On Monday, the Allegheny County District Attorney dropped all charges against two Jackson Heights-based anarchists accused of listening to police scanners and sharing riot cops' movements with demonstrators on Twitter during the G-20 summit in Pittsburgh. Elliot Madison and Michael Wallschlaeger were arrested on September 24th in a Pittsburgh hotel room, where they were found sitting in front of personal computers listening to both police and EMS scanners. On Monday, lawyers for the men were poised to argue for the unsealing of a secret 18-page affidavit authorizing the raid, but then the prosecution unexpectedly withdrew all charges. A spokesman for the district attorney offered this explanation:

After an extensive review of the facts and circumstances underlying those two arrests... there appears to be sufficient evidence to suggest that certain acts that occurred during the G-20 summit were not isolated incidents confined to Allegheny County but instead may have been related to more expansive activities that went beyond the Pittsburgh G-20 in both time and substance. That being the case, a determination was made that until further investigative activities by law enforcement agencies can be completed, it would be more prudent to have the current charges withdrawn rather than prosecuted at this time.

The affidavit is set to become public on November 23rd, and in the meantime Madison had more problems in New York. He pays most of the mortgage on an anarchist group home in Jackson Heights called Tortuga House, which the FBI raided and searched for 16 hours on October 1st. Investigators seized a pound of liquid mercury, metal triangles used to puncture tires, two boxes of ammunition, a book called "Manifesto of Rioting," and a picture of Vladimir Lenin. After the raid, Madison's lawyer argued that the search violated the First Amendment, and a Brooklyn federal judge issued a temporary order of protection stopping the feds from going through the material.

That restraining order was lifted yesterday, and the NYC investigation continues. In a terrific interview with the Queens Tribune inside Tortuga House, Madison said, "I was much happier a month ago. Now I don’t like my life. It’s frightening and expensive. They took all my writing and do I want to just wait three years to get my computer back? Or do I go out and spend money replacing my stuff?...It’s all smoke and mirrors at this point. As an anarchist, I don’t trust the State and you can see the reasons."