Anarchists 'used Twitter to inform protesters of police movements' at G20 protests
October 5, 2009
Two anarchist protesters have been criminally charged with using Twitter to inform other demonstrators of police movements during the G20 summit in Pittsburgh.
By Nick Allen in Los Angeles
Elliot Madison, 41, and Michael Wallschlaeger, 46, both from New York, face charges of hindering prosecution, criminal use of a communication facility and possessing criminal instruments.
They were arrested on the first day of the economic summit last month after police tracked them to a Pittsburgh hotel after a tip-off.
Police say they found the two men sitting in front of computers, wearing headphones and using maps and scanners. They are said to have been using Twitter to inform protesters on the ground of police movements.
The FBI raided Madison's home in New York and spent 16 hours searching it.
They found items including anarchist literature, gas masks, goggles, face masks and test tubes.
Madison's lawyer Martin Stolar said the FBI search was illegal because agents had taken items that "have nothing to do with the government's investigation."
He said Madison and his wife are political activists who provide legal support to protesters. Madison is a social worker.
A judge ruled the FBI cannot examine items seized in their search until Mr Stolar's application for their return is resolved.
Around 5,000 people took part in G20 protests and 190 were arrested.