From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature
Related Categories: California | East Bay | U.S. | Education & Student Activism | Indymedia | Police State and Prisons
FBI and UCPD Settle Lawsuit with Long Haul, Slingshot, and East Bay Prisoner Support
by EFF
Wednesday Apr 11th, 2012 3:24 PM
April 11, 2012
Radical Library/Publisher and Prison Support Group Settle Lawsuit with FBI and UC-Berkeley Police over Improper Raid

Agencies Agree to Pay Damages, Delete Seized Data

Berkeley, CA - Two radical groups have settled their lawsuits over an armed, over-broad police raid after the law enforcement agencies agreed to delete improperly seized computer data and pay $100,000 in damages and attorney's fees. Moreover, the University of California-Berkeley Police Department (UCBPD) acknowledged that at the time of the raid one of the groups qualified for federal protections designed to protect journalists, publishers, and other distributors of information from police searches, despite the police's persistent denial of that status throughout the lawsuit.

UCBPD and the FBI raided the building housing the Long Haul, an alternative library, Infoshop and community center in Berkeley, in August of 2008 as part of an investigation into e-mail threats sent to UC animal researchers that allegedly came from public-access computers in the building. Agents conducted an armed search of both public and private rooms – cutting or unscrewing locks that protected private offices – and removed every computer from the building. The raid team seized clearly unrelated computers from behind the locked doors of the Slingshot collective, a division of Long Haul that has published the Slingshot newspaper for 24 years as well as the Slingshot Organizer, and from the office of East Bay Prisoner Support (EBPS), which published materials about prisoners' struggles. However, the federal Privacy Protection Act specifically protects publishers from search and seizure except in narrow, unrelated circumstances. The Long Haul and EBPS collectively filed suit and were represented by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the ACLU of Northern California.

As part of today's settlement, the UCPD:

* Conceded that it has no information that either the Long Haul or EBPS was connected with the e-mail threats;
* Acknowledged that the Long Haul was at the time of the raid a publisher protected by the Privacy Protection Act, designed to prevent against such searches; and
* Agreed to expand the scope and coverage of improved training regarding the provisions of the Privacy Protection Act that were first imposed in the wake of the 2008 raid.

Both the UCPD and the FBI also agreed to:

* Destroy the data they seized as part of the raid; and
* Pay a total of $100,000 in damages and attorneys’ fees caused by the raid.

"We hope that in view of this lawsuit and this favorable settlement, law enforcement will think twice before they raid other radical spaces on flimsy pretenses," said Jesse Palmer, a long-time participant in Long Haul operations. "The raid was an abuse of power. The police refused to show Long Haul representatives a copy of the search warrant, prevented anyone from watching what they were taking during the raid, and preferred to cut locks rather than accept our offer to unlock doors. The raid was a fishing expedition and an attempt to intimidate and harass radicals undertaken by the FBI and UCPD, but as the settlement demonstrates, it was the police who broke the law. We've done nothing wrong."

"I have no faith that this agreement will change the attitudes or behaviors of the UC police or the FBI," said EBPS representative Patrick Lyons. "From kicking in our door and stealing our stuff, to the now-infamous UC Davis pepper spray incident, it is clear that the UC cops are at war with radicals, anarchists, and activists, and that will not change. I do, however, think that it is important that when they attack us, we fight back. I sincerely appreciate the hard work of EFF and the ACLU because in this situation our best weapon was our ability to make the UC police and FBI spend huge amounts of money defending their actions and concealing their agenda."

Long Haul and EBPS plan to donate $500 of their portion of the settlement to the Occupy Oakland Anti-Repression Committee to assist others targeted by the police for their political beliefs.

The Long Haul is an all-volunteer collective that operates a community space with free computer access, a historical archive, and a lending library of radical books to members of the public at its Infoshop in Berkeley, California. They have been at their current location since 1979 and have been a 501(c)(3) tax exempt educational organization since 1994. EBPS publishes a newsletter of prisoners' writings and distributes literature to prisoners.

For the full settlement agreement:


Hanni Fakhoury
Staff Attorney
Electronic Frontier Foundation
hanni [at]

Matt Zimmerman
Senior Staff Attorney
Electronic Frontier Foundation
mattz [at]

Related Cases: Long Haul v Regents of the University of California

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by cp
Friday Apr 13th, 2012 10:07 PM

You will get a couple months where you don't have to encourage people to buy planners and contribute their share to a donation jar.
by Zachary RunningWolf
(runningwolf.zachary [at] Saturday Apr 14th, 2012 11:14 AM
Congratulations Longhual, as a radical (?) anarchist information (who is racist toward people of color and or people who do good work) you are suppose to be getting raided a few times a year as being a threat to the system(ie. remember the Black Panthers). They (UCB police) were looking for two people with felony charges which happened to be Animal rights Jake and yours truly. First, Jake who was being harassed for the protest against UC Berkeley vivisection abuse of expanding torture and killing from 40,000 to 68,000 animals a year. They eventually charge him with felony "Terrorism" which he and his co defendants were exonerated. My case was they were trying to disqualify for the City of Berkeley's Mayor race which they charged me with felony Terrorism of threatening a peace (?) officer which Tony Serra helped in denying them. I write this for a few reasons of which is the truth which they were not looking for the useless bastards (Jesse, FBIplant and Bee) that run the longhual or write for the SlingShit- Monkey Crap. And finally with all that is happening in the world and the City we live in Berkeley that some of that money would actually go to fight community projects like the final fight for Muwekma (Peoples) Park.