Bomb plotters had ties to Occupy Cleveland

5:32 PM, May 1, 2012   |    comments
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BRECKSVILLE -- The group of men arrested for trying to blow up a bridge in Brecksville had ties to Occupy Cleveland.

One of the leaders of an Occupy protest which was to have taken place in Cleveland on Tuesday afternoon acknowledged the accused plotters' ties in an email message.

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The Facebook pages of at least two of the five men list their place of employment as "Occupy Cleveland."

Joshua Stafford calls hiimself an "atheist" on his Facebook page, while Brandon Baxter lists his political affiliation as Anarch-Communist on his.

Accused plotter Tony Hayne was interviewed by WKYC in October, 2011, as he took part in the Occupy Cleveland protests on Public Square.

"We might not be fighting for the same cause, but we're here supporting each other and fighting for each other," he said at the time.

"I'm frustrated. That's why I'm here and I'm glad something like this is finally happening," Hayne said then, explaining he joined the Occupy movement when he lost his job.

Federal prosecutors say Hayne had a chance to drop out of the bomb plot but chose to stay in, saying he was "cool" with it.

In cancelling Tuesday afternoon's planned protest in front of a GE Lighting facility in Cleveland, Debbie Kline, of the local group Cleveland Jobs with Justice, said the accused would-be bombers were "in no way representing or acting on behalf of Occupy Cleveland."

The Tuesday protest was to have been led by Occupy Cleveland, the North Shore AFL-CIO, Cleveland Jobs with Justice, Fight for a Fair Economy, and SEIU Local 1.

In an afternoon Tweet, Occupy Cleveland said it was "shocked by these allegations. We continue to be committed to creating social change through non-violence."

WKYC-TV

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