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ensho Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 11:25 AM
Original message
Indiana Criminalizes Dissent

http://counterpunch.com/higgs05012009.html


Roadblocks on the NAFTA Highway


Standing on a table and shouting at public meetings is a felony in Indiana and amounts to Racketeering if the offender is a member of an organized citizens group, according to arrest warrants issued April 17 in Pike County for two anti-NAFTA Highway protesters.

In the documents, Pike County Prosecutor Darrin McDonald and a state police officer allege that direct actions by members of the Roadblock EarthFirst! group between June 2007 and August 2008 are felonies under the Indiana Corrupt Business Influence Act, punishable by up to eight years in state prison. The law is Indianas version of the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, a.k.a. RICO.

Two activists Hugh F. Farrell and Gina. A. Tiga Wertz were arrested on April 26 and charged with four misdemeanors and felony racketeering for anti-Interstate 69 actions in Petersburg, Oakland City, Evansville and Bloomington. Farrell was released April 28 on bond. Wertz remained in jail as of

According to the documents, the state believes that citizens organized to discourage public projects like I-69 are organized criminals.

-long snip-
--------------------------

none of this is fair

has Indiana lost its mind?
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Proud Liberal Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 12:00 PM
Response to Original message
1. In a word........Yes!!!
Although there are probably some (myself among them) that speculate that it's been gone for a long time. Well, I should probably walk that back a little since Marion County (Indianapolis) isn't so bad and Indiana DID....barely....go "blue" for Obama this past election. However, we also re-elected Bush's former Budget Director *itch Daniels *ugh* and our legislature......well......I don't really have anything great to say about even our Democrats in our legislature nor our one in the US Senate (Bayh). So, unfortunately, such right-wing mindlessness and stupidity is, unfortunately, rather unsurprising and "par for the course" here. Let's just say I can't recall a time when I was ever bursting with "Hoosier Pride" (although I felt a little better when we went for Obama- never thought THAT would ever happen). :eyes:
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bluebellbaby Donating Member (275 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 12:02 PM
Response to Original message
2. Ain't it just wonderful...Hay...we should then prosecute those Political Groups Too
Edited on Sat May-02-09 12:03 PM by bluebellbaby
So when any political group organizes for something they want...they should be prosecuted as organized criminals...

Sounds wonderful...

Maybe we should make a list of these "groups" and demand that the members be arrested...

Say like...any PAC Groups...

Whadda think?

Like these:

http://nationalrepublicantrust.com /


Or This one:

http://www.northernvirginiagop.com /

This one you'll love, I know...

http://www.foxnews.com /


Oh...wait...then they could come after us too...Let me think about this for a minute...


Oh you say they already are...

WELL THEN...LET'S GO AFTER THEM!



:popcorn:
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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 05:02 PM
Response to Reply #2
32. I agree.
PACs would be especially vulnerable under this interpretation of the RICO statutes.
They are openly offering BRIBES.
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Metta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 12:03 PM
Response to Original message
3. Signs of increasing totalitarianism. Sorry to hear it. Means more work for the ACLU.
Some people have to go around the block to learn about next door.
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 12:07 PM
Response to Original message
4. They aren't being charged for protesting. The four misdemeanors are:
Edited on Sat May-02-09 12:13 PM by Occam Bandage
Misdemeanor Intimidation for forcibly taking control of the 1-69 Section 2 Project Office in Petersburg, Indiana and thereafter removing office furniture, equipment and the personal checkbook of Ronnie Wilson from the said office, posting a bogus Eviction Notice;

Misdemeanor Intimidation for forcibly taking control of the 1-69 Section 2 Project Office in Petersburg, Indiana and thereafter removing office furniture, equipment and the personal checkbook of Ronnie Wilson from the said office, posting a bogus "Eviction Notice";

Misdemeanor Conversion for knowingly exerting unauthorized control over the property of the 1-69 section 2 Project office towit: office furniture and equipment; and

Misdemeanor Conversion for knowingly exerting unauthorized control over the property of the 1-69 section 2 Project office manager, Ronnie Wilson to-wit his personal checkbook.


Yeah. If you break into someone's office and take their things, that is a crime. As for the RICO violations? Given that they were involved in a conspiracy to deliberately commit crimes to threaten, terrorize, and intimidate a business, it may be a fair charge.

