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Protest at U.S. Senator Klobuchar’s office condemns FBI and Grand Jury harassment of anti-war activists

Local supporters join efforts of communities across the nation to fight the repressive subpoenas
By staff |
December 2, 2010
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Protesters line street in front of Senator Klobuchar’s Office.
Above:
Protesters line street in front of Senator Klobuchar’s Office. (Fight Back! News/Staff)
Anh Pham, speaking at December 2 protest
Steff Yorek, of Freedom Road Socialist Organization speaking at Dec 2 protest.
Right:
Anh Pham, speaking at December 2 protest. Pham has been told she will have to appear in front of the grand jury. (Fight Back! News/Staff)
Left:
Steff Yorek, of Freedom Road Socialist Organization speaking at Dec 2 protest. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Minneapolis, MN - About 100 protesters came together outside U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar's office here, Dec. 2, in response to news that three Twin Cities anti-war and social justice activists will be getting new orders to appear before a federal Grand Jury in Chicago, Illinois. The orders to appear carry the possibility of the activists facing jail time for contempt if they refuse to participate in the politically-motivated Grand Jury proceedings. Those Grand Jury proceedings could put them and their political allies throughout the United States and in other countries at risk of further governmental harassment and violence.

This protest is one of many happening this week, which the Committee to Stop FBI Repression has designated as a week of action in solidarity with the targeted social justice activists.

Speaking to the crowd, Deb Konechne of the Minnesota Committee Against FBI Repression reported on a meeting held with Klobuchar’s staff before the protest: “We went to Senator Klobuchar’s office to demand that she pressure President Obama and U.S. Attorney General Holder to stop the witch hunt against anti-war activists and they are refusing to do anything. We are going to turn up the heat.”

The three activists who will be receiving new orders to appear before the grand jury in Chicago are Sarah Martin, a member of Women Against Military Madness, Tracy Molm, an organizer with Students for a Democratic Society and Anh Pham, an anti-war and immigrants’ rights activist.

Those three are among 14 people who received subpoenas in September during FBI raids on homes and offices in several cities, mostly in the Midwest.

All those who received subpoenas in September stated that they would plead the Fifth Amendment and refuse to testify. The original subpoenas were put on hold after the activists refused to cooperate with the witch hunt, but the federal attorney running the investigation is now saying that Martin, Molm and Pham will have to appear in front of the grand jury. The FBI claimed the raids and subpoenas are part of an investigation into groups allegedly providing “material support to terrorists.”

“The use of these subpoenas represents a new stage of the FBI campaign of interference and harassment against the anti-war movement. This investigation is a direct threat against civil liberties and can only take away our right to speak out against U.S. wars and interventions around the world,” said Steff Yorek.

Mick Kelly noted, “The FBI and Grand Jury investigation of anti-war activists is a major threat to anyone who opposes the policies of the U.S. government.”

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