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More cities mobilize for Jan. 25 actions against grand jury repression

Protests also planned at U.S. Embassies
By Mick Kelly |
January 22, 2011
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Protest in Chicago against FBI / Grand Jury repression of anti war activists.
Protest in Chicago against FBI / Grand Jury repression of anti war activists. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Chicago, IL – “Announcements of additional cities joining the Jan. 25 protests are pouring in. We are going to send a clear message that we have a right to speak out and organize. International solidarity is not a crime,” says Tom Burke of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression. To date, actions are planned in 43 cities. A complete list of cites participating is available at Stopfbi.net.

Cities that have signed on in the past week include Albany, New York;, Colorado Springs, Colorado; Fresno, California; Hilton Head, South Carolina; Houston, Texas; Long Beach, California; Memphis, Tennessee; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Sacramento, California and Saint Louis, Missouri. Protests will take place at U.S embassies and consulates in Canada, Ukraine, and Ireland. A solidarity event will take place in Australia.

Jan. 25 is the day that nine Palestine solidarity activists are being summoned to appear before the Chicago Grand Jury, headed by U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. The Grand Jury is targeting anti-war and international solidarity activists. In September 2010, 14 other activists received summons to appear in front of the Chicago Grand Jury. The FBI also raided homes in Minneapolis and Chicago, along with the office of the Twin Cities-based Anti-War Committee.

The targeted 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). Many of them are community and trade union leaders.

A Jan. 12 press release from the Committee to Stop FBI Repression stated, “The anti-war and international solidarity activists who are being called before a grand jury in Chicago have learned that beginning a few months before the protests against the Republican National Convention in the 2008 in Saint Paul, Minnesota, a law enforcement officer infiltrated the Twin Cities Anti-War Committee (AWC). The infiltrator went by the name Karen Sullivan, joined the AWC in April 2008 and about a year later she joined the Freedom Road Socialist Organization.”

“This is an extremely serious situation” says Burke. “Patrick Fitzgerald wants to put people in jail for their ideas. He is making use of professional liars like ‘Karen Sullivan.’ The government wants to make it a crime to stand with peoples who are struggling to free themselves from oppression. Every progressive movement has a stake in the outcome of this grand jury witch hunt. We will push back and defend our rights on Jan. 25.”

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