Telling someone, "you will suffer the consequences...perhaps we'll go to your homes, childrens daycare, churches or wherever else you turn your back," is not protesting; it is a threat. Breaking into a private office while wearing masks to personally threaten employees is not protesting; it is criminal. Breaking into an office and taking someone's checkbook is not protesting; it is theft.
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bluebellbaby Donating Member (275 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 12:18 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Please be careful how you use the word "Terrorist"
You'r equating political expression with terrorism...scary...

Pretty soon any dissent will be termed "terrorism"...

Ingenious idea...taking all the furniture and putting up a sign...

I will state for the record I don't condone stealing...but you have to give it to them...pretty smart idea...a tad funny...

Now...don't get your panties wet...if it happened to me I wouldn't be happy either...but to equate their actions to Rackateering is a "re-definition" and an "expansion" of the term that can be used against anyone who protests...don't like it at all..

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Posteritatis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 12:45 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. A term that can be used against anyone who commits a crime while protesting
Edited on Sat May-02-09 12:45 PM by Posteritatis
While I think it's a bit silly to call it racketeering, if someone breaks into a site and steal things, they'd better get arrested. If they do it with the assistance of others, those others deserve to get arrested too. Makes no difference to me if it's the neighbor's house or the CIA director's office or anything in between those. (Well, okay, I wouldn't mind if the neighbors got cleaned out, but you try living next to a clone of Home Improvement's Tim Taylor for a decade..)

It may come as a surprise, but people who break the law are breaking the law.

Also, the word "terrorize" has existed prior to 9/11; not every use of it is trying to equate something with that ridiculously fuzzy monolithic concept of 'terrorism' that Bush has gotten most of the planet using in the last eight years.
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bluebellbaby Donating Member (275 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 12:57 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. That's the point I think of the original post., they were charged under
Edited on Sat May-02-09 01:01 PM by bluebellbaby
A rackateering statue...its crazy...

They could have been charged with "breaking and entering" or "theft"....no they were prosecuted with a misdemeanor intimidation...

Thus equating their actions as "terrorism"

See below:



ter⋅ror⋅ize   /ˈtɛrəˌraɪz/ Show Spelled Pronunciation Show IPA
verb (used with object), -ized, -iz⋅ing. 1. to fill or overcome with terror.
2. to dominate or coerce by intimidation.
3. to produce widespread fear by acts of violence, as bombings.
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:11 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. And "post" can also mean a stick in the ground, and "charge"
Edited on Sat May-02-09 01:16 PM by Occam Bandage
can also mean to run after an enemy to attack them, and "point" can also mean a sharp end of an object, and "under" can also mean physically below.

Yet I would not criticize you for saying "That's the sharp end of the primordial stick in the ground; they were attacked beneath a racketeering statue." That is not what you meant.

Similarly, you should not criticize me for calling them terrorists, because I did not. They were indeed attempting successfully "to dominate or coerce by intimidation." They were terrorizing.
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bluebellbaby Donating Member (275 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #10
23. Stealing office furniture is the same as intimidation???
I don't get the logic...

"terrorize, and intimidate a business"...your quote...how is stealing the furniture and putting a sign up "terrorizing or coerce by intimidation" as you state???

So, if someone steals my car (and my purse is in there)...they...by your definition are "coercing me by intimidation"?

To terrorize and to be a terrorist are almost the same thing...

I'm sorry...to terrorize--a verb and terrorist---a noun...



Main Entry: terror
Pronunciation: \ˈter-ər, ˈte-rər\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French terrour, from Latin terror, from terrēre to frighten; akin to Greek trein to be afraid, flee, tremein to tremble more at tremble
Date: 14th century
1: a state of intense fear
2 a: one that inspires fear : scourge b: a frightening aspect <the terrors of invasion> c: a cause of anxiety : worry d: an appalling person or thing ; especially : brat
3: reign of terror
4: violent or destructive acts (as bombing) committed by groups in order to intimidate a population or government into granting their demands <insurrection and revolutionary terror>

Look all I was saying was that to use the term terrorize in this context is stretching it...and by using the that term to describe these "buttheads" and their actions is "blurring" the lines...

With your same logic...

I could claim that our discussion here "terrorizes" me...and that's completely absurd...

You claim that by their very funny and albeit illegal act of stealing office furniture they have terrorized...

This is really crazy...and frightening to say the least...where or when did they threaten these people? Or "coerce by intimidation"?

