Last Minute Update: Donnelly was released, under judge’s restrictions, Thursday evening.
Fr33 Agent contributor, Voluntaryist activist and blogger George Donnelly was mugged and kidnapped by US Marshalls yesterday and is reportedly being held in theFederal Government’s Detention Center in Philadelphia. Please call 215-521-4000 to politely but firmly demand George Donnelly’s release and ask your social network to do the same. Anything you can do to raise awareness for George would be most appreciated.
Update: I received word that George could be released by his federal government captors on Thursday, May 13th by 2PM. Your calls are still needed. Please visit the Civil Disobedience Evolution Fund’s post for future updates.
Garry Reed, the Libertarian News Examiner, reports that federal government agents attacked George Donnelly today in front of the federal courthouse in Allentown while he was video recording FIJA activists who were informing jurors of their right to nullify bad laws.
It’s important to note the following:
George was not committing civil disobedience, according to all reports. The Civil Disobedience Evolution Fund is raising awareness in solidarity with George as well as other FIJA and video activists. It was the agents of the Federal government who broke their own rules, as reported by Gary Reed:
In assaulting Donnelly the agents clearly violated Department of Homeland Security policy (pdf), which requires them to approach, identify themselves, and interview photographers on federal property to determine criminal behavior.
Absent criminal behavior, “the photography should be permitted to proceed unimpeded.
FIJA activist Jim Babb was an eyewitness who described the “mugging” and “kidnapping” by US Marshals:
George attempted to video what was happening. Seconds later, they assaulted George and wrestled his video camera away. Thugs piled on George. One even put his knee on George’s face.
Donnelly and Babb had barely joined the event organizer, Julian Heicklen, when they were confronted by the violent US Marshals. The photo of the federal government agents below is one of the only images to make it out is of the crime scene. All readers in the Philadelphia area are encouraged to ostracize these criminals.
On a personal note, George is a friend who will soon be my neighbor in New Hampshire as part of the Free State Project. He has a wife and young son (pictured with George above) who are likely very worried for George’s safety. He and his family opened their home to me and several other freedom activists during the 2010 Liberty Caravan. Friends and I call George a “Gentle Giant” because he towers over us while being one of the kindest, most peaceful people we know.