My wife Lauren Pespisa and I have become the subject of a Federal Investigation because of our film My wife Lauren Pespisa and I have become the subject of a Federal Investigation because of our film “2020: The Dumpster Fire.” The film features interviews with Noam Chomsky, Michael Moore, Jello Biafra and many of the politicians from the 2020 Presidential Election. I traveled to the heart of the George Floyd protests capturing footage of the fires in Minneapolis and the attacks by Riot Cops in Portland unseen on mainstream news. The film is being released theatrically December 7th at the Pelham Picture House, in NYC. APPLE TV+ pre-sales are December 26th. Available on VOD Jan 6 on Apple, Google VUDU, and Amazon.

According to statements made by Federal Agents, their investigation into our lives came out of the January 6th Insurrection investigation. This is perplexing, since Lauren and I are  lefty activists who were nowhere near The US Capitol on that day.

Another likely factor was that I had just defeated Donald Trump, (without a lawyer), in a civil suit against his campaign, causing a lot of sad feelings for pro-Trump Federal Agents who are now engaged in this baseless persecution of Lauren and our film. Sadly, this is not new– since my film crew was raided by the FBI, Homeland Security and ICE at the 2016 RNC, and I seem to find myself being arrested regularly for first amendment protected free speech.

When FBI/ JTTF Agent Andy Creed was unable to pin his bogus “assassination” claim on me, he went after my wife.

It is clear to us— this is a vendetta.

Here’s the brief rundown:

Dec 23: The Trump Campaign loses their two year battle in my assault and battery lawsuit against them which I litigated without a legal degree against an army of Trump’s legal stuffed suits.

Jan 6: Lauren and I were in Massachusetts, nowhere near the US Capitol, all while Donald Trump attempted to stage a coup d’Etat on the US government– a crime for which he will likely never go punished. 

Jan 13: Secret Service, FBI and Joint Terrorism Task Force together approached me on a so-called “tip” from a Proudboy as part of their Jan 6th investigation. Allegedly, this Proudboy put forward the lie that the “Dumpster Fire” trailer was evidence of a plot to assassinate then-President Trump. 

As if that wasn’t enough, Agents questioned me about a so-called “satanic ritual,” which was in reality a performance art piece performed in opposition to Super Happy Fun America, the founders of the Boston Straight Pride Parade. Again and again and again I keep having to find myself needing to say that this would be hilarious if the charges weren’t so absolutely outrageous. 

Jan 30: Federal agents served me with a subpoena for a Feb 23rd Grand Jury. They made it clear that Lauren was the target of their investigation, and that they would get me “like Martha Stewart, for lying to the FBI.”

– The FBI dropped the bogus “assassination” claim, but spent the past ten months digging into all the dirt they could find on me or “2020: The Dumpster Fire,” and they made at least 17 visits to friends, family members and crew. When harassment failed, the agents went shopping for prosecutors in other states.

– Aug 5: Apparently they found an AUSA in Maine willing to prosecute, since two members of our production crew were hand-delivered subpoenas. One of them, Embry Galen at that time was a pre-operative trans-man— and was harassed mercilessly by Federal Agents.

– A number of Grand Juries were convened then canceled since September, but at least one Grand Jury took place in October with a member of the film crew.

The next Grand Jury is November 17th.

The following is a statement by our attorney, Murat Erkan:

The chilling effect which a potential prosecution would inflict on First Amendment rights is not hypothetical.  It is direct and far reaching.  Everyone involved in this film is in fear with the looming threat of prosecution.  If this goes to court, I can only imagine that anyone seeking to convey a message (especially a message which seeks to inspire debate, which is the most vital form of expression) would hesitate to risk it.  In the face of a government willing to scrutinize their production for any evidence of violation of law, then seek to prosecute it regardless of whether the violation implicated any true public safety concerns, many would choose to remain silent.

If you are familiar with “The War of North Dakota,” (my film about Standing Rock), or “The Oppressed Majority” (denouncing The Proudboys), you know that we stand for what is right. If you are familiar with Lauren’s activism and advocacy for housing rights through Renter’s Radio podcast, you know she stands for what is right.  So, please take a moment to sign this petition to stop this baseless prosecution and persecution of speech which challenges authority.

We would also welcome character witness statements, and we are waiting for our GoFundMe to be approved, as we have already spent around $15,000 in legal fees. WE DO NOT RECEIVE ANY OF THE MONEY DONATED TO CHANGE DOT ORG. If you want to help in that regard, you can message us privately.

Thank you!

Rod Webber

Rod on Twitter

Lauren on Twitter

Embry Galen on Twitter

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