Oh that's right they left a note on the door...







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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 03:30 PM
Response to Reply #23
28. "where or when did they threaten these people?"
When they told them, "you will suffer the consequences...in your homes and in your children's daycare." That is a threat. They were threatening further violence against property and potentially against life and limb to demand others act as they want. That is coercion.

Are you saying it's completely non-intimidating to burst into someone's office wearing masks, to break their windows, to destroy their equipment, to shout threats at them, to steal their property in front of them? That if some masked people were to do the same to you, you would not feel intimidated?
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:07 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. I said "terrorize," not "terrorist."
As for racketeering? Like I said, I'm not sure the charge will stick. But I think it's a bit off to completely deny the charge. They weren't just protesting; they were physically intimidating employees in their own offices while taking their checkbooks and their furniture. That's stuff the mob would do.
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tuckessee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. I thought RICO was for going after the mafia leaders...
...and other professional organized crime figures who had proven hard to prosecute due to the secretive and insular nature of their organizations, not for anyone who commits a crime and also belongs to a group.

The "alarmists" who said years ago that RICO would be abused are once again proven correct.

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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:12 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. The RICO charge may not be wholly appropriate, but
to claim it is a criminalization of dissent is false. The people in question were not dissenting; they were intimidating, stealing, and threatening as an organized group.
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Telly Savalas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 10:44 PM
Response to Reply #11
39. First they came for the people who stole the office furniture...
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #4
15. I guess you don't remember the days of sit-in protests of the
Vietnam War. Back then they were known as an expression of freedom of speech. I can't say that this is any different.
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:22 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. You think breaking windows is "an expression of freedom of speech?"
Edited on Sat May-02-09 01:23 PM by Occam Bandage
How about stealing checkbooks? Telling people you'll make them "suffer the consequences" at their "homes" and their "children's daycare?" That's all protected speech?
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. It used to be.
I'll admit that taking the checkbooks is theft, but threats are just that, mostly hot air and really aren't a crime until action is taken or shouldn't be anyway. Applying RICO laws to dissenters, however misguided, is very heavy handed IMHO.
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Danger Mouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:28 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. So threats now are acceptable forms of protest?
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Posteritatis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 02:13 PM
Response to Reply #20
25. If you don't like the people being threatened, I guess it's okay! (nt)
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:31 PM
Response to Reply #19
22. Breaking windows has never been protected speech.
Edited on Sat May-02-09 01:32 PM by Occam Bandage
Threats can be depending on the situation, but when the threats are delivered by masked people who have broken into your office, have broken your windows, have destroyed office property, and who are attempting to physically dominate you, then I really do not think the incident should be dismissed as "hot air."

I certainly would not think, "hm, this person who has entered my office, destroyed my desk, thrown my documents all over the floor, broken my window, and is threatening to harm my children is simply expressing their dissatisfaction with my job in an appropriate manner." I would think, "this person is using violence and threats of further violence to intimidate me." And I think that any reasonable person would think so as well.

I agree RICO laws may not be appropriate here (though I am not convinced they are not), but either way they aren't being applied to dissent. They're being applied to property destruction, theft, and intimidation.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 02:20 PM
Response to Reply #22
26. Back in the 60s when protests got physical, windows got broken. Cars got
Edited on Sat May-02-09 02:22 PM by Cleita
vandalized. Protesters were arrested for vandalism and the judge usually made them pay restitution. They weren't charged with racketeering. Applying racketeering laws to these protesters is very Nazi to me. When Communists and Socialists marched in the streets of Germany, they were stopped, sometimes shot on the spot or thrown into concentration camps and tortured and then executed. Their crime was disagreeing with the Nazis. Yes, sometimes windows were broken and vandalism occurred. Often shots were fired from both sides, but only the Nazis turned it into a crime punishable with imprisonment and often torture and death. This is a slippery slope and anyone who thinks it's okay in America are probably the same people who thought torturing Muslims was necessary for information.

