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Minneapolis protest in solidarity with Carlos Montes

By staff |
June 17, 2011
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Professor Manuel Barrera speaking at June 16 protest
Professor Manuel Barrera speaking at June 16 protest (Fight Back! News/Staff)
Rally in Minneapolis, June 16, in solidarity with Carlos Montes
Rally in Minneapolis, June 16, in solidarity with Carlos Montes

Minneapolis, MN - More than 50 protesters gathered in front of the FBI offices here, June 16, to demand that the charges be dropped against veteran Los Angles Chicano activist Carlos Montes. Protest organizers blasted the growing attacks by the FBI and other police agencies on anti-war, international solidarity and progressive political activists.

Tom Burke, of the national Committee to Stop FBI Repression, sent a message for the day: “This protest is part of a national day of action with protests taking place in 19 U.S. cities. The demonstrations in Minneapolis and other cities around the U.S. are set to coincide with a court hearing in Los Angeles for longtime Chicano and immigrant-rights activist Carlos Montes. Montes will appear in court on charges relating to a May 17 raid on his California home by FBI and LA sheriffs.”

The raid was part of the same investigation that targeted anti-war and international solidarity activists in the Midwest in September and December of 2010.

“This attack on Carlos Montes is part of the campaign of FBI harassment targeting 23 peace and justice activists which has, until now, been centered in the Midwest. Carlos Montes’ name was listed on the subpoena left in the office of the Minneapolis Anti-War Committee last Sept. 24,” said Tracy Molm, one of activists who was raided.

Montes reported that during the May 17 raid on his home, an FBI agent approached him while he was in the squad car. The agent then asked him questions about the Freedom Road Socialist Organization.

Meredith Aby of the Anti-War Committee told the crowd in front of the FBI offices, “We are here today to say drop the charges and to strongly condemn the raid and arrest of Carlos Montes, a nationally known Chicano immigrant rights activist. When law enforcement, including the FBI, raided Carlos’ home they used the pretext of a weapons charge as an excuse to seize 44 years worth of political materials, his cell phone and his computer.”

“Carlos Montes has done nothing wrong. This is an attack on him and an attack on the Chicano movement for equality and liberation. Carlos has been involved and a committed leader in the immigrant rights, anti-war, solidarity and quality education movements his whole life,” said Mick Kelly of the Minnesota Committee to Stop FBI Repression.

Among the speakers at the Minneapolis protest was Professor Manuel Barrera, from Metro State University, who worked with Montes in the Chicano movement. Barrera condemned the raid on Montes home and called for the charges to be dropped.