Violence advocates in Cleveland forget rule #2: "The guy who knows where to get the explosives is always from the FBI"
And in solidarity*, I'm not putting "shit the bed" into the headline. Here's the Cleveland Occupy Statement:
While the persons arrested Monday evening by the FBI have participated in Occupy Cleveland events, they were in no way representing or acting on behalf of Occupy Cleveland. Occupy Cleveland has affirmed the principles of non-violence since its inception on October 6, 2011.
Douglas L. Wright, 26; Brandon L. Baxter, 20; and Anthony Hayne, 35, were arrested by members of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force on the evening of April 30, 2012, on charges of conspiracy and attempted use of explosive materials to damage physical property affecting interstate commerce. Also arrested were Connor C. Stevens, 20, and Joshua S. Stafford, 23, and charges are pending against them.
Interestingly, the charges aren't terrorism (unless that's the "conspiracy" part) and aren't NDAA or any of the other exotic quas-legal instruments. And as usual:
The public was never in danger from the explosive devices, which were controlled by an undercover FBI employee. The defendants were closely monitored by law enforcement. The explosives that the defendants allegedly purchased and attempted to use were inoperable...
According to the criminal complaint, last October the men began discussing plans to knock bank signs off of buildings in Cleveland. The men allegedly discussed the idea of using smoke grenades on the Veterans Memorial Bridge in Cleveland to create a diversion while they carried out their plan to topple the bank signs [professionals, totally].
Wright, the alleged ringleader, also allegedly discussed trying to recruit homeless people from shelters [totally non-exploitative, that] to carry out his plans to attack symbols of corporate and financial institutions. ...
"Taking out a Bridge in the business district would cost the … corporate big wigs [does anybody really talk like that? That smells funny] a lot of money," Baxter allegedly said. [Yes, by Baxter's standards. Move Your Money probably cost them more]
Wright and Baxter also discussed trying to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank in Cleveland, as well as attacking a new casino in the city, a NATO summit in Chicago [the setup!] and the Republican National Convention [more setup!] in Tampa, Florida, according to the complaint.
The FBI said they used the informant [cheap at $5,750] to facilitate the men getting C4 explosives that they would use to target the bridge. According to the criminal complaint Stevens and Stafford were recruited towards the end of their planning to help them execute the attack. The men were arrested as they allegedly arranged to pick up the explosives.
The FBI claims it's not investigating Occupy. Which has to be a lie because, this stupidity would all be totally A-OK under Diversity of Tactics:
The men had been associated with the anti-corporate Occupy Cleveland movement but don't share its non-violent views, organizer Debbie Kline said.
"They were in no way representing or acting on behalf of Occupy Cleveland," Kline said in an email canceling the group's May Day protest Tuesday at a GE Lighting plant in view of the arrests of the "autonomous group" [note the jargon] of five.
The FBI’s affadavit suggests that there was never actually a serious “plot.” The gang tossed around the idea of “taking out” a bridge in order to stop people from getting to work, but they also thought maybe they could use their (pretend) C4 on a Klan rally, or a neo-Nazi organization, or an oil well, or the Federal Reserve Bank. They eventually decided to maybe sink a ship. All of their many plans were super serious and well-thought out. (“To prevent capture, he suggested getting tacks that they could throw out of the back of a car if they get in a chase.”) Eventually they settled on the bridge thing, sort of, and bought fake IEDs from the guy they already suspected was a cop.
In other words, these are a bunch of dumbasses even by the standards of amateur “black bloc” dumbasses. Do you know how I know these morons weren’t serious? They planned to download the Anarchist Cookbook and follow its notoriously awful instructions. Every experienced anarchist knows that the Feds have a mole in your group house, but these guys were mainly concerned with having someone’s “hacker friend” explain to them how bitcoins work. Without the FBI’s intervention the most damage these idiots would’ve ever caused is a broken Starbucks window. So thank god they’re off the streets, and congrats to the FBI for getting this tale of dangerous, bomb-planting anarchists onto the news broadcasts on the day of Occupy’s big May Day action.
So, er, serious, non-dumbass violence advocates would be full of win? I await the views of the usual suspects... Ten, nine, counting, eight....
NOTE * To be clear, we should have solidarity with these guys because they're human and their situation is full of pathos. But for that reason.
NOTE The timing is pretty crude, even by FBI standards. Too bad Obama's campaign stop in Kabul sucked all the oxygen out of the story. I imagine they've got something cooked up for Chicago as well.
NOTE Rule #1: The first one to propose violence is always the cop.