amount allotted to them in 1999? Is it because, against Dow’s hand-waving and nay-saying to the contrary, citizens the world over are outraged that Dow, responsible for not only Bhopal, but for dioxin poisoning in Midland, Michigan, the production of napalm in the Vietnam War, and the second greatest amount of toxic waste production in the US, is a sponsor of the 2012 Summer Olympics, allegedly the greenest yet? Is it because coverage of Bhopal in the news threatens Dow, against Andrew Liveris, who in a recent interview denied that it did? Or is it because, at bottom, Dow refuses to acknowledge responsibility for the worst industrial disaster in history, and is determined to evade justice for as long as it can?

The ICJB welcomes Dow’s interest in Bhopal, however disingenuous. But rather than collect intelligence on activists, Dow should use its time, money and resources to instead carry out justice for Bhopal once and for all, to wit, acceptance of responsibility for the disaster, just compensation the victims, and clean-up of the disaster site. In the meanwhile the ICJB reiterates its commitment to Bhopal, and pledges to campaign for justice, in the face of Dow’s wiles and efforts to evade it.

 


STATEMENT FROM ANDY BICHLBAUM

Cofounder of The Yes Men!
Whoever was responsible for the release of the Stratfor emails, i want to thank him or her from the bottom of my heart. Whoever released these emails performed a function that’s an integral part of democracy, as surely as voting or running for public office.
Whether through civil disobedience or investigative reporting, which this is sort of in-between, exposing evildoing is, indeed, an integral part of democracy, that we utterly depend on.

There are many ways to expose evildoing and fight against it. In Bhopal, a number of folks have been doing it for 28 years, ever since ever since a chemical plant in their city exploded in 1984, killing 3000 in one night and 20,000 more across the years. Their main target is the Dow Chemical company, the company ultimately responsible for the disaster. To try to hold Dow accountable, the activists there have gone on hunger strikes, marches from Bhopal to delhi, and so on. They’ve had a lot of success getting attention for it in India, and have recently gotten the Indian government to reopen long-closed investigations.

Their real target, though, is Dow. And since Dow has no legal recourse against these activists, can’t stop them – they’ve spent large amounts of money to hire Stratfor to spy on their victims in Bhopal, to find out what moves their victims might make next.

No one would have found out about this sick situation if there hadn’t been this leak of millions of emails, of which Jeremy is accused.

Whoever did this leak exposed a lot of other corporate wrongdoing too – Stratfor was also spying on Occupy, PETA, Wikileaks, Anonymous… oh, and the Yes Men.

Yes, us. They were spying on us because in 2004, we joined the Bhopal activists in trying to shame Dow into providing redress for the 1984 disaster. We set up a fake Dow website and got ourselves invited by the BBC to speak on the 20th anniversary of the disaster as Dow. We announced to the world that we, Dow, were going to compensate the victims, clean up the site, and basically do everything that Dow should.

The world loved the announcement – but the market punished Dow by cutting billions off its stock value. There was an enormous amount of press, and millions of people found out about Dow’s responsibility for the world’s biggest industrial disaster.

Publicly, Dow said nothing. Privately, they paid Stratfor lots of money to spy on us.

That’s very sinister – but it’s also very flattering. It means that Dow and other companies see us – and the Bhopal victims, and Occupy – as a threat. A threat that can actually change things. Which it can – maybe not with each action, but cumulatively. Thanks to the activists in Bhopal, and the Occupy movement, and the millions of activists who are fighting in their own ways to bring evildoers to their knees… slowly but surely, inexorably, all these people are bringing democracy to America, just as it’s always happened.

That’s kind of what we Yes Men learned when we connected with the Occupy movement, who Stratfor also spied on, and discovered that all the activism, that sometimes seems pointless, actually does have a great effect: the Occupy movement, for example, itself the product of so much activism before it, profoundly shaped the presidential election, and continues to have even profounder effects.

The bad guys know this. And they should also know that as long companies like Dow fight people, people will fight back. As long as companies like Stratfor fight in extra-legal, unethical ways to keep tabs on those fighting for positive change, they can expect to be brought down again and again and again no matter how hard they try to put the lid on it, no matter who they try to put in jail. (you can read the full text of Andy’s Statement HERE)

 

Activists & Journalists Demand NYPD Accountability for #N15 Occupy Wall Street Eviction Abuses

Activists & Journalists Demand NYPD Accountability for #N15 Occupy Wall Street Eviction Abuses

[New York, NY] On November 15th, 2011, the NYPD evicted Occupy Wall Street’s Zuccotti Park encampment. The department’s Technical Assistance Response Unit (TARU) was on site to videotape the eviction and Mayor Michael Bloomberg took the controversial step of imposing a media blackout.

On Sunday, September 23rd this TARU footage, totaling over 60 hours, was released to the public by an unknown party. We have logged much of this footage on our wiki. Although heavily edited, this footage reveals widespread police misconduct including arbitrary arrests, physical abuse, and press suppression.

The behavior of “Bloomberg’s Army” has been condemned by the United Nations rapporteur on Human Rights, and well-documented by the NYU School of Law and Fordham Law School, which concluded: “‘All the case studies we collected show the police are violating basic rights consistently, and the level of impunity is shocking,’ said Sarah Knuckey, a professor of Clinical Law at NYU and one of the lead authors of the report. ‘The point needs to be made that NYPD does not exemplify international human rights law, it violates it.’”

We demand:

● The release of ALL unedited TARU footage pertaining to Occupy Wall Street protests. We plan on filing “right-to-know” requests to achieve this. We encourage others to do so as well. It is important that the NYPD not permitted to redact their crimes against peaceful protesters and journalists.

● A truly independent investigation by an agency (such as the investigation undertaken of the Oakland Police Department) outside New York City into the NYPD’s brutal and illegal behavior the night of November 15th, 2011, as well as the legality of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s media blackout. All offending parties must be held accountable – from Mayor Bloomberg to rank-and-file police officers.

● An end to police oppression in minority communities and the abhorrent practice of “Stop-and- Frisk.”

We stand in solidarity with @ChangeTheNYPD, people of color and the LGBT community who are brutalized and wronged by police throughout New York City, the country and world.

Interview requests and media requests regarding the NYPDTapes Wiki should be directed at NYPDTapes@gmail.com.  You can follow the NYPDTapes project on twitter at @NYPDTapes