imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

SHERMAN AUSTIN SENTENCED TO ONE YEAR IN FEDERAL PRISON

by R Wednesday, Aug. 06, 2003 at 9:50 AM

.

SHERMAN AUSTIN SENTENCED TO ONE YEAR IN FEDERAL PRISON

Sherman Austin, webmaster of RaisetheFist.com, was sentenced today, August 4, 2003, to one year in federal prison, with three years of probation. Judge Wilson shocked the courtroom when he went against the recommendation of not only the prosecution, but the FBI and the Justice Department, who had asked that Austin be sentenced to 4 months in prison, and 4 months in a half-way house, with 3 years of probation.

Austin's probation stipulates, among other things, that (1) he cannot possess or access a computer of any kind without prior approval of his probation officer, (2) if his probation officer gives permission, the equipment is subject to monitoring and is subject to search and seizure at any time, without notice, (3) he cannot alter any of the software or hardware on any computer he uses, (4) he must surrender his phone, DSL, electric, and satellite bills, (5) he cannot associate with any person or group that seeks to change the government in any way (be that environmental, social justice, political, economic, etc.), and (6) he must pay over ,000 in fines and restitution. Austin must surrender himself to the Federal Bureau of Prisons by September 3, 2003.



FROM SHERMAN AUSTIN:

On Jan 24, 2002 , my home was surrounded and raided by approximately 25 heavily armed FBI and Secret Service agents in one of the governments first attempts to exercise the new US Patriot Act. I was interrogated for several hours while they ransacked my room and they seized a network of computers which I used to run my web site raisethefist.com. They also seized protest signs, and political literature. Their excuse was a protest guide (which I didn't author) that was posted to my site which a small portion contained information on explosives. The FBI had been monitoring the site long before this was ever posted, and long before Sept 11. The "explosives information" on my site (again which I didn't author) doesn't compare to what you an find on any other web sites such as howthingswork.com, Loompanics.com, Bombshock.com, Totse.com, Amazon.com, or the many neo nazi web sites which cover everything from assassinations, explosives, fraud and firearms. It's obvious a web surfer interested in making a bomb or taking part in other extra-illegal activities would not have to rely on Raisethefist.com. So how could the "bomb making information" on raisethefist.com be a concern to authorities? It wasn't a concern, it was simply used an excuse to exercise the new Patriot Act and take down the site. And that's what they did when federal agents spent 5-6 hours interrogating me while they disassembled each computer one by one , mirrored each hard drive, then loaded everything into a big white truck. During this whole process I was told I wasn't going to be arrested, and that I could even leave if I wanted to. Once the agents finished packing everything up, Special Agent John I. Pi, who was conducting the investigation and raid said that I had crossed a line, and as long as I got back on the other side of that line I'd be okay.

A week later despite what happened I still continued with my plans to attend the demonstration against the World Economic Forum in NY. As I was waiting for the march to begin, a swarm of NYPD officers rushed straight at me and scooped up about 26 people, one of which was me. We sat on a bus for 7 hours before being taken to Brooklyn Navy Yard Jail. I was there for about 30 hours before I was taken out of my cell and put into a backroom in handcuffs and interrogated once again by the FBI and Secret Service for several hours. They asked me questions such as if I was a terrorist or involved in any terrorist organizations. During the interrogation I noticed more and more agents walking through the room. I was told I wouldn't leave custody unless they searched my car. I said I had nothing to hide and simply wanted to go home. Stressed and aggravated, I signed over my keys. A few minutes later I was driven to the court and released. As I was waiting for someone to pick me up, about 5 FBI agents entered the court and said I was arrested for "distribution of information related to explosives over the internet". One of the agents grabbed my neck and told me to shut the fuck up while I tried to tell one of the legal observers I was being arrested. I was hurried out of the court house into a black SUV where I was driven to a federal building. I was then taken to lower Manhattan MCC maximum security 24 hour lockdown federal jail facility. At my bail hearing the FBI called me a "man on a mission" and said I drove 3,000 miles to carry out my alleged "plot". The judge said I was a "threat to the community" and denied me bail, and I was to be extradited back to California to face my charges. After 11 days I was shackled and taken to an airforce base where federal inmates are boarded onto planes surrounded by guards with M16's and shot guns, like prisoners of war, and flown to a federal jail "hub" in Oklahoma. Once I got there, I learned the next day that the prosecutors decided not to file an indictment. I was released after spending 13 days in custody. When I got back to Los Angeles I put raisethefist.com back up almost immediately. I continued my political organizing within the community, as well as my work with Raise the Fist which developed into a Direct Action Network with chapters setup around the world. 6 months later prosecutors contacted my lawyer and said they found nothing to prosecute me for on my computers, but didn't want to "let me off the hook". They offered me a pre-indictment binding plea agreement which was initially 1 month in jail, and 5 months in a "community corrections facility". I rejected the plea at first, wanting to go to trial until we discovered the case was eligible for a terrorism enhancement, which could have added 20 years to my sentence.

