It has been several months since our last communication regarding the “situation” here at Tortuga House, but with nothing more than the seemingly interminable filing of legal motions by our defense to unseal the secret affidavits authorizing the raids in Pittsburgh and New York, counter-motions by prosecutors to keep these affidavits sealed, and judicial providence obviously favoring the side which signs their checks, we may as well be submitting a blank sheet of paper for all the real news we have. With the affidavits in our case remaining sealed—the motives and strategy of the state remain in the realm of speculation and will obviously not do for any public statement. However, a recent court date in Pittsburgh has since brought us several scraps of useful information that we felt it was important to share with others.
On January 15th, a court date/rubber-stamping procedure regarding a request by the state of Pennsylvania to keep the affidavit, which authorized the September 24th raid on a motel just outside of Pittsburgh and the arrest of two of our housemates during the G-20 protests, sealed for yet another 30 days yielded a bit more than the inevitable ruling in favor of the prosecution. The judge in the case, perhaps bored or suffering indigestion from eating a rich lunch, asked the state to explain why this affidavit—in a case where all charges against the accused had been dropped—required the extension of the seal.
Amid the standard spiel of the on-going investigation and grand jury in New York, the prosecution also claimed in oral arguments that this investigation now included Minnesota. In the application to the court, the prosecution wrote: “…certain alleged acts that occurred during the G-20 Summit were not isolated incidents confined to Allegheny County but instead may have been related to more expansive activities that went beyond the Pittsburgh G-20 both in time and in substance.” Also in the application to the court, is the first official mention of informants in the investigation. “The affiants are requesting the original search warrants be sealed for an additional 30 days to protect the informants involved in the investigation as well as an ongoing, more expansive investigation.” Continue reading