Sherman Austin

Sherman Austin

Speaking of repressive tactics, 20 year old Sherman Austin turned himself into today to serve one year in prison. His crime? His website, Raise The Fist, linked to another website where there was an article about making explosives.

Austin says, “All I had on my website was a link to another website that wasn’t associated with my website. On that other website, there was information about protests and things like security culture, and a small portion of the website that was stuff about explosives.”

The author of the actual article was never prosecuted. The article was uploaded after Austin put the link on his site. He did not link directly to the article. And heck, you can buy The Anarchist Cookbook on Amazon, bomb-making recipes and all.

In a CounterPunch interview, Austin said:

There’s something on the Internet called the White Resistance Manual. It’s pretty much for white supremacists. It’s a manual to carry out a large-scale guerilla campaign through means of assassination, threats, obtaining funds through fraud, everything from firearms to explosives. I’ve seen, not surprisingly, no action taken against those people, but here I am, an anarchist website, not even close to what that is, not even close to what else you can find on the Internet.

So why did they come down on Sherman Austin so hard for linking to a website that had an article he didn’t even know was there? It’s all quite insane…