Has the FBI Launched a War of Entrapment Against the Occupy Movement?
Continued from previous page
Zachy says during the next few months the five except for Anthony Hayne (whom he said was serving a jail sentence) would regularly stop by the one remaining tent downtown to pull night shifts. Zachy adds that in early November Ryan tried to recruit him to meet Shaquille Azir, telling him, “This guy is buying us breakfast and will give us a house with no strings attached.” Zachy says he was suspicious and declined the offer. Despite multiple claims that Ryan is in contact with Azir and even recruiting people to meet him in the fall, Ryan is only mentioned once in the affidavit in February 2012.
Over the winter, according to the FBI affidavit, the contact between Shaquille Azir and Doug Wright is sporadic. Azir and Wright reconnect in mid-February at the same time Occupy Cleveland rents a warehouse as a crash pad for occupiers who were maintaining a presence at the tent.
Anarchist Romper Room
In mid-May, I ventured to the red-brick warehouse dubbed the "fortress.” Entering the decrepit building was like walking into an anarchist Romper Room: tents pitched indoors, graffiti, belongings strewn about, people dozing mid-day, dirty dishes and pungent toilet odors. It was here that Brandon Baxter, Connor Stevens, Tony Hayne and Joshua Stafford reassembled. I joined half a dozen people around a table as they puffed hand-rolled cigarettes incessantly. They were clearing out as the lease was up the next day. Right off the bat, Zachy said, “A lot of us had never lived in a communal situation. This was the first time living away from our parents. Dishes were always a fight. We’re a bunch of uneducated kids.”
When the topic of cleaning came up, Rachel jumped in, “I got the name ‘mother hen’ for always complaining. ‘Come on guys, clean this trash up.’”
The discussion repeatedly circled around to Ryan. The warehouse crew expressed suspicion because Ryan appeared in mid-October, saying he drove up from Florida, but soon had connections to Azir, whom virtually no one ever met outside the five. They also mentioned Ryan would take regular road trips in his car and claim his steady source of income was via his parents wiring money to him.
In April everything comes to a head. Jonnie Peskar said Doug Wright seemed excited one day in early April. He says Wright told him, “Today is going to be a really good day. My boss has some joints waiting.” Peskar continues, “Shortly thereafter Doug asked Connor if he wanted work. They told me multiple times, ‘It’s a really cool job. He gives us beer. He smokes us out.’”
Gail said this is the first job her son ever had in his life, the first time he made money – five bucks an hour. She showed me text messages Connor Stevens sent her at the time:
“A long day of labor for me. Made $60, long day 9:30 am to 9:30 pm … If I wanna do it again, I gotta get up at 9 tomorrow. Lifes rough.”
“I kinda feel like an ant”
“My friend doug got me the job. The $ goes fast. Turned out not to have work today. Still needa get footwear.”
As the alleged plot to blow up the bridge takes shape, the warehouse members say Shaquille Azir would swing by the warehouse in the morning to pick up the boys to do home repairs, but he would sit in the car and never interact with anyone else. Rachel says she asked Doug Wright for work with Azir, but was rebuffed, as were others who offered their services. Friends of Baxter's say Wright hooked him up with work with Shaquille April.