Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Infoshop beats FBI court motion - trial set: May, 2011

Slingshot #102

The Long Haul community space in Berkeley beat a government motion to
dismiss its federal lawsuit November 30, 2009 meaning that the government
defendants have to answer the lawsuit and a trial is now scheduled for May
16, 2011. Long Haul filed suit a year ago against all law enforcement
involved in an August 27, 2008 police raid on the space by a joint
terrorism task force composed of University of California police, sheriffs
and the FBI. The police seized all computers at Long Haul after breaking
in with guns drawn to execute a search warrant as part of an investigation
of threatening emails allegedly sent to UC Berkeley animal researchers
from a public-access computer connected to the internet at Long Haul.

Long Haul is a non-profit organization that publishes Slingshot and
operates an infoshop and library at 3124 Shattuck in Berkeley. It is clear
that the police never would have gotten such a broad search warrant to
seize every computer at the Berkeley Public Library if the email in
question had come from the public library, rather than at a radical
Infoshop. While the police perhaps intended their raid to intimidate local
activists, Long Haul was able to reopen the night of the raid. The
public-access computer room reopened a month later with new (used) donated
computers. The police searched and copied hard drives from the seized

The lawsuit, filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the ACLU of
Northern California, seeks relief against law enforcement using the data
from the seized computers for improper purposes. While the legal process
has so far moved very slowly, the struggle goes on to push back against
big brother police tactics against activist spaces.

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