Occupy Cleveland shows up at courthouse to support bomb suspects
Via Newsnet5 –
About 50 members of Occupy Cleveland showed up at the courthouse in Cleveland to support the suspects charged in connection with an alleged plot to blow up a northeast Ohio bridge.
The five suspects — 21-year-old Connor Stevens, 24-year-old Joshua Stafford (aka “Skully”), 26-year-old Douglas Wright (aka “Cyco), 20-year-old Brandon Baxter (aka “Skabby”) and 37-year-old Anthony Hayne (aka “Tony” & “Billy”) – pleaded not guilty during their arraignment Monday morning.
The suspects had the charges — conspiracy and attempted use of explosive material to damage physical property affecting interstate commerce — read to them in open court.
After the arrests were made, Occupy Cleveland said the five suspects were “associated with the group” but they were “in no way representing or acting on behalf of Occupy Cleveland.” The city of Cleveland decided to not renew the group’s permit a day after the arrests, but did not say if the decision was related to the bomb plot. Facebook pages showed the supects’ involvement with Occupy Cleveland, which some listed as their “employer”. Douglas Wright, the alleged ringleader, was known for his quiet commitment to Occupy Cleveland, according to the National Review. Brandon Baxter had previously been arrested an Occupy protest and spoken to the Cleveland Plain Dealer about Occupy. He also was involved with organizing at Occupy Cleveland, including organizing the “Occupy the Heart Festival”. Anthony Hayne was on the lease of the Occupy Cleveland warehouse that they had been renting. See more on connections here and here.
The FBI said the five self-proclaimed anarchists came up with a plan to blow up the Route 82 bridge over the Cuyahoga National Forest in Brecksville. They were arrested after allegedly pushing a button they thought would detonate a C4 bomb placed at the base of the bridge on April 30. The bomb was planned to go off during early morning rush hour on May 1 to coincide with “May Day”. An estimated 13, 000 people drive over the bridge each day
An undercover informant working with the FBI had provided the group with an inert bomb. Wright met the informant at an Occupy event. Baxter’s attorney claims the informant has a long criminal record and “coached the suspects”.