Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Jeremy Hammond: A Statement from Hackbloc

UPDATE: Jeremy has replied to this post in three parts below.

via HackBloc

Throughout the past few years our association with Jeremy has caused some controversy. Every time we release a new issue of Hack This Zine or announce an event of ours, somebody is there to ask us why our zine is "edited by a known snitch" or how we can tout security culture while still associating with Jeremy.

We support the anarchist community and resist systems of oppression like the state, police and snitch culture. To this end we would like to explain the situation as we currently understand it (partially quoted from communications with other folk) and make clear our plans of dealing with these accusations.

Jeremy was a member of Hack This Site, a Hackbloc-like project. We worked with Jeremy on a lot of projects including Hack This Zine (the first few issues were written entirely by them). Jeremy also worked very closely with Hackbloc during the first few years and without his help early on we certainly wouldn't be where we are today.

In Chicago on June 27, 2004 there was an anarchist bloc in the Gay Pride Parade. When the anarchist bloc reached the parade there was a violent clash between homophobes and the anarchist bloc. Three people were immediately arrested from the anarchist bloc, one of (Halstead 3) them was Jeremy. Someone associated with Chicago Indymedia videotaped the clash. In December 2004 the tape, which Jeremy was tasked with destroying, was given to the lawyers representing the Halsted 3. Nobody else was charged with a crime after the tape was given to the lawyers and the charges the Halsted 3 were facing were not changed after the tape was given to the lawyers at the CAN meeting in January 2005 Jeremy was first accused of snitching. There was not consensus regarding this at the meeting which created conflict at the Crimethinc convergence that year where some members supporting Jeremy were tabling HTZ.

On March 17, 2005, Hammond's apartment in Chicago was raided by FBI agents who seized his computers, written records and various electronic media. He was eventually arrested and charged with felony-level offenses relating to computer hacking and credit card fraud, arising from the 2004 intrusion into the website belonging to the activist group Protest Warrior.

As far as we know Jeremy was the only one arrested resulting from this raid. There is no evidence showing that any credentials that may have been stolen from him by the police in that raid were used to prosecute anyone other them himself.

While engaging in direct action, being identified, raided, and or charged is always a possibility one has to realize and make preparations for. If a person home is raided there is the possibility that evidence that leads to the arrest/investigation of other activists will be found. As a part of consent, each person living at an at risk house or working with others should be made aware of and understand the risk. Like wise with those who are tasked with maintaining tech infrastructure for radical communities should make sure they have mechanisms in place to protect the data of those they are supporting. If the safety of others is affected as a result of such a raid we would consider it a breach of security culture. However, in that scenario we don't see the person as willingly malicious. And that person certainly does not deserve to be lumped in the same category as Anna [2], Brandon Darby [3], or Adrian Lamo [4]. Such a situation should be carefully dissected to see where things went wrong, hold those accountable, and be available to others so as to prevent future mistakes of that nature.

We have been attempting to contact those involved with the group and others who have made claims about Jeremy being a snitch. We are interested in finding out what their story is and if there is anyway we can support an accountability process. Hackbloc's plan is to be transparent about this process and provide documentation detailing our involvement. Hackbloc wants to help support the needs and demands of victims of consent violation and snitch culture. We are dedicated to looking into the accusations made against us.

We had a number of question that we hoped would have been answered by the time this issue went to press, but it turns out this is hard work and it has been difficult to get a hold of folk. We are dedicated to continuing research and documenting this process because of our involvement with Jeremy in the past and because we understand that alternative justice systems handled by our own communities is important for the sustainability of the anarchist movement. To this end we will continue to post our updates on this issue at:

Hackbloc Collective

PS. There is currently a group in Portland that is attempting to document different alternative justice systems of radical communities if you have been apart of an accountability process they would love to hear from you and find out what worked and what didn't. They are especially available to hear from folk who do not feel comfortable talking with members of Hackbloc about issues they have had with Jeremy. The group can be reached at

Accountability process notes:
- Received a big picture perspective� from a third-party.

- received a response from questions surrounding the nature of the raid on Jeremy's house on 2005-03-17. Received good analysis on consent and security culture as related to computer security.

- discussed the situation around the raid and Jeremy's earlier arrest with persons that are currently working with Jeremy and in the past had worked with Jeremy. These persons have performed their own analysis of all of the facts and have determined that they do not believe that Jeremy is or was at any point a snitch.

