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State terrorism law unconstitutional, ‘NATO 3’ say

Updated: January 25, 2013 7:06PM

Attorneys for three out-of-state protesters charged with plotting to attack President Barack Obama’s campaign headquarters and Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s home with Molotov cocktails during May’s NATO summit filed a motion Friday that sought to deem the state terrorism law unconstitutional.

Brian Church of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Jared Chase of Keene, N.H., and Brent Vincent Betterly of Oakland, Fla., are facing charges that include never-used-before state anti-terrorism statutes, passed in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

The seven-page motion that was filed by the “NATO 3’s” attorneys Friday says under Illinois law, “the definition of ‘terrorism; is so vague and standard-less, and sweeps up so much innocent and protected conduct. ...”

“This lack of standards has allowed the State to arbitrarily demonize the defendants as ‘terrorists’ based on their political views and political motivation.”’

The statute could possibly impact First Amendment protected acts like labor strikes, peaceful occupations, sit-ins, political protests and boycotts, the motion also said.

Cook County prosecutors have until Feb. 15 to file their response, Church’s attorney Michael Deutsch said.

The men, all in their 20s, also face charges of attempted arson, solicitation to commit arson, conspiracy to commit arson and two counts of unlawful use of a weapon.

They remain in Cook County Jail held on $1.5 million bail.

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