U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White issued a ruling that the Long Haul and East Bay Prisoner Support can try to prove that the search of its Berkeley offices in August, 2008, exceeded legal boundaries, that agents misled the judge who issued a search warrant and that it was targeted because of its left-wing views,
Read Court Ruling Here: 2009.11.29 Long Haul Order on Govt 12b mtn
Friday’s hearing is vacated and the judge will decide without oral argument. For details, see the attached court order I hope we are able to get the word out to everyone. This should portend nothing in particular for the motion.
Long Haul supporters and anyone interested in limiting police raids against activist community centers are invited to attend the first Court hearing on Long Haul’s court case against the FBI and UC Berkeley police. The hearing is set for September 4 at 9 a.m. before Judge White, 450 Golden Gate, courtroom 11 on the 19th Floor.
Long Haul and East Bay Prisoner Support filed a federal lawsuit January 14 in response to an August 27, 2008 police raid on the Long Haul community center in Berkeley 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 allegedly threatening emails allegedly sent to UC Berkeley animal researchers from a public-access computer connected to the internet at Long Haul.
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 from a radical Infoshop.
The lawsuit contends that the police violated the first and fourth amendment (freedom of assembly/speech and freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures) as well as the federal Privacy Protection Act, which protects publishers from search and seizure except in the most narrow circumstances. Long Haul publishes Slingshot newspaper / East Bay Prisoner Support publishes a newsletter.)
On July 2, the government defendants filed a motion to dismiss the case. On July 24, Attorneys from the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union representing Long Haul and East Bay Prisoner Support filed an opposition to the motion which argues the merits of the case.
Click here to see the attorney’s filed opposition.
Beating the government’s motion to dismiss is the first step in prosecuting the lawsuit against the outrageous police raid on Long Haul.
On September 4, join us in the Courtroom while we resist police raids on our communities.
This is a general update about the progress of the lawsuit.
The defendants objected to the magistrate who was originally selected to hear
the case so the case has been re-assigned to Judge Jeffrey White.
This means that the deadlines have changed. Now, the initial court appearance
(case management conference) will be on May 15, not April 20 as it was originally.
May 15 is a Friday — mark your organizer.
More than a dozen computers seized in questionable search
*Berkeley, CA* — At 10:30 am on Wednesday, August 27th, the UC Berkeley police, plainclothes FBI agents, and an Alameda County sheriff raided at gunpoint the Long Haul, a long-standing community library and info shop. Police spent at least an hour and a half searching the premises without allowing Long Haul members entry to their building. More than a dozen computers and other equipment were seized in the morning raid. Having made no attempt to contact Long Haul members, agents forced their way into the building by entering a neighboring non-profit office with guns drawn. Police refused to provide a search warrant until after the raid was over and property was seized.
“This is an outrageous abuse of authority by the federal government,” said TKTK, a member of the Long Haul. “What cause could the police have to come into a community center like the Long Haul and seize information belonging to the people of Berkeley? They must return our property immediately.” The police went through every room, both public and locked – cutting or unscrewing the locks – and removed every computer from the building. Most of the computers taken were removed from an un-monitored public space where people come to use the computers just as they would at a public library. The remaining computers were taken from closed offices where they are needed for the day-to-day operation of the work done by members. Offices were rifled through, and a list of people who had borrowed books from the library was checked, as was the sales log. The warrant, which was produced after the raid, had little relevant information (claiming the officers were searching for 1 – Property or things used as a means of committing a felony; 2 – Property or things that are evidence that tends to show a felony has been committed, or tends to show that a particular person has committed a felony).
The Long Haul has been a community resource for 25 years, offering accessible meeting space to radical groups, access to alternative magazines and journals, a lending library and a historical archive of independent media. Long Haul also produces the well-known slingshot organizer pocket calendar. Multiple groups have met and continue to meet there as one of the few remaining inexpensive radical venues in the increasingly gentrified bay area. The same pattern of abuse was experienced recently when the convergence space for protesters against the Democratic National Convention in Denver was raided and supplies seized. Since the Long Haul raid occurred, lawyers have been working to seek the immediate return of the seized property, though the Long Haul continues to welcome legal support. The Long Haul is also in urgent need of computers to replace what was taken, while the fight continues to get the hard drives returned.
Long Haul members have vowed to protest this latest act of political repression. Check the Long Haul website (www.thelonghaul.org <http://www.thelonghaul.org/>) for more information as it becomes available.
Pictures and video of the Long Haul and of the officers involved are online at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2008/08/27/18530389.php <http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2008/08/27/18530389.php>
re: know your rights
one: don’t talk to the police without a lawyer present. while it’s easy to say that to ourselves, it’s much more challenging to keep in mind when you are confronted by imposing (or apparently charming) officers who are trained extensively to get you to think you have to talk.
for more info – there is a surprisingly good video at this link. (both parts of this video are useful.)
two: if you are subpoened for anything to do with the long haul it is important to contact the National Lawyer’s Guild hotline (415-285-1041) and speak to someone or leave a message. also encourage anyone you know who has been subpoened to do the same. even if you don’t want the NLG’s help, they need to know as much about what is going on in the case as possible.