I guess I'm a little jaded about threats. I used to be a bartender and got threats on a daily basis from some low life I had to cut off of his swill. It was mostly hot air.
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 03:25 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. Yes. And that was not considered "free speech" then, either.
This has nothing to do with dissent, protesting, or anything of the sort. It has to do with people who were waging an organized campaign of violent intimidation for political purposes. Whether the RICO charges are appropriate or not, there's only one side in this story that remotely deserves to be equated with the brownshirts, and it's the "protesters."
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 03:56 PM
Response to Reply #27
30. Protesting was considered free speech back then. I was there.
Vandalism was considered vandalism and theft considered theft. All three could be present in the same place. Please don't create straw men out of this. I was at a protest of LBJ in LA because of his war stance. College students were trampled by police horses and hosed down with water canons. The city was sued for damages and injuries as a result. It's a two way street you see.
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 11:29 AM
Response to Reply #30
43. Yes. And if you stole things and broke things in the '60s, you would go to jail, same as now,
Edited on Sun May-03-09 11:43 AM by Occam Bandage
because those are not free speech. I do not deny that the people were exercising free speech. They were also stealing, vandalizing, and making illegal threats. "Free speech" does not justify whatever else one engages in; if you were to rape someone while delivering a discourse against the Iraq war, you would certainly be engaging in free speech, but you should still go to jail. Because, you know, you were also engaging in rape.

And however noble they believed their intent, they had an organized conspiracy to deliberately commit crimes, meaning they can be charged under RICO.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 01:33 PM
Response to Reply #43
53. Okay you finally made some sense.
"...they can be charged under RICO."

That doesn't mean they should be charged under RICO. It's way too extreme when there are laws in place that aren't that Draconian. In Nazi Germany, people were thrown into concentration camps if they were Jewish and went shopping, because Hitler had made it illegal for Jews to shop in many venues. This heavy handed use of a law designed to bring in really bad criminals smacks of the same extremism.
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intheflow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 05:08 PM
Response to Reply #19
33. This is the same argument anti-choice activists put forward
when their protests/blocks of abortion clinics were termed racketeering--for the same reason, threatening people. Yet the left cheered when that ruling went down. Likewise, freepers think they're exercising free speech when they say they should kill Obama but we don't think its OTT when the secret service pays them a visit. I agree there's a difference between threats and action, but these folks moved from just threats to action. If they threatened to target people at their homes, the fact they broke into their businesses and stole things is an indication that their threats upon peoples' private lives may also be acted upon. I have no desire to see free speech stifled, but threats are threats and should be taken seriously. Just because we agree with a political stance doesn't mean we have to condone a particular bad behavior.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 05:37 PM
Response to Reply #33
34. Those threats are not the same as racketeering.
Edited on Sat May-02-09 05:39 PM by Cleita
All I'm saying is let the legal definition of a crime being committed fit the crime. There are threats that should be taken seriously and then there are threats that are nothing more than hot air. It's the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony. If some organized crime type threatens to throw you off a building and that person has a past record of doing just that, take him seriously, however, someone trying to use scare tactics on you who haven't done so before, is probably using bully tactics to intimidate you but probably won't follow through. There is a difference.

btw I'm not a fan of Earthfirst tactics and haven't been for a long time. However, they are extreme idealists not criminals.
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 11:38 AM
Response to Reply #34
45. "However, they are extreme idealists not criminals." Is theft not a crime?
Is property destruction not a crime? And how do you justify your claim that telling someone "you will suffer the consequences in your homes and in your children's daycare" is not a threat that should be taken seriously? I would think any threat of violence to children would be taken seriously, especially if delivered by someone who was already acting violently and with disregard to the law.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 01:34 PM
Response to Reply #45
54. Theft is a crime that can be prosecuted without doing it under RICO. n/t
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 04:57 PM
Response to Reply #54
56. On an individual case, of course. However, they were stupid enough
Edited on Sun May-03-09 05:05 PM by Occam Bandage
to form an organization (with a name and everything) that engaged in repeated, deliberate, and premeditated criminal activity, with multiple parties planning their acts. If you do that, depending on your state laws, you might fall under RICO. Committing conspiracy within an organization dedicated to conspiracy is dumb as hell. It's almost like trying to ensure you get felony-level charges.
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jberryhill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 03:57 PM
Response to Reply #4
31. Why Did I Know There Would Be More To This Story?

What does it have to do with NAFTA is the only remaining mystery...
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JoseGaspar Donating Member (391 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 05:20 AM
Response to Reply #4
41. You simply are not trying hard enough, Mr. Bandage.
I feel you are slipping.

"As for the RICO violations? Given that they were involved in a conspiracy to deliberately commit crimes to threaten, terrorize, and intimidate a business, it may be a fair charge."

