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Sherman Austin detained for "Terrorist Ties"

by Edited and posted by Akawla Friday, Jun. 03, 2005 at 4:03 AM

Sherman Austin (former webmaster of detained for "terrorist ties"

Sherman Austin (former webmaster of detained for "terrorist ties"

Edited and posted by Akawla

"I was pulled over by a police car on my way to work. The cop said he stopped me because I pulled out of a parking lot into an intersection too quickly (this was a bogus traffic stop). He then asked if I had any drugs or anything illegal in the car. I told him I had nothing illegal on me including any drugs. He insinuated I was lying and tried to make me admit I had drugs on me. He then asked if I was on probation. I told him yes (it's a violation to lie to law enforcement when being asked this). He took my drivers license and registration back to his car and said he would be right back. 2 more units pulled up - a motorcycle cop and another police car before he came back to my window and asked me to step out of the car. I was told to put my hands behind my back so they could search my pockets. He asked if I had any explosives on me or in my car and asked what exactly my charges were. I explained that the statue which I was convicted under was for the distribution of information which I didn't even do, and nonetheless had nothing physical to do with explosives. However that didn't seem to matter. They told me to sit on the curb while one officer searched my car and the other two stayed next to me. I didn't have any choice to argue about a warrant because if you're on probation (supervised release) or parole you have to consent to a search. While my car was being searched I asked the other two officers what exactly came up on the screen when the other officer ran my name.

They looked into his squad car and told me "it say's you have terrorist ties." I asked them again if those were the exact words and they said yes it say's "terrorist ties". My car was still being searched by the other officer. A few residents in the area looked on , puzzled at the scene for this wasn't a common occurrence in this particular "nice" neighborhood of Burbank. The two other officers asked me exactly where I worked and asked questions about my case. The other officer searching my car came back and asked for my personal information as he filled out a field interrogation card. The detention lasted about 30 minutes before I was handed my bogus traffic ticket and the police decided to leave.

The initial reason why I was targeted and stopped and harassed are obvious. This happens every day in Los Angeles. When the officer found out I didn't have any drugs and ran my name on his computer the situation took a different turn.

It is important for all activists, organizers, radicals, revolutionaries and just plain concerned citizens to take careful note of the reactionary forces that continue to target and categorize political dissidents as "terrorists".

This type of police state activity is nothing new however it continues to intensify. Graffiti artists are being labeled "domestic terrorists". Anyone suspected of being even remotely involved with 'gang activity' is labeled a "domestic terrorist". If you voice your opinion in the wrong way it can be labeled a "terrorist threat". The war on terrorism is a war on us. It is a war on you and me. If those in power have decided to draw a line between those who submit and march to the orders of fascism and those who rebel against it, then we need to draw the line between the problem and the solution and initiate change now. "

Sherman was convicted under the statue "Distribution of information related to explosives or weapons of mass destruction" because of a LINK on his web site. The explosives information existed on a web site not authored by Sherman but another individual who the FBI interviewed and decided not to prosecute. Sherman was setup by the FBI in a fabrication of evidence in cahoots with Dianne Fienstine, Ashcroft and prosecutors to persecute him for not staying silent amidst the levels of political repression that he faced for keeping online and continuing his organizing work within the community. Added onto his 1 year prison sentence was also 3 years of strict probation where he is not allowed to access a computer. For more information visit or

Edited and posted by Akawla

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