Stand against FBI raids and intimidation!

by the Solidarity Political Committee

Update: List of Protest Actions at FBI Offices

On Friday, September 24, the FBI used search and seizure warrants to raid the homes of several antiwar and socialist activists in Minneapolis and Chicago. Subpoenas were delivered to activists in other states. The charges related to supposed "material aid to terrorist organizations." In this case, the activists appear to have been targetted because of their active support for organizations in Colombia and Palestine that the US government has decided to name as "terrorist" organizations. The often arbitrary designation of international political organizations as "terrorists" is not new, and neither is government repression of domestic dissent.

Intense periods of repression against the left -- the Palmer raids of the 1920s, the Red Scare of the 1950s, COINTELPRO in the 1960s and 70s, and against the antiwar movement today -- have been the most well known instances in a fairly continuous practice of surveillance, infiltration, disruption and even violence against the movements for peace, socialism, Black self-determination, and labor rights. In each case, there were also clear efforts to isolate radical organizations active in the movements.

This record demonstrates important lessons. First, the U.S. government and its "intelligence" agencies are quick to strip individuals and organizations of their constitutional rights and ignore the basic rules of democracy in order to discredit and demoralize opposition from the left. Second, the most potent defense against this disruption has been the refusal to be intimidated, and the support to targeted individuals and groups provided by communities and movements.

Solidarity joins those who are outraged by this attempt to intimidate the antiwar and international solidarity movements. We cannot allow any activists or organizations in these movements to be isolated, and extend our full support on this matter to all of the individuals targeted. Despite political differences, we are part of one movement, and will not be divided.

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Monday 9/27:
Minneapolis, MN - 4:30, FBI Office Monday, 111 Washington Ave. S.
Chicago, IL - 4:30 Fedeeral Building, Federal Plaza.
Kalamazoo, MI - 4:30 Federal Building, 410 W Michigan Ave
Salt Lake City, Utah - 9 AM at Federal Building
Durham, NC - 12 noon Federal Building, 323 E Chapel Hill St
Buffalo, NY- 4:30 pm at FBI Building - Corner of So. Elmwood Ave. & Niagara St.
Gainesville, FL - Monday, 4:30 PM at FBI Building Boston, MA - 4 to 6, JFK Federal Building, Government Center
Tuesday 9/28:
NYC, NY - 4:30 to 6pm Federal Building, 26 Federal Plaza,
Newark, NJ - 5 to 6pm Federal Building Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA - 4:30pm Federal Building, 6th & Market,
Washington DC - 4:30 - 5:30 FBI Building, 935 Pennsylvania Ave NW.
Boston, MA - 5 pm, JFK Federal Building
Detroit, MI - 4:30 pm McNamara Federal Building, Michigan Ave. at Cass
Raleigh, NC - 9 am. Federal Building, 310 New Bern Ave
Asheville, NC - 5 pm Federal Building,
Atlanta, GA - Noon, FBI Building
Los Angeles, CA - 5 pm, Downtown Federal Building, 300 N Los Angeles St
Tucson, AZ - 5 pm Federal Building
Wednesday 9/29:
Albany, NY -5 to 6 pm Federal Building

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The appeal below is reprinted from fightbacknews.org

Activists Denounce FBI Raids on Anti-war and Solidarity Activists Homes
24 September 2010
Contact: Tom Burke, 773-844-3612
Steff Yorek, 612-865-8234

Subpoenas, Searches, and FBI visits carried out in cities across the country.

We denounce the Federal Bureau of Investigation harassment of anti-war and solidarity activists in several states across the country. The FBI began turning over six houses in Chicago and Minneapolis this morning, Friday, September 24, 2010, at 8:00 am central time. The FBI handed subpoenas to testify before a federal grand jury to about a dozen activists in Illinois, Minnesota, and Michigan. They also attempted to intimidate activists in California and North Carolina.

"The government hopes to use a grand jury to frame up activists. The goal of these raids is to harass and try to intimidate the movement against U.S. wars and occupations, and those who oppose U.S. support for repressive regimes," said Colombia solidarity activist Tom Burke, one of those handed a subpoena by the FBI. "They are designed to suppress dissent and free speech, to divide the peace movement, and to pave the way for more U.S. military intervention in the Middle East and Latin America."

This suppression of democratic rights is aimed towards those who dedicate much of their time and energy to supporting the struggles of the Palestinian and Colombian peoples against U.S. funded occupation and war. The activists are involved with well-known anti-war groups including many of the leaders of the huge protest against the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, MN in September 2008. The FBI agents emphasized that the grand jury was going to investigate the activists for possible terrorism charges. This is a U.S. government attempt to silence those who support resistance to oppression in the Middle East and Latin America.

The activists involved have done nothing wrong and are refusing to be pulled into conversations with the FBI about their political views or organizing against war and occupation. The 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).

Steff Yorek, a long-time antiwar activist and one of the activists whose homes was searched, called the raids “An outrageous fishing expedition.”

We urge all progressive activists to show solidarity with those individuals targeted by the U.S. Government. Activists have the right not to speak with the FBI and are encouraged to politely refuse, just say “No”.

Please contact info@colombiasolidarity.org or info@fightbacknews.org if you would like to provide support to the targeted activists.