In their May 2004 raid on Steve Kurtz’s home, agents from the FBI and Joint Terrorism Task Force seized art works, research, and the first draft of a book that were to be part of Critical Art Ensemble’s project Marching Plague, dedicated to demystifying the issues surrounding germ warfare. After wasting millions of taxpayer dollars, the government was unable to produce any evidence that Steve was a “bioterrorist”—yet they refused to return any of the seized materials. Despite this attempt at censorship, Steve was finally able to (partially) reconstruct his research, which has now been published as Marching Plague: Germ Warfare and Global Public Health (New York: Autonomedia, 2006). The companion film has also premiered and is now on view in the Whitney Biennial. (Please see sidebar for other screenings and showings of this project.)

This would not have been possible without the support of thousands of people who raised the money to pay the legal bills and generated the media surrounding the case—without you, Steve would most probably be in jail today awaiting trial and not out in the world continuing to work with CAE. We now need your help more than ever to spread the word about this case as widely as possible between now and the trial (estimated to be approximately a year from now). Please click here to see how you can help!

On January 12 our motions for dismissal were denied, and it seems very likely that the case will go to a full trial. Although it has been over 18 months since Steve was charged with “mail fraud” and “wire fraud”—charges carrying a maximum possible sentence of 20 years in jail—he will now have to wait at least 8 months, and possibly much longer, for the final decision on these motions. Your support is needed now more than ever.

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