June 8, 2021, by Rachel Allshiny, https://twitter.com/allshiny/status/1402327334393454600
Hey everyone. I have some difficult news to share. As per his mother, Sebastian “Sabi” Senakiewicz of the NATO5 passed away unexpectedly on May 30th, at the age of 33.
I literally *just* heard this and have not even begun to process it.
For those who may not recall, the NATO5 were activists associated with the Occupy movement who were arrested ahead of the NATO summit protests (#noNATO) in Chicago in May 2012. They were charged with terrorism under a state of IL statute (i.e. not federal).
3 of the NATO5 went to trial and were acquitted on ALL terrorism charges. (They caught a few lesser convictions.) Sabi was one who took a non-cooperating plea agreement — because he knew they were going to deport him to Poland no matter what, and he just wanted out of CCJ.
The whole case was a mess, dreamed up by a couple of undercover CPD who infiltrated our organizing spaces and pushed these 5 in particular to participate in activities like making “molotov cocktails”… using materials they supplied, etc etc.
There is information about Sabi’s case in particular that I have never breathed a word of to anyone other than his legal team. I don’t know if he ever learned about it himself. But I am 1000% certain he was set up, and if it hadn’t been him it would have been someone else.
I never saw him outside of a Cook County Jail visitation room, or court. I missed his final hearing where he was released to his mom… only to be swarmed by ICE and DHS a short time later, and the deportation process started.
His mom moved here to be near him as he worked his way thru the system. She cried at every hearing, every single time. Utterly heartbreaking. She used to ask for long hugs in the hallway outside court because she couldn’t hug him. We just… held onto each other, and she cried.
He came to the US when he was 8, but never completed his green card. So they sent him back to Poland… a country he barely remembered at all. I know he spent some time in Scotland, too. Not sure where he was living nowadays.
When he got back to Poland, he sent me a friend request on FB. We talked a lot at first, and then just occasionally here and there. He built a new life for himself… he was doing as well as could be expected, better even.
He was banned from the US for 10 years. I don’t know if they counted from his arrest or his release and deportation. But we used to talk about meeting up in Canada or something… he told me 10 years wasn’t so long, he’d be back.
He’s not coming back.