I won't be going to this, but I think it's worth posting.
Brecht Forumâ€™s Database Computers Stolen in Suspicious Robbery
Two principal computers at the Brecht Forum were removed on the night of Thursday, March 16, in what appears to be a politically targeted theft. The Brecht Forum is a 30- year old education and cultural center that offers seminars and classes in political organizing and progressive analysis, and serves as a meeting space for scores of local activists, organizers, students and the public.
According to Brecht Forum Executive Director Liz Mestres, there are strong indications that this was a political theft.
- The two computers stolen held important information on the organization and its constituency.
- There were several other computers of the same kind in easy reach that were not touched.
- All the computers were old and not worth much for resale.
- Audio and media equipment were in plain sight in the next room.
- There were no signs of forced entry, so it is likely that whoever took these machines not only had access but knew exactly what they were after.
The Brecht Forum recently relocated from a loft in mid-town to a larger space in the Westbeth complex on the far west side of Manhattan. A similar theft of a single computer holding the database occurred about 6 years ago at the old location.
Throughout its existence, the Brecht Forum has been an open meeting space for analysis and discussion within the left and progressive community, and we have never shied away from controversial issues. For example, in the last month alone, we sponsored panels on developments in Venezuela and the elections in Palestine, as well as classes in Marxist theory and an exhibit of Artists Against the Death Penalty.
In the current political climate, when peace groups and dissenters are labeled as terrorist and covertly spied on, the Board of the Brecht Forum believes this has all the earmarks of an act of intimidation. Moreover, because we are a center where people across the left come together, the impact is aimed not just at the Brecht Forum, but against all groups engaged in social change organizing across issues, from supporting immigration rights, improving education, and promoting health care and affordable housing, to opposing the Iraq War and imperial foreign policy.
Because we believe this is not an isolated incident, we would like to hear from other groups and individuals that have had similar suspicious occurrences or overt acts of intimidation.
- We know we are not the only group being targeted or harassed for our political activities.
- We need to act together, firmly and fast, to show we wonâ€™t be frightened by such strong-arm tactics.
We need to challenge the Patriot Act and the atmosphere of repression that is growing against activists!
Come to an Emergency Community Meeting at the Brecht Forum
Tuesday, March 28 â€“ 7:30p â€“ 451 West St, [Between Bethune & Bank]
Join us to share information about what is happening.
Let us know if similar incidents have happened to your organization.
Call us at 212-242-4201 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Founded in 1975, The Brecht Forum is an educational and cultural center dedicated to advancing social justice and equality. Each year, more than 6,000 people attend over 200 public events that are a mix of political panels, classes, lectures, book signings, music and performances. www.brechtforum.org