The legal process has begun its slow grind since the Long Haul infoshop in Berkeley filed a lawsuit in federal court on January 14 over the August 27 police raid on the Long Haul by a joint terrorism task force composed of University of California police, sheriffs and the FBI. Since the lawsuit was filed, the defendants have filed a motion to dismiss on sovereign immunity grounds. A hearing is currently scheduled on May 29, 2009, although that date is subject to change. An initial case management conference is set for June 12.
The police seized all computers at Long Haul after breaking in with guns drawn to execute a search warrant as part of an investigation of allegedly threatening emails allegedly sent to UC Berkeley animal researchers from a public-access computer connected to the internet at Long Haul. The police would never have gotten such a broad search warrant to seize every computer at the Berkeley Public Library if the email in question had come from the public library, rather than from a radical Infoshop.
The raid on Long Haul may have been part of the investigation into local animal rights activities that lead to the arrests of Joseph Buddenberg, Maryam Khajavi, Nathan Pope, and Adriana Stumpo under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act on February 20 — the “AETA4”. (See related article, pg. 1). The statement of probable cause used to obtain the Long Haul search warrant discusses a January 27, 2008 demonstration, which is one of the “overt acts” listed in the indictment against the AETA4 and one of the AETA4 is specifically discussed in the Long Haul statement of probable cause. However, the indictment filed against the AETA4 doesn’t mention the Long Haul.
While the AETA4 indictment and the raid against Long Haul were both designed to intimidate local activists, these scare tactics haven’t worked.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation and the ACLU of Northern California are jointly representing Long Haul in the litigation. For more details about the police raid, see Slingshot #98. For information about the lawsuit, see Slingshot #99. If you want to attend court hearings to support Long Haul, check www.thelonghaul.org for updates.