‘Occupy’ Chicago Rallies For NATO 5, Wikileaks Hacker
Members of the “Occupy Chicago” and Anarchist Black Cross groups rallied on Tuesday in support of five men accused to trying to sabotage the NATO summit last May, and a computer hacker accused of providing classified documents to Wikileaks.
The protesters demonstrated outside the Cook County Jail, where one of the NATO 5, Mark Neiweem, was having a status hearing on his case.
Rachel Unterman of Occupy Chicago said Neiweem, who is accused of trying buy explosives to attack the summit, is really being locked up for his political beliefs. She contends the five men were “trapped into saying things that they shouldn’t have” and “had no intention to commit violence.”
One of the NATO 5, Polish immigrant Sebastian ‘Sabi’ Senakiewicz, 24, recently accepted a plea deal that gave him 4 months in a “boot camp” that will see him released before his case goes to trial.
Supporters of Senakiewicz claim he was drunk when he told an undercover FBI agent his intentions to firebomb the NATO summit. Authorities found no contraband that could be used in an attack in his home.
The other three NATO 5 members, Brian Jacob Church, Jared Chase, and Brent Betterly, appeared in court on Monday for a discovery hearing, reports the People’s Law Office. The discovery deadline was extended to February 25, 2013, and a new trial date of September 16, 2013 was set. The day marks one day before the two-year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street.
Unterman also corresponds with Chicago native Jeremy Hammond, 27, who has been arrested on March 5 for hacking into the Stratfor computer systems and providing classified information to Wikileaks. Because he was being arraigned in New York City the same day, the rally also showed support for his cause.
“Jeremy is one of many speaking of the injustices and facing prison from the hands of the state,” Jeremy’s brother, Jason, said at the protest.
Friends and supporters rallied in Manhattan’s Foley Square in support of Hammond.
According to Chicagoist, Hammond’s rap sheet includes “a conviction for burning a 2016 Olympics banner in Daley Plaza; a 2005 conviction for stealing credit card data from a conservative website; an arrest at the Republican National Convention in 2004; marijuana arrests in 2004 and 2010, and a 2009 arrest for violently disrupting a talk by a Holocaust denier.”
He also hacked into the conservative activist website Protest Warrior in 2007, stealing some 5,000 credit card numbers. He plead guilty and served two years in a medium-security prison and paid US$5,358 to the owners of the website.
Hammond was reportedly brought down in his latest adventure by FBI informant Hector Xavier Monsegur, who was facing 105 years in federal prison if he could not assist the FBI in identifying and apprehending alleged members of Anonymous and Lulz Security.