- Was contacted by a former member of CAN (Chicagoland Anarchist Network) who
gave their perspective on the events that happened with the videotape of the
Halstead 3. Individual provided good background for what happened. Wrote back
asking for more information about what if any accountability process has taken

- Wrote letter with more questions about the accusations and asking for more contacts related to the accusations.
- Wrote 5 contacts asking them to talk about their experiences with this case.

- finished reading through legal paperwork relevant to the Halstead 3 cases.

- received printed copies of legal paperwork relevant to the Halstead 3 case.

- talked with folk about the situation and got contact information for a number of folks who could speak to the accusations of being a snitch.


[2] Confidential Source (Informant) Anna as relating to the arrest of Eric McDavid, Zachary Jensen and Lauren Weiner:

[3] Brandon Darby (agent provocateur) as related to the arrest of David Guy McKay and Bradley Neal Crowder:

[4] Adrian Lamo (Informant) as related to the arrest of Bradley Manning:


  1. (part 3)
    I believe I have been unfairly painted as an informant and snitch by a number of people and that throughout the years there have been several people who have been spreading false rumors about my crimial history and misleading others into believing I am a cop and not to be trusted. I believe this is dishonest, insulting and counter-productive to revolutionary projects. Throughout my years of activism I have engaged in a number of direct actions for which I was arrested for and I fully accept the consequences for my actions which has resulted in form of prison time .

    I remain true as an anarchist and revolutionary, and with recognition of mistakes made and lessons learned, I will continue to work towards the abolition of capitalism and the state state with comrades and collectives I work with. I am not asking for anyone's trust or support nor am I asking to be a part of any projects consisting of people who still do not trust me or otherwise don't want to work with me. I also understand that like everybody I am not free from making mistakes in my life and want to hold myself accountable to legitimate criticisms. But I am not a cop or snitch, and I ask folks to do the research and recognize that I am legit, and as such stop spreading rumors that I am an informant when I am not.

    For those who still have issues with me beyond the scene-point shittalking and rumor spreading, I ask that they either: (1) contact me directly with questions or concerns (whooka at gmail dot com), (2) talk to folks involved with the altjustice project who is researching my case (evoltech at hackbloc dot org, or altjustice dot gmail dot com), or (3) talk to folks who have in the past or have offered to in the future participate in mediation/accountability processes. Again for those who are interested, I can provide legal documentation and court documents related to my charges as well as put you in contact with previous co-defendants, my lawyers, and people who would help facilitate/mediate any potential conversations.

    Burn all prisons, Jeremy Hammond
    whooka at gmail dot com

  2. (part 2)
    Just afterwards in an unrelated and more well documented and publicized incident, I was raided by the FBI and eventually indicted for computer hacking charges related to the hacking of right-wing website I stayed true to my principles and I did not cooperate with the authorities in any way and I was the only person charged. I was busted because of the testimony of FOUR informants who gave statements to the FBI, including one other computer hacker who for a period of months recorded my conversations and gathered evidence for the FBI against me (idiocy on my part for trusting anyone for my own actions). Eventually, I acted on the advice my federal public defender(Matthew Mcquaid) gave, which was because of the overwhelming evidence against me for this case, that I do a blind plea - a plea of guilt to the charges, but without signing any plea agreement from the prosecuters, and that the Judge would decide my sentence at a sentencing hearing. At the sentencing hearing the prosecuters said I had no respect for the law, and was influential in the hacker community, and that I should have a harsh sentence, their recommendation actually exceeding the statutory maximum for the charge (Title 18 Section 1030 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, 5 years stat max sentence). After a number of people read statements, the Judge gave a sentence of 2 years prison and 3 years supervised release. I did my time in general population at FCI Greenville medium security federal prison, playing softball/chess/guitar, teaching GED classes, assisting folks in typing and filing legal appeals (mostly having to do with the discriminatory 100 to 1 crack law). In the Feds this is how they calculate how much time you actually do. You get 15% off your sentence in "good time" unless you get writeups. This knocked 3 months off my 24 month setnecne. Then if you are eligible, you can do 10% of your sentence (up to six months) in a federal halfway house, which I did 2 months. So: 19 months prison, 2 months halfway house, 3 months good time = 24 months. All of this can be verified by comrades who actually dropped my off at the prison when I went in, and visited me when I arrived at the halfway house. (I only bring this up because there have been ignorant people accuse me of sketchiness because they believe I "didn't do my full sentence").