...and since most businesses are incorporated and corporations are "people", why not a charge of attempted murder? The protesters clearly had malevolent intent.

Crimes against property -- oh, the horror.

Perhaps we could reintroduce Ye Olde English punishment as well. Take a hand or an eye, perhaps?

After all, you wouldn't like it if someone did that to your business/office/stapler.


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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 11:27 AM
Response to Reply #41
42. Crimes against property and intimidation are not murder, no. They are still crimes. nt
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:16 PM
Response to Original message
12. Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia had
similar laws about dissent. This is part of the legacy of the Republican Party gone mad.
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. I think most countries have laws where
Edited on Sat May-02-09 01:21 PM by Occam Bandage
if you break into someone's office wearing masks, physically intimidate them, smash windows, destroy documents and office property, threaten they will "suffer the consequences...in (their) homes, children's daycare, and churches," then grab their furniture and their checkbooks and make off with them, then you will end up in front of a judge. That's criminal behavior anywhere.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:23 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. Sorry, it's not racketeering. It may be vandalism and breaking and entering,
but is hardly racketeering. Actually, those laws should apply to the RNC and the Bush administration. There has been real criminality and racketeering in those venues, yet they are allowed to walk away free.
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. It might not be, and it might be.
Edited on Sat May-02-09 01:25 PM by Occam Bandage
That's for a court to decide. It certainly isn't a given that people engaged in an organized conspiracy to intimidate others through theft, vandalism, and threats of physical violence are certainly not in violation of RICO statutes. I would guess not, but it might be that Indiana's RICO laws are badly written. Either way I don't think that dissent is at threat here; what these people were doing was not protesting.
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bluebellbaby Donating Member (275 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:57 PM
Response to Reply #18
24. Organized Conspiracy??? Wow...
How 'bout organized protest against the building of the NAFTA Highway that will in effect "divide" our country and allow for the loss of our sovereignty through a new world order...

Just saying...

Isn't that what they are organizing for...the protection of our Country...???

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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 03:31 PM
Response to Reply #24
29. Violence, threats, vandalism, and theft are not "protesting." They are criminal,
even if you claim you're doing it for a "good cause."
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bluebellbaby Donating Member (275 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 06:35 PM
Response to Reply #29
35. All I can say is that under your definitions....George Washington Was a Terrorist then!
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Posteritatis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 08:28 PM
Response to Reply #35
36. And? Washington isn't sacrosanct
And presentism in historical arguments is silly anyway.
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bluebellbaby Donating Member (275 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 09:22 PM
Response to Reply #36
38. We're talking about Freedom And Now the Widely Accepted Contortions
Of those Freedoms defined and protected by the historical figures known as our Founding Fathers in the document called the Constitution...

Equating my argument as presentism is deflection...

I have not distorted anything by including simple facts to justify "my political beliefs"...






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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 11:35 AM
Response to Reply #35
44. No. I didn't claim these people were terrorists.
Edited on Sun May-03-09 11:42 AM by Occam Bandage
Do you believe all people today have the right to violate whatever laws they want whenever they decide it would help them in a political cause? What if I decided that taking hostages and executing them was an effective way of getting my message out? Would you believe that was protected behavior? Washington caused the death of people, too, after all.
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Danger Mouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:16 PM
Response to Original message
13. This article is full of more holes than swiss cheese.
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Lethe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 01:29 PM
Response to Original message
21. is it too late to give Indiana back to Mexico?
what a bunch of redneck fuckheads.
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DefenseLawyer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 08:41 PM
Response to Original message
37. Indiana allows charges to be filed by a prosecutor by Information
and does not require an Indictment. That means for charges to be filed the prosecuting attorney merely has to allege in an affidavit that probable cause for a crime exists. There is no "preliminary hearing" process in Indiana either. Judges essentially rubber stamp the charges based solely on the allegations of the prosecutor. Welcome to Indiana.
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DCKit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 03:54 AM
Response to Original message
40. A "...Pike County Prosecutor Darrin McDonald and a state police officer..."
Are >< this close to being called a couple of totally over-the-top drama queens.

They should both (as well as any judge who takes this case) be tried for UnAmerican activities.

Wait, I have a picture:
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 11:51 AM
Response to Reply #40
46. I think the "totally over-the-top drama queens" in this case
are the people who didn't like a road being built, and so decided it would be a good idea to wear masks, break into an office during work hours, smash windows, destroy furniture, grab equipment and checkbooks, and threaten to make employees "suffer the consequences" in their "homes" and at their "children's daycare."