I therefore decided to enter a plea. I played months of legal limbo until I finally expected to get sentenced to 4 months in jail and 4 months in a community corrections facility based on the final pre-sentencing report written by the USPO. The judge rejected the 4 months saying what kind of an example would it set for "future revolutionaries" wanting to act in the same manner. He stated he wanted to give me at least 8-10 months but first wanted the opinion of the Justice Department and the Director of the FBI in Washington, DC (Robert Muller). My sentencing was rescheduled several times until August 4th. I was convicted for felony; distribution of information related to explosives with intent, and sentenced to 1 year in federal prison with 3 years supervised release.

Distribution of information related to explosives is not illegal.. What's illegal is the INTENT part. They have to prove you have intent to use the information to cause further crime of violence .. and how do they prove intent? I think Bush made it clear when he said "you're either with me or against me".

Remember, fascism and a police state doesn't come all at once, it comes piece by piece.

How far will we allow it go until we are all locked up in concentration camps.

If we don't take matters into our own hands and do something about this now, then we are already prisoners of war.

Raisethefist.com is not shutting down, and the RTF Direct Action Network will continue to grow and remain active. A 1 year sentence is not the end of this. It's just the begining.

Report this post as:

LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 54 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
.. Chantel G. Wednesday, Aug. 06, 2003 at 10:02 AM
Sherman Austin..... lynx-13 Wednesday, Aug. 06, 2003 at 11:03 AM
bored by 'Anna from KOBE'.... 5yrold Wednesday, Aug. 06, 2003 at 11:58 AM
I'll miss you Sherm Soy Wednesday, Aug. 06, 2003 at 12:16 PM
Wah. fucking WAH. Smiling FBI Agents Wednesday, Aug. 06, 2003 at 12:24 PM
OneEyedMan KPC Wednesday, Aug. 06, 2003 at 12:36 PM
i don't get it john fish Wednesday, Aug. 06, 2003 at 12:42 PM
The real crime Mumia Abu-Jamal Wednesday, Aug. 06, 2003 at 4:16 PM
We will get around to them later. Smiling FBI Agents Wednesday, Aug. 06, 2003 at 5:37 PM
Boy! Smiling FBI agents are really tough! Scribblez Wednesday, Aug. 06, 2003 at 6:09 PM
lynx-13 Wednesday, Aug. 06, 2003 at 6:28 PM
What's good for the goose, is good for the gander Spit in your Face Wednesday, Aug. 06, 2003 at 7:06 PM
Goose is good food Sy$teMF@iLuRe Wednesday, Aug. 06, 2003 at 7:36 PM
It will do Sherman good Rational Normal Person Wednesday, Aug. 06, 2003 at 8:49 PM
when is the price of progress too great? jeff buderer Thursday, Aug. 07, 2003 at 5:57 PM
Smiling FBI Agents Jeff Buderer Thursday, Aug. 07, 2003 at 6:31 PM
some Info Soy Thursday, Aug. 07, 2003 at 9:47 PM
Threat factor Smiling FBI Agents Friday, Aug. 08, 2003 at 12:29 PM
PS Smiling FBI Agents Friday, Aug. 08, 2003 at 12:36 PM
???????????? ???????????? Saturday, Aug. 09, 2003 at 11:44 AM
if alberteinstein was? john fish Saturday, Aug. 09, 2003 at 4:29 PM
Why Socialism? Albert Einstein Sunday, Aug. 10, 2003 at 11:13 AM
Blue sky thinking Fermat Sunday, Aug. 10, 2003 at 1:50 PM
As Retributiion begins NOW! Arena of Death Gladiators Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2003 at 3:15 AM
Another imprisoned comrade Daniel Shays Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2003 at 5:19 AM
What is so revolutionary? pointer Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2003 at 5:32 AM
