Fight Back News Service is circulating the following Jan. 4 statement from the California Teachers Association (CTA) in support of veteran Chicano activist Carlos Montes. We urge our readers to continue their efforts to collect statements in support of Montes and the other 23 anti-war and international solidarity activists who have been hit by FBI repression.
Letter from California Teachers Association (CTA):
On behalf of the 325,000 members of the California Teachers Association, I write in support of educational justice activist Carlos Montes and denounce the arbitrary FBI raid that led to his arrest as an assault on the first amendment rights of every activist and union member.
Mr. Montes has been a longstanding advocate for public school students and teachers. He was a co-founding member of the Brown Beret's, a Chicano working class youth organization of the late 1960s and 1970s. He was also one of the leaders of the Chicano Blowouts and participating organizer of the East Los Angeles school walkouts protesting racism and inequality in Los Angeles public education. Mr. Montes was instrumental in successfully demonstrating for and getting Chicano and Black studies programs at California colleges. More recently he has focused his attention on immigrant rights as a member of the Southern California Immigration Coalition, which works to protect immigrant families from arbitrary federal raids.
We believe that recent raids by the FBI in Los Angeles, Chicago and Minneapolis were unwarranted and targeted several union members and activists. Carlos Montes is a nationally respected leader in the Chicano, immigrant rights and antiwar movements and he should not be targeted for political attacks based upon his views. He has tirelessly fought for adequate public schools and adequate health care for all children, as well as minority rights issues. CTA calls for the end of the grand jury proceedings against trade union activists and urges the Los Angeles District Attorney to drop all charges against Carlos Montes.
Dean E. Vogel