Michigan Man Arrested for Allegedly Plotting to Use Molotov Cocktails at RNC Protests

Last Friday, the FBI arrested a man from Michigan for plotting to use Molotov cocktails at the Republican National Convention (RNC). However, while the government has used the arrest to lend credence to its effort to link protestors with terrorism, the media has largely ignored the widespread FBI surveillance of people planning to protest the RNC.

A 23-year old man from Flint, Michigan was arrested last Friday by Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) for allegedly planning to use Molotov cocktails to disrupt the Republican National Convention (RNC). If convicted, the man faces a maximum of ten years in prison. No Molotov cocktails were used at the RNC protests, but the charge (along with similar ones against two men from Texas)–built entirely on information from an FBI informant–gives law enforcement officials an easy way to write off resistance to the RNC as being a form of “terrorism.”

However, while the charges have been widely reported in the mainstream media, the media has largely avoided reporting on the widespread FBI infiltration of groups planning to protest the RNC. In the case of the Michigan man, he became known to the FBI after an informant attended the Crimethinc anarchist gathering outside of Milwaukee this summer. While the affidavit in the case claims that the Michigan man approached the FBI informant with the plot, it does not describe the informant’s actions. The informant is described someone “who is in a position to provide information about persons who are intent on disrupting the Republican National Convention (RNC).” However, the document never explains how the informant is representing himself or herself to gain the trust of those planning protestors. Earlier this decade, the FBI used an informant known as “Anna” in an investigation against radical environmentalists and anarchists. As an informant, “Anna” helped plan “acts of terrorism” for which others were ultimately convicted.

Moreover, in the case of the Texas men, the FBI also used informants beginning as early as February of 2007. The FBI also infiltrated and monitored the RNC Welcoming Committee–a Twin Cities group providing logistical support such as food and housing–and was reportedly investigating groups planning to protest the RNC in the Ohio area. In May of this year, the FBI attempted to recruit a Twin Cities man to infiltrate vegan potlucks in order to spy on RNC protestors.

Author: mediamouse

Grand Rapids independent media // mediamouse.org