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Video statement from Stanley Cohen (lawyer) on the PayPal14 (
Stanley Cohen (Attorney at Law) is a political activist and criminal defense attorney.
He defends Mercedes Haefer from the PayPal14 in court.
Jeremy Hammond: In Support of #PayPal14 Fundraising Drive
Posted June 2, 2014
When the banks, credit card corporations and PayPal imposed a financial blockade on
WikiLeaks, Anonymous fought back with the largest coordinated electronic civil
disobedience sit-in in history, inspiring others to take up the banner of hacktivism.
Outgunned and humiliated on the internet, PayPal went to their allies in law
enforcement who arrested over a dozen suspected Anonymous members now known as the
PayPal 14. Despite never having "exceeded authorized access," the PayPal 14 were
charged under the draconian Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) for what would
typically result in misdemeanor trespassing or a disorderly conduct charge for
the real world protest equivalent.
In addition to the second-class citizen status of a felony conviction, PayPal
demanded an artificially inflated amount owed to them in restitution, totaling
approximately $80,000. To complete the dog-and-pony show, should the fourteen
meet the terms of their plea agreement, the felony will transfer to a misdemeanor
on their record, while still showing, for statistical purposes, a CFAA felony win
for the FBI. It is an unjust public shaming ritual that has adversely affected the
lives of these 14 brave individuals. The PayPal 14 alone should not have to pay a
multi-billion dollar corporation for an action in which tens of thousands of us
participated in, which caused no actual loss or damage.
It is unfortunate (but not surprising) that wealthy social engineers such as
Pierre Omidyar pay lip service to our cause but only after plea deals have been
hammered out and outrageous restitutions imposed. This allows him to gain sympathy
from the public while still advancing his own financial interests – his companies
can still reap the benefit of the status quo, while crushing the free speech of
ordinary working people and independent publishers.
Fortunately, the PayPal 14 are not alone. Our movement is only as strong as our
ability to support those who get scapegoated. The PayPal 14 should not have to take
all the weight of the restitution by themselves. It could have been any one of us,
and so it is on us to help raise some funds.
Please donate to the PayPal 14 to help defray the costs of the restitution!
When the account of the Wau Holland Foundation was blocked by PayPal in
December 2010 for having allegedly - as stated in PayPal's letter to us -
"encourage[d], promote[d], facilitate[d] or instruct[ed] others to
engage in illegal activity" by donating to WikiLeaks, thousands
of activists worldwide participated in a digital sit-in to express their
disapproval of the blockade. For that purpose the PayPal website was invoked
so often by the demonstrators that the servers were temporarily overstrained and
unable to handle any further requests.
14 demonstrators were arbitrarily prosecuted from the masses who
participated. These fourteen were indicted "under the "Computer Fraud
and Abuse Act" despite PayPal publicly declaring that the digital
sit-in did not disrupt their services at any time and no computer has
been damaged or compromised.
The defendants were threatened with severe jail sentences and fines.
To support the PayPal14 and their act of moral courage against an
unjust financial blockade against the Wau Holland Foundation we kindly
ask you for donations.
Support the Wau Holland Foundation with your donation!
You donation helps to keep the foundation going and supports our projects.
Donations to Wau Holland Foundation are tax-deductable within the EU
As the tax exemption (charitable status) was reinstated, it applied retroactively
for 2011 and 2012, thereafter enabling European citizens to make a tax-deductible
donations to the Foundation. This was due to a ruling of the European Court in 2007
(Decision C‑318_07), which mandates that every EU country honor the tax exemption
decisions of any other EU country.
We are a foundation related to the Chaos Computer Club,
that was launched by close friends and the father of the deceased "information philosopher"
Wau Holland (a.k.a. Herwart Holland-Moritz). The foundation aims to preserve and further
Holland's unique ideas of free-thinking in the fields of freedom of communication and