Curtailing Militant Communication: Repression Post-G20

A comrade is being investigated by the FBI for using twitter during the anti-G20 activities in Pittsburgh, helping to inform people as to how to avoid the cops. The details as to how much and how easily twitter cooperated with the police in identifying and locating Madison will be interesting to see.

From the New York Post (thx slackbastard):

Queens ‘terror’ raid hits G-20 anarchist
Kati Cornell
New York Post
October 3, 2009

FBI anti-terrorism agents raided the Queens home of a self-described anarchist charged with tweeting protesters with instructions on how to evade police at the G-20 summit.

A dozen gas masks, liquid mercury, backpacks containing hammers and anarchist literature were among the dozens of items seized Thursday at the Jackson Heights home where Elliot Madison, 41, lives with his wife Elena, 39.

Madison is free on bail after Pittsburgh cops arrested him on Sept. 24 and charged him with hindering prosecution, criminal use of a communication facility and possessing criminal instruments.

Police tracked Madison and another man to a motel room at the Carefree Inn in Pittsburgh, where they discovered a makeshift communications center, according to a criminal complaint.

The two men were seated in front of personal computers and telecommunications equipment, wearing headphones and microphones and surrounded by maps, contact numbers and police and EMS scanners.

Cops claim they were using Twitter to direct the movements of protesters and update them on the location and actions of law enforcement.

The details of Madison’s recent arrest and Thursday’s search emerged yesterday as defense lawyer Martin Stolar asked a federal judge to stop authorities from reviewing confidential information contained in his client’s computers.

But Assistant US Attorney Andrew Goldsmith argued that some of the items raised alarm, including a pound of liquid mercury in the house, alongside “books about poisons” and a microscope.

The feds also found metal triangles that are used to puncture tires and two boxes of ammunition. Goldsmith said agents left a collection of machetes, samurai swords and daggers at the house, because they didn’t fall within the scope of the search warrants.

Stolar said Madison and his wife have a long history of working for the People’s Law Collective, a group he described as providing legal representation for protesters.*

In court papers, Stolar argued that the search is illegal and asked Brooklyn federal Judge Dora Irizarry to order the return of the property.

The judge issued a temporary order of protection stopping the feds from going through the material.

Neighbors said the house was swarming with agents during the 16-hour search, while helicopters flew overhead.

*“The New York People’s Law Collective is [was] a collective of activists who are also, organizers, law students, community and legal workers. We are not lawyers. We are people with knowledge of the legal system, its value and limits, and how it can be used for and against us. History and our own experiences demonstrate the need for legal resources offered from a radical perspective. Used in this way, the law is one tool among many for our movements.”


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