RE: hahaha and what's so revolutionary meddle Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2003 at 6:35 AM
meddle metal Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2003 at 6:45 AM
On Notice Prewarning now Given Arena of Gladiators Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2003 at 6:50 AM
Arena of Gladiators just asking Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2003 at 6:53 AM
Pre-Warning given! wow Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2003 at 7:05 AM
wow WOW! Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2003 at 7:25 AM
Shit man use your fucking head arena of remember the 1990's Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2003 at 7:29 AM
If it's more of the same... just asking Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2003 at 7:51 AM
wow wow Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2003 at 7:54 AM
wow wow Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2003 at 8:07 AM
Sheepdog wow Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2003 at 8:15 AM
tbought police farrah Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2003 at 9:55 AM
Sheepdog wow Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2003 at 10:07 AM
drop dead? Setch talk. Sheepdog Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2003 at 1:47 PM
There is no difference Arena of go look in the Mirror Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2003 at 3:07 PM
There is no difference Arena of go look in the Mirror Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2003 at 3:11 PM
w00t Ness Thursday, Aug. 14, 2003 at 1:18 PM

Local News

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 2:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 1:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 1:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 4:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 1:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A26 10:37PM

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Minnesota Racist Churches M26 7:26AM

Paraphysique de homo sapiens numericus M26 12:53AM

Pot-pourri des carcans culturels M25 7:36AM

Shame on Portland Indymedia M24 9:16PM

USA, A Nation On A Collision Course With Its Own Decadent Values M24 6:43PM

The Shortwave Report 5/25/18 Listen Globally! M24 5:10PM

32 page newspaper on Appalachian States continues M24 10:25AM

They Knew What They Did: Texaco in Ecuador M24 9:31AM

The real mission of fbi and cia M24 1:28AM

New York Singer is 'Lost in a Dream' After Winning ,000 Prize! M23 3:08PM

The Corrupted Nature Conservancy And Ecosia Search Engine M23 1:43PM

Paraphysique de l'intelligence M23 9:42AM

Fish Can't Scream. Their Decaying Flesh Is Neurotoxic, Radioactive, And Carcinogenic M23 7:37AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 1:01PM

Famous Vegetarians, Vegans, And Fruitarians M21 4:03PM

Work and Digitalization and A Corpse Governs Society M21 3:14AM

Unity Archive Project M21 2:42AM

In praise of indigenous people M20 1:46PM

,000 Reward to Catch My Child's Killers M20 5:35AM

Hikikomori capitaliste M20 1:57AM

Psychonaut Michael Pollan And Psychedelic Therapy M18 1:47PM

Déstabilisation, infiltration, intoxication M18 1:06AM

The Shortwave Report 05/18/18 Listen Globally! M17 4:40PM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 3:22PM

Trump is Old King Coal.. Multiplying Harm M17 11:46AM

Schutzstaffel le monde nazifié M17 1:42AM

Pentobarbital de sodium M14 8:43AM

Bioeconomical resilience M14 6:27AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy