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Activists rally against state repression in Washington D.C.

By staff |
September 12, 2011
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Activists hold banner in defense of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui
Activists hold banner in defense of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, a mother of 3 and a political prisoner serving an 86-year sentence in U.S. federal prison. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Washington, DC - More than 50 protesters came together here, in front of the U.S. Department of Justice on Sept. 10 for a rally in defense of Muslims, anti-war activists and immigrants facing state repression. Organizations supporting the rally included the National Jericho Movement, International Action Center, and the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, among others.

David Hoskins from the Committee to Stop FBI Repression raised the case of the 23 anti-war and international solidarity activists whose homes were raided on September 24, 2010 and are being subpoenaed as part of a campaign of state repression against activists.

“The FBI and U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald in Chicago claim to be investigating material support for terrorism. But we know that their real goal is to repress anti-war organizing and free speech inside the United States,” said Hoskins. He also asked activists at the rally to support Carlos Montes - a veteran Chicano leader and immigrant rights activist from Los Angeles whose home was raided by the L.A. Sheriff’s Department. More than four decades of political documents were seized in the raid and Montes is now being tried on felony charges and threatened with 18 years of imprisonment.

Sharon Black from the International Action Center also spoke and pointed out that “the current period of repression of Muslim people is similar to the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. And while Sept. 11 is a tragedy, it also provides an opening for resistance by oppressed people.”

Mauri Saalakhan chaired the event and called attention to the fact that “right here in the U.S., untold numbers of Muslims have had their lives impacted by having a son, brother, or other loved one snatched away from them since 9/11.” He also called on participants to work together and continue to build the movement against repression.