Habitual Cell Phone Offenders

Philly Cops Can’t Make Nextel Conspiracy Stick

So far prosecutors haven't had much luck getting these accusations to hold up in court. About 100 of 340 protesters charged have plead guilty to reduced summary charges, but of the 83 cases that have gone to trial, most have been acquitted or dismissed. As more details emerge about the state police's undercover operation, defense attorneys have moved to dismiss dozens more cases because of "outrageous police misconduct."

Those activists found guilty have vowed to appeal their cases to a jury, to expose further what they term Philly's "criminal injustice system." That probably won't do much to stem increasing surveillance of activists, both at home and abroad. Recent reports by the FBI and other government agencies warn of the role that the Internet and Independent Media Centers have in facilitating protests. And with each cell phone call or Web posting, activists leave behind a digital trail that police may one day pursue in court.

Still, cops haven't really grasped how this new mobile army of cell-phone-toting, anti-corporate globalistas really works. "The police keep trying to impose the same narrow hierarchy that they have on a movement that has lots of leadership, but no leaders," says Sellers. "They're looking to cut off the head of a movement that has no head."

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