Stop FBI raids and grand jury witchhunts of antiwar activists and radicals
On September 24, gun-toting FBI SWAT agents broke into homes of antiwar activists and associates of Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) in Minneapolis and Chicago. These outrageous actions were ordered by a federal judge in order to seize materials for a grand jury investigation into supposed terrorism. Agents walked off with files, financial records, passports, phone lists, computers and other electronic equipment. The warrant for seizing activists’ possessions includes items for “the recruitment, indoctrination, and facilitation of other individuals in the United States to join FRSO” and “the recruitment, etc. of individuals to travel to Colombia and Palestine…in support of FARC, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Hezbollah.” Other targets of the raid included the offices of the Twin Cities Anti-War Committee and the Chicago home of Hatem Abudayyeh, executive director of the Arab American Action Network.
In addition to the break-ins, the FBI is visiting people whom they assert may be involved in the antiwar movement or organizing support for Palestinians and Colombians. However, those raided have pointed out that they have the right to freedom of association and to organize without government interference or intimidation. Government attempts to halt solidarity with workers and the poor in other lands will not be tolerated. In directing these attacks, the Obama administration is continuing COINTELPRO-type operations the FBI used in the ’60s and ’70s to divide the movements and smash dissent.
There are various conjectures being put forth as to why the Obama administration is staging these raids now: to appear tough on terrorism before the Congressional elections; to chill activists before the antiwar demonstrations on October 9-16; or to take attention away from last week’s Justice Department admission that the FBI used false claims to mount “counterterror” investigations as a cover for spying and infiltration of activist groups across the country. Whatever the reason, there are definitely steps to be taken to strengthen the message that antiwar and Left forces will not be intimidated and will continue to fight back!
The FBI is a huge internal spy network that reports to the Justice Department and serves the interest of big business. The most effective defense against the FBI is to build community support as is being done in Minneapolis and Chicago: protest loudly while exercising the right to refuse to speak to them. If they show up or call, tell them you’ve nothing to say and tell them to leave you alone. The FBI are not the cops. Short of a search warrant, you have no legal obligation to tell them your name or anything else.
The Freedom Socialist Party and Radical Women call on all organizations, activists and friends of free speech to condemn government intimidation, unconstitutional McCarthyite raids, and grand jury inquisitions in the strongest terms possible and to demand that the stolen possessions be returned immediately.
To join the national movement to stop FBI repression, leave contact information at http://www.antiwarcommittee.org, website of the Twin Cities Anti-War Committee.
Stop the witchhunts and attacks on free speech!
Return property seized in the raids!
End the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the occupation of Palestine!
Send protests to:
Attorney General Eric Holder
Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington DC 20530-0001
202-514-1057 Main switchboard
202-353-1555 Comment line
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
202-456-1111 Comment line
Freedom Socialist Party, U.S. Section
4710 University Way N.E. #100
Seattle WA 98105
Protests held outside of FBI offices in Los Angeles, Seattle, Newark and New York City on September 30, 2010
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On August 24th, the Obama administration is planning to sell off an area the size of Virginia for offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. This fossil fuel auction is set to take place in the New Orleans Superdome, just an hours drive from Louisiana cities and towns that have just been ravaged by unprecedented floods. In this moment, we need to stand with Gulf communities who have been resisting the fossil fuel industry for decades.