Durham, NC - About 30 people gathered at the Durham Federal Courthouse this morning to speak out against the grand jury proceedings being used by the FBI against anti-war activists. The protest was one of many across the country that brought out hundreds of people to denounce the latest wave of FBI repression on the anti-war movement.
Elena Everett, an anti-war activist in Durham, was the target of Homeland Security and Joint Terrorism Task Force harassment for anti-war activities in 2004. "We're calling for an immediate end to harassment of anti-war activists,” Everett said at the press conference. "The peace and justice community will not be silent, and we will not allow this to have a chilling effect on our work for justice and against war."
Four FBI agents visited Kosta Harlan, a Durham anti-war activist and member of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and the Colombia Action Network, on the morning of Sept. 24.
"It is a sad day indeed when peace activists are being investigated and repressed by the FBI,” said Harlan.
"The FBI repression of these peace activists is not just an attack on the anti-war movement, it's an attack on all people who work for social change," Harlan emphasized. "The FBI has been using these repressive tactics against the Muslim community for nine years, with disastrous results for Muslims and for our democratic rights. Now they want to broaden the repression to other sections of the people.”
Theresa El-Amin, co-chair of the Green Party and regional co-ordinator for the Southern Anti-Racism Network spoke at the press conference along with John Heuer from North Carolina Peace Action. Durham activist Chelsea Earles spoke about her experiences organizing with Minneapolis activists Jess Sundin and Mick Kelly as a student in the Twin Cities, and stated her support for them and the other activists facing FBI repression. Members of Raleigh FIST (Fight Imperialism, Stand Together), UNC Students for a Democratic Society, Duke Against War, and other progressive organizations mobilized for the rally.
Organizers of the rally plan to further mobilize the community over the coming weeks to support the anti-war activists targeted by the FBI.
More information can be found online at http://www.stopfbi.net