‘You don’t act like an American,’ An Essay by Matt DeHart

Published exclusively in The Gad About Town …

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The Courage Foundation supports the legal needs of individuals around the world who are faced with prosecution (and persecution) for whistle-blowing—funds go towards legal fees and the foundation organizes public campaigns on behalf of the whistle-blower.

As the Courage Foundation states in its materials, “Whistle-blowers become the public’s regulators of last resort. Without them, we would know far less about international diplomacy, offshore banking or the excesses of the War on Terror. Because whistleblowers are a vital link in the chain, they are also vulnerable.”

At present, the Courage Foundation supports seven individuals: Edward Snowden, Jeremy Hammond, Matt DeHart, Emin Huseynov, Barrett Brown, Lauri Love, and Chelsea Manning.

Matt DeHart, former U.S. Air National Guard intelligence analyst, is prisoner #06813-036 at the low-security federal correctional institution FCI Ashland in Ashland, Kentucky. The essay published below is one of the few public statements he has made.
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A Victory for the Autonomous Nation of Anarchist Libertarians

In the last week of January, members of a group that calls itself the Autonomous Nation of Anarchist Libertarians started to reside in an unoccupied mansion owned by a Russian oligarch in London. The group earned a legal reprieve today.

Since the group took over residence a legal case has proceeded through the court system to evict them from the premises. At different times, police have been called to attempt to take advantage of any moments in which the residence might be empty—lines of moving vans have been assembled outside to and the group has posted photos—and on several other occasions “groups of fascists” (as A.N.A.L. has described them in posts online) have been employed to take over the several doorways to the mansion and block entry to the property.

The group outwitted the blockade by erecting ladders from the sidewalks to the second-story windows.

The group at times numbers activist Lauri Love among its fellowship, whose legal case has been documented on this website. He faces extradition to the United States to face unspecified hacking charges and if he is sent to the U.S. and is convicted, faces multiple sentences that could add up to 99 years in prison.

A post from one hour ago (6:00 p.m. EST February 13) on the group’s Facebook page reads in part: “… the possession order was strictly for the land of the address, not the building itself, which effectively means they don’t have any power.”
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A New Homeless Shelter in … Belgravia

Lauri Love and friends took over a famous property in London this week to help the homeless

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The sources behind Andrey Goncharenko’s wealth are not publicly known. Like many other members of the current generation of Russian oligarchs, both Goncharenko and his wealth appeared suddenly in the media. Two things are known about him: he is able to afford expensive pieces of London real estate, and he is shadowy enough to merit one (only one) mention in the Panama Papers.

Between 2011 and 2014, Goncharenko purchased four homes in London for a combined £250 million. One of them, located at 102 Eaton Place in Belgravia, he purchased in 2014 for £15 million. It is a Grade II-listed Heritage property and housed the Instituto Cervantes of London until Mr. Goncharenko purchased it.

Mr. Goncharenko does not live in the building and it is reported that he has not yet visited it. He has not spent the night in it. Lauri Love and a group of activists took over the building this week and some of them started sleeping there Wednesday night. The group intends to open the mansion as a homeless shelter.
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Zombies to Help Love

Aston Parsons’ 2015 novel 28 Grams Later is a zombie apocalypse horror-comedy in which the only defense against the zombie infection is … cannabis. It is tightly plotted, stays one step ahead of its readers, and has many laugh-out-loud comic moments.

Among its great insights are that even in the middle of an apocalypse, bureaucratic types will emerge to run the remains of the bureaucracy, military types will offer to shoot first, and stoners will quite probably save the world. Parsons keeps the novel’s attitude on the tongue-in-cheek side, which is, of course, an awkward compliment for a zombie novel.

Parsons has also pledged that all proceeds from sales of the novel from December 1 on will be donated to the Courage Foundation’s defense fund for Lauri Love. In November, Amber Rudd, the United Kingdom’s Home Secretary, signed the order to approve Lauri Love’s extradition to the United States to face charges of data theft.

More than 100 members of Parliament, across party lines, signed a letter in October on behalf of Love that is to be sent to President Obama to request that he withdraw the extradition requests. People around the world are fighting for Love’s freedom. Parsons’ book is one more way.

The title is available through all the E-Book retailers. Hardcover, the book is available for around £3.00. Through Amazon UK, the title is £0.49, and though Amazon in America, the title is 99 cents. Buy a copy, and then spread the word.

28 Grams Later is also available through iTunes.

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Lauri Love Extradition Ordered

The US has ruthlessly persecuted hackers and digital activists for years, and nobody expects that to improve under President Trump. Theresa May set a good example by protecting Gary McKinnon back in 2012. For a Home Secretary in her government now to willingly send a brilliant and vulnerable UK citizen [Lauri Love] to Donald Trump’s America beggars belief.—Sarah Harrison, Courage Foundation Acting Director

On Monday, Amber Rudd, the United Kingdom’s Home Secretary, signed the order to approve Lauri Love’s extradition to the United States. From that day, Monday, he and his legal team have fourteen days to file an appeal. The team reports that it intends to do so.

Love is accused of stealing data from U.S. government agencies in 2012 and 2013 as a part of a hacking protest known as #OpLastResort. Because he is in Great Britain and the data breach took place in the United States, the fact that indictments have been filed against him in three district courts is known but how the U.S. plans to proceed is not known. His lawyers estimate that Love faces—if he is extradited, charged with the crimes that they think he is to be charged with, tried, and convicted—up to 99 years in prison.

Love and his lawyers have yet to see any evidence against him.
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Lauri Love Loses Battle; The Fight Continues

Don’t crucify our geeks.”Janis Sharp, mother of Gary McKinnon

In a break with a precedent that had been established in 2012, British District Judge Nina Tempia earlier today rejected British student and activist Lauri Love‘s appeal to deny the United States of America’s request to extradite Love to the U.S., where he faces charges. He has the right to appeal the ruling, and Love and all the members of his legal team pledged today that he will appeal. He was allowed to remain free on bond.
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Lauri Love has not yet set foot in the United States. Certain parties in America—the NSA and the U.S. Justice Department—want to change this for the 31-year-old Briton. They want to extradict him to the U.S. to face an as-yet unknown number of charges, which have been filed in three districts.

It is a complicated legal case that involves different laws in two different countries, the United Kingdom and the U.S.
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Inside Anonymous: Covering The Collective

For the first time in its two-year history, The Gad About Town is presenting a guest post. I am profoundly happy about this, and I hope to present more in the future.

In recent weeks, I published four pieces about two different operations launched by the Anonymous movement (#OpParis, #OpParis, Day 2, and #OpKKK), and they are written from my perspective as an outsider looking in but with some trusted sources guiding me. I am an informed outsider.

Walter Yeates, also known as Smooth, is a reporter who has interviewed, on the record, leaders of and participants in the operations against Daesh under the banner of #OpParis.

Thank you, Smooth, for writing this and asking me to publish it. It’s an honor. What follows is his own account.—Mark Aldrich, The Gad About Town
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