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Activists Denounce FBI Raids on Anti-war and Solidarity Activists Homes

Subpoenas, Searches, and FBI visits carried out in cities across the country
By staff |
September 24, 2010
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We denounce the Federal Bureau of Investigation harassment of anti-war and solidarity activists in several states across the country. The FBI began turning over six houses in Chicago and Minneapolis this morning, Friday, September 24, 2010, at 8:00 am central time. The FBI handed subpoenas to testify before a federal grand jury to about a dozen activists in Illinois, Minnesota, and Michigan. They also attempted to intimidate activists in California and North Carolina.

"The government hopes to use a grand jury to frame up activists. The goal of these raids is to harass and try to intimidate the movement against U.S. wars and occupations, and those who oppose U.S. support for repressive regimes," said Colombia solidarity activist Tom Burke, one of those handed a subpoena by the FBI. "They are designed to suppress dissent and free speech, to divide the peace movement, and to pave the way for more U.S. military intervention in the Middle East and Latin America." 

This suppression of democratic rights is aimed towards those who dedicate much of their time and energy to supporting the struggles of the Palestinian and Colombian peoples against U.S. funded occupation and war. The activists are involved with well-known anti-war groups including many of the leaders of the huge protest against the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, MN in September 2008. The FBI agents emphasized that the grand jury was going to investigate the activists for possible terrorism charges. This is a U.S. government attempt to silence those who support resistance to oppression in the Middle East and Latin America.

The activists involved have done nothing wrong and are refusing to be pulled into conversations with the FBI about their political views or organizing against war and occupation. The activists are involved with many groups, including: the Palestine Solidarity Group, Students for a Democratic Society, the Twin-Cities Anti-War Committee, the Colombia Action Network, the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, and the National Committee to Free Ricardo Palmera (a Colombian Political Prisoner).

Steff Yorek, a long-time antiwar activist and one of the activists whose homes was searched, called the raids “An outrageous fishing expedition.”

We urge all progressive activists to show solidarity with those individuals targeted by the U.S. Government. Activists have the right not to speak with the FBI and are encouraged to politely refuse, just say “No”.

Please contact [email protected] or [email protected] if you would like to provide support to the targeted activists.

Contact: Tom Burke, 773-844-3612; Steff Yorek, 612-865-8234


Anonymous wrote 6 years 4 weeks ago

«Real face of bourgeois

«Real face of bourgeois «democracy» and «freedom» — it was an irony.
Those rights were declared in SU Constitution too. When they reestablish capitalism they told to the people that those declared rights were not for real, were fake, that in exchange for renunciation of real human rights (for health, for work, for rest, for education, etc., which were guaranteed by the state) and property (conversion social ownership to private ownership — that should be much more effective in economical sense*) they would give us true, working rights (like real freedom of speech, real freedom of assembly, real freedom of movement, etc.).
It was a lie. There is real reduction in those rights in comparison with SU times. Yes, you can speak (who hear you anyway in the world of monopolistic mass-media) until you don't threaten their interests, than they say that you 'terrorist' (in Russia much more popular word 'extremist') and persecute you for nonsense. People can gather until they don't threaten to their (capitalist) interests, otherwise those people are crushed by police (in SU street policemen were unarmed, there were no special forces for crackdown on protesters, there were no special equipment like truncheons at all). You can go were you want, but you don't able to (even in your own country), you have not enough money.

When I say 'The same in Russia', I don't mean that those rights are needles (don't think that such rights are exceptionally American feature), I mean literally that the same in Russia: raids, arrests, harassment and intimidation for social activists.
And, please, don't say me that such things are new for US and its never happened in the past. Such things always seems new when it affects you in the first time.

[* That is not effective at all. That was disaster and national catastrophe in all senses: economy destroyed, more than 700 thousands decline in population (every year for 20 last years), and degradation is coming out loud and clear in all spheres of life.]

Tim Tyson wrote 6 years 4 weeks ago

"bourgeois democracy"

The FBI raids on these groups is not "democracy" of any kind, "bourgeois" or otherwise. Authoritarianism is authoritarianism. These raids violate the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights, which enumerate freedoms that are among the most important historic achievements of people's democratic forces in this country. We have to tirelessly battle against the violation of these rights with all our power and solidarity. But to "The Same in Russia," I have to say this: if your remark is intended to dismiss the rights guaranteed by our Constitution as mere "bourgeois democracy," think again. We need these civil liberties no matter who holds state power. These rights are anything but trivial and even if a government that represented my own political views controlled the government, I would fight to protect civil liberties. The problem of the state in world history cannot be resolved easily in any case, but the Bill of Rights, defended by a mobilized citizenry, is as good as it gets.

NC Committee to Stop FBI Harrassment wrote 6 years 4 weeks ago

North Carolinians!

Please sign on to this statement:

Anonymous wrote 6 years 5 weeks ago

The same in Russia

The same in Russia. It is the real face of bourgeois «democracy» and «freedom».

said wrote 6 years 5 weeks ago

i am so far away from YOU (i

i am so far away from YOU (i live in Turkey), though; i'll say "NO"