    I am currently on my last year of supervised release. During this time I was arrested twice. Once for a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge at an action(my codefendants were offered commuity service/SWAP, but I was sentenced to four days cook county jail because of my felony, I was sentenced to four days cook county jail, ended up doing two as CCJ does day-for-day). The other was a felony mob action charge related to an alleged direct action against a disgusting corporate spectacle by Mayor Daley and the City of Chicago in their bid for the Olympics to Chicago. Of the original six defendants, two of them the charges were dropped right away. My lawyer for that case is Melinda Power and we are scheduled to go to trial in the next month or two. These arrests have triggered my probation officer to file a report to the judge that I violated my probation which got me into a series of court dates in federal court(I am being represented by a second lawyer, Jim Fennerty). The judge in that case has deferred violating my probation on account of the fact that I have not been convicted of the felony yet and that they are waiting for the outcome of the felony charge. If I am convicted for the felony in state court, most likely I am also looking at another stretch in the feds for the violation. Again, I have not cooperated with the authorities to any extent.

  3. (part 1)
    Jeremy Hammond here.

    To start, I am coming forward saying that I have never been an informant and have never collaborated with any investigation to any extent nor have I signed plea deals or testified in court. I am an anarchist and revolutionary and have been involved in Chicago community struggles against capitalism and the state since ~2002. I have engaged in several direct actions which has resulted in me being arrested several times. I believe my experience in working with codefendants in all my arrest history has been positive and that I have worked to the best of my ability to achieve successful outcomes for everybody involved. No one has ever done any time for anything I've ever done. I am willing to provide legal documentation on my arrest history and otherwise answer questions / participate in any accountability processes for anyone who is interested.

    Full truthful history regarding the "Halsted 3" and the tape of the incident. The original video was recorded by someone who was loosely affiliated with Chicago Indymedia and the day after the arrests, the video was posted by the same videographer to CIMC and was online for a certain amount of time before people got wise and removed it. (it is possible the video was always in the hands of the state regardless of my actions). Having seen the tape my perspective was that the video actually would support me + the other defendants because it did not show much in the way of other activists breaking any laws, but it did show the cops beating us and throwing us to the ground. No, I did not hand over the video to the prosecuters directly and I was not ever part of any conversation with the prosecuters nor was it ever part of any plea agreement or other deal. My lawyer was Gregory Adamski of "Adamski + Conti", Adamski being a "civil rights attorney" who was arranged for me by other chicago activists. How the tape ended up on the hands of the prosecuter: during discussions with my lawyer on trial strategy I made it known to my lawyer that there was a tape of the incident. Around that time there was discussion with the other defendants and folks thought that we should NOT use the tape - even though during that time I was voicing opposition to that decision because I believed the tape would help us in court. Then at another meeting with my lawyer he told me that because he knew that there was evidence(the tape) related to the arrest that he, on his own, voluntarily told the prosecuters that there was a tape of the incident, the prosecuters then brought it up to the Judge during a court date that there was a tape of the incident, and the judge ordered our lawyers to provide the tape. My lawyer told me that he had a legal obligation in providing it to the prosecution as part of discovery otherwise he would potentially lose his legal license. I told him the other defendants did not want that to happen and at that point he told me to either provide the tape or find another lawyer. I initially resisted and my lawyer did not appear at several court dates. I was 18, facing a felony, and because I truly believed that the video would help our defense and not incriminate anyone else, I did give my lawyer Gregory Adamski a copy of that tape, who eventually did provide it to the prosecution as part of discovery. After this, my defendants blew it up to everybody that I was a snitch, but after a while I participated in several mediations over a period of months with my other codefendants with the help of several facilitators, the result of these conversations was that we would still go ahead in court together as the "Halsted 3". Eventually all defendants were offered the same plea of 1 year probation for a misdemeanor battery charge reduced from the original felony battery on a "peace" officer. No one else was charged. All of us took the plea. I currently get along fine and work closely with one of the defendants in other activist projects in the city. I have not seen the other codefendant in years.