Because that's how we deal with construction projects we feel the local government shouldn't be building. We don't vote, we don't write letters to our local papers, we don't hold rallies and protests. No. We go fucking apeshit in their offices, smashing whatever we can get our hands on, taking stuff, and telling people their children are not safe. That's definitely down-to-earth, rational behavior. And, of course, suggesting that theft, vandalism, and intimidation are crimes is total drama-queen behavior.
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Usrename Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 12:43 PM
Response to Reply #46
47. I don't really understand the whole 'theft' thing.
Who stole what from whom?

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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 12:48 PM
Response to Reply #47
49. Hugh Farrell, a checkbook, Ronnie Wilson.
Edited on Sun May-03-09 12:54 PM by Occam Bandage
Also unspecified office equipment. It seems they eventually gave it back voluntarily (it was part of an "eviction" stunt) but that doesn't matter. You can't break into someone's office and take their shit, even if you're planning on only exerting control of it for a while. I can't legally break into your house while you're using your computer, unplug the thing, and throw it out the window and onto your front lawn.
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Usrename Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 01:11 PM
Response to Reply #49
51. I don't see any explanation of that at all.
Was the checkbook in a drawer or something, when they commandeered the offices?

It sounds like a lot of BULLSHIT to me.

Who stole what, EXACTLY, and when did they steal it?
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 01:30 PM
Response to Reply #51
52. Suppose the checkbook was in a drawer of a desk that he took outside.
Edited on Sun May-03-09 01:31 PM by Occam Bandage
That's still conversion, and it's still a crime. A kindergartner knows you can't take things that aren't yours.
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Usrename Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-04-09 06:39 AM
Response to Reply #52
57. What makes you think anybody took anything anywhere?
Edited on Mon May-04-09 06:41 AM by Usrename
There is a reference to standing on a table and shouting, but there is nothing that claims that anybody "took" anything.

Where are you getting this whole "theft" idea from?

Do you think these protesters are thieves, and that's why they were charged with racketeering?

Really, do you really believe that?
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Dogtown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-04-09 08:18 AM
Response to Reply #52
59. Asportation
is a fundamental element of theft. I don't believe that any reasonable court would accept "stacking on the lawn" as "asportation". The 'victims' weren't actually deprived of the use of their property, nor was it removed from their custody.

There was no actual theft.

Most states have "terroristic threat" statutes on the books; I'll assume that the threats made against children were not credible, since the culprits weren't charged with that offense. For example, if any one of the protesters had stated "Your children aren't safe" can it positively be assumed that person intended harm, or were they perhaps warning of the dangers of the project they were protesting? A threat must be credible and the threatener must have the capability to actually carry out the specific threat for it to be an actionable offense, else every time a citizen loses his temper the courts would become involved.

There was no legal threat made.

With no actual crimes committed, there could be no conspiracy.

This is a clear attempt to artificially and arbitrarily escalate the penalty for the extremely minor offenses indulged in. As such, it is being used to squelch a message the establishment finds discomfortable, and to discourage citizens from organizing in protest.

If every act of civil-disobedience can be prosecuted as a felony, protest will be seriously censored.







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DCKit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 12:46 PM
Response to Reply #46
48. I didn't see any of that in the OP...
and it seems to me the terroristic threats and behavior they're being charged with occurred at a public meeting, not an office break-in where hostages were taken.

Besides, what you're describing is the behavior of Limbaugh's ditto-heads, Hannity's harpies and other wingers, or a far left wing no sane progressive would claim or defend.
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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 12:49 PM
Response to Reply #48
50. That's because you have to dig deep into the linked story
Edited on Sun May-03-09 12:53 PM by Occam Bandage
to find the actual charges leveled against the people involved. It's true that all those actions took place across several different incidents, but that doesn't mean they didn't happen. They did, they were premeditated, and they were planned by multiple people over the internet. There was therefore a conspiracy to commit crimes. RICO law covers that.

It's true that "no sane progressive" would defend these people, though. Counterpunch isn't exactly sane.
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L0oniX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-03-09 01:39 PM
Response to Original message
55. The ACLU is going to be all over this like flys on shit.
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Hubert Flottz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-04-09 07:29 AM
Response to Original message
58. I wonder when they will arrive at the resettlement camp for
special processing?
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