The five men who allegedly attempted to blow up the Route 82 bridge near Cleveland, Ohio were in court today for an arraignment. All five pleaded not guilty to the charges against them. They were supported by their families but also by approximately 50 members of Occupy Cleveland.
When the arrest of the five men was announced last Tuesday, spokespeople for Occupy Cleveland attempted to distance themselves from them and their tactics.
“While the group arrested Monday evening by the FBI [was] associated with Occupy Cleveland, they were in no way representing or acting on behalf of Occupy Cleveland or the event that was planned for later today,” the organization said in an email. “Occupy Cleveland has affirmed principles of nonviolence since its inception on Oct. 6, 2011.”
Now it appears Occupy Cleveland has decided to offer support to the individuals who violated their principles. The alleged bomb plotters purchased riot gear and what they believed to be bricks of C4 plastic explosives from undercover FBI agents. Last Monday night, the five men allegedly placed the “explosives” against the concrete structure of the Route 82 bridge and attempted to detonate them using a cell phone remote triggering device.
The defense attorney for one of the five, Brandon Baxter, claims that the FBI’s confidential informant entrapped the men. Specifically, he says that Baxter was “coached” into the specifics of the plot. He does not, however, deny that the men pushed the “trigger” on the fake bomb. Left-wing media outlet RT has also claimed the alleged bombers were entrapped by the FBI, comparing the confidential informant’s tactics to a recruiter for suicide bombers.
Headline image from OccupyCleveland.com.