Much of the way the trial played out was something of a tragic comedy. If three young men hadn’t spent the past two years in jail and weren’t looking at spending another thirty years behind bars, it might be.
What the Tribune misses, what Alvarez misses and what the jury missed when sending down the conviction of the arson charges is not whether or not a 20 year old anarchist is “man enough to mean” his drunken, violent sounding rhetoric. It’s that even that rhetoric is suspect, given the context of the state’s desire to not only infiltrate and monitor political dissidents, but goad the few they can into doing something more serious to “make an example” of them. The City of Chicago spent millions of dollars on security for the NATO summit. Chicago Police spent hundreds of hours of manpower monitoring not only the NATO 3, but hundreds of other activists. Yet, the only “terrorist plot” foiled by law enforcement was the one they themselves engineered.