Reports have shown up on Indymedia that the home of the founder of RaiseTheFist.com, an anarchist web site, was raided by the FBI, Secret Service and LA Police on Wed., Jan. 23. According to the first story posted:
Heavily armed with high-powered machine guns, shot guns, and hand guns, the FBI, Secret Service, and Los Angeles Police Department sorounded the founder of raisethefist.com in his house. The founder was currently asleep, woken up by a relative who said FBI, police and undercovers were currently up and down all of the streets, with they’re eyes focused on the premises. Raisethefist.com founder aproached the door were 2 FBI agents demanded that he step outside. Within seconds a swarm of FBI raided the house with automatic weapons and shot guns. Additional police and fbi also stayed on the front lawn, around the house with a door baracade and additional weapons. “armed and ready”.
FBI and secret service entered the house, seizing all servers and political liturature. Raisethefist.com was currently being ran within the founders room of the house, over a computer network. The room was literarly ransacked, and all equipment, disks, cd’s .. etc. were boxed up, loaded into a truck and seized until further notice.
Since 1999, raisethefist.com has been under extensive government monitoring. At times, Raisethefist.com has recieved over 100 hits from the U.S Department of Defense in a single day. The FBI, police department, NSA (and who else) continuously monitored the site on a daily basis. Even governments from the UK, Canada, Lavtia, Belgium, Egypt, Finland, and Australia monitored the site continuously. The FBI had also previously intercepted all packets going through the DSL line hosting the site, and have seized additional accounts being used by the site.
The website is down, but you can see archives of the site at the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.
Although the site’s webmaster was not arrested, the content is what is important, both to viewers and the gov’t. This harkens to the FBI visit and subpoena to the Seattle IMC last April during the Summit of the Americas. Nobody was arrested then either, but an almost immediate chilling effect was evident at the IMC, where because the court order prohibited the IMC volunteers from even talking about the visit or subpoena, users of the site were left to wonder what was going on and to worry if they’re posts and reading behavior at the IMC site was logged and now monitored by the federal government. In a land where most of us are lucky enough to have experienced little direct and personal harrassment (note I didn’t say “repression”) at the hands of the state, it doesn’t take to much pressure to effectively chill speech and information that helps us understand our situation and recognize that nonetheless the world could be a better place and our own lives could be better. When the police have the authority to cart away your equipment and files, it turns out that “free speech” wasn’t actually so free. The question is, what do we do about it?
Related stuff on mediageek:
mediageek file: pirate/free/micropower/low-power radio More on Seattle IMC, the FBI and the Gag Order 5/2/01 Indymedia Kicks Ass — the government has dropped its court order to obtain its web server log records 6/14/01 It’s Happened Again: Ohio Valley IMC Served Subpoena 5/10/01 More on Ohio Valley IMC Subpoena 5/14/01 Wired News Finds the Guy Who Posted a ‘Threat’ to Cincinnati Cop on OVIMC 5/15/01 Poster Who Prompted Ohio Valley IMC Subpoena Arrested in Australia 6/4/01