Please read our call for an International Week of Solidarity with the NATO 5 and start planning your event or action! You can find our beautiful event poster and support pamphlet on our Resources page!
Will you be in Chicago during the Week of Solidarity? Then join us at these awesome solidarity events!
Defend the NATO 5—Anniversary Benefit at the Ribcage
Thursday, 5/16, 8pm–12:30am
3036 N Lincoln Ave., #3B
$10 suggested donation
Live music, food & drink, featuring Cavepainters and other local revolutionary musicians
NOISE DEMO—Cook County Jail
Friday, 5/17, 5pm
Rescheduled to Saturday, 5/25 at 5pm to avoid conflicts with other demonstrations.
NATO in Chicago, One Year Later—A Panel, Discussion & Organizing Update
Saturday, 5/18, 4pm–7pm
Trinity Church, 400 W. 95th Pl.
$5-10 suggested donation, food provided by Pilsen Food Not Bombs
Speakers include Andy Thayer (CANG8), Kelly Hayes (Occupy Rogers Park), Steven Horn (Truthout). Moderated by Sarah Wild of the NATO 5 Defense Committee.
Punk Rock Karaoke Benefit for the NATO 3!
Saturday, 5/18, 8pm–2am
Underground Lounge, 952 W. Newport Ave.
21+, $5 at the door
Support the NATO 3 Defense Fund by rocking out to your favorite punk rock songs!
NOISE DEMO—Cook County Jail
Saturday, 5/25, 5pm
Meet at the fountain near 26th St. & California. Bring noise makers, musical instruments, and banners! Voice your solidarity with the 10,000 held captive in CCJ!
In the days leading up to the Chicago NATO summit in May 2012, five anti-NATO activists were prememptively arrested after undercover informants infiltrated the Occupy movement. Co-defendants Brent Betterly, Jared Chase, and Brian Church were charged with 11 felonies, some of which were brought under the Illinois state terrorism statute. Their attorneys challenged the terrorism statute as unconstitutional on its face and as applied to this case, but the judge denied their motion to dismiss the terrorism charges on March 27, 2013. The NATO 3 trial is currently scheduled for mid-September 2013. In two separate cases, Sebastian Senakiewicz was charged with falsely making a terrorist threat and took a non-cooperating plea deal in November 2012. Mark Neiweem ws charged with soliciting materials for an explosive device and probation violation. He took a non-cooperating plea deal in April 2013 and was sentenced to 3 years in prison. All 5 defendants remain incarcerated.
These cases are linked by a common thread–undercover Chicago police officers who targeted and entrapped the activists because of their politics. They are also part of a broader pattern of state repression against political activists, in which charging activists as terrorists is one of many strategies being used to silence dissent and dismantle activist communities. Other recent cases in which activists have been targeted include the Cleveland 4, the Green Scare cases, and the Pacific Northwest Grand Jury resisters.
More information about the defendants and their cases can be found by navigating through the links at the top of the website. You can also donate to the support fund through the link at the top right of each page, as donations are urgently needed for legal and prisoner support needs. To keep up-to-date, sign up for our announcements listserv (see the sidebar at the right), find us on Facebook at Free the NATO 5!, and follow us on Twitter @FreeNATO5.