[Ppnews] Activists Denounce FBI Raids on Anti-war and Solidarity Activists Homes

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri Sep 24 18:34:25 EDT 2010



Activists Denounce FBI Raids on Anti-war and Solidarity Activists Homes

Subpoenas, Searches, and FBI visits carried out in cities across the country
http://www.fightbacknews.org/2010/9/24/activists-denounce-fbi-raids-anti-war-and-solidarity-activists-homes

By Staff |
September 24, 2010
Read more articles in 
<http://www.fightbacknews.org/news/peoples-struggles>People's Struggles

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 
<mailto:info at colombiasolidarity.org>info at colombiasolidarity.org or 
<mailto:info at fightbacknews.org>info at fightbacknews.org if you would 
like to provide support to the targeted activists.
****************************************************

<http://twincities.indymedia.org/2010/sep/updated-info-least-four-minneapolis-houses-raided-activists-subpoenaed-national-fbi-terror->Updated 
Info--At Least Four Minneapolis Houses Raided, Activists Subpoenaed 
in National FBI "Terror" Expedition Against Antiwar Activists

Submitted by haloka on Fri, 09/24/2010 - 14:11
http://twincities.indymedia.org/


UPDATE 4pm: The office of the Anti-War Committee was also reportedly 
raided earlier today. See also: 
<http://tc.indymedia.org/files/kelly-warrant-92210.pdf>Search warrant 
for Mick Kelly's residence and 
<http://tc.indymedia.org/files/kelly-subpoena-chicago-92210.pdf>subpoena 
to Chicago grand jury (via TheUptake.org)

Press Conference: 4pm, 2911 Park Ave., Minneapolis
Community Meeting: 5:30pm, Walker Church, 3100 16th Ave S., Minneapolis

See also Fight Back News: 
<http://www.fightbacknews.org/2010/9/24/activists-denounce-fbi-raids-anti-war-and-solidarity-activists-homes>Activists 
Denounce FBI Raids on Anti-War and Solidarity Activists' Homes

The social justice community in Minneapolis continued to respond 
Friday afternoon to the raids of several of its members homes, which 
started before 7am this morning. 
(<http://tc.indymedia.org/2010/sep/breaking-news-least-four-houses-minneapolis-raided-other-houses-michigan-nc-chicago-targete>See 
previous TCIMC article--Minneapolis Houses Raided)

Since then, a dozen activists have been served with grand jury 
subpoenas, including many in Minneapolis, 
<http://www.fightbacknews.org/2010/9/24/activists-denounce-fbi-raids-anti-war-and-solidarity-activists-homes>according 
to Fight Back News.  It is believed the federal grand jury is 
centered in Chicago, and is investigating alleged ties to "foreign 
terrorist organizations"--a charge which activists have immediately 
dismissed as illegitimate and unjustified.

The Star Tribune reported earlier today that according to an FBI 
spokesperson, a total of six homes were raided in Minneapolis and two 
in Chicago.  This statement is unconfirmed by activists, who have 
identified at least four of the homes in Minneapolis--one above Hard 
Times Cafe in Cedar-Riverside, one north of Powderhorn Park, one on 
Park Avenue near Lake Street and one in Stevens Square.  Antiwar 
leaders have said that other members of the Freedom Road Socialist 
Organization were targeted with raids, surveillance and subpoenas in 
Michigan, North Carolina and potentially California.

Grand juries are a mechanism historically used to repress and gather 
information on unpopular social movements; no attorney or judge is 
present in a grand jury interrogation.  Activists who defy grand 
juries risking imprisonment on civil or criminal contempt.

Outside the raid above Hard Times Cafe, one person at the cafe as the 
raid began said that he saw about a dozen FBI agents, some with large 
guns, outside.  Conflicting reports from the other raids indicate 
that agents attempted to keep their presence low-key, without large 
marked vehicles or heavily armed SWAT teams--although Jess Sundin 
told the AP that a SWAT team entered her house first, then left to be 
replaced by other agents.  But outside Hard Times Cafe, a number of 
the unmarked vehicles included at least one with an "official 
business" sign from the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) 
in addition to the FBI.

The mood outside the cafe and apartment was one of defiance, with 
activists and supporters vowing solidarity in the face of 
repression.  Early in the afternoon, agents began to remove boxes 
with unknown contents from the apartment, and eventually 
departed.  The search warrant for 1823 Riverside called for search 
and seizure of such a laundry list of items, including electronic 
equipment, documents, financial records, literature, and more, that 
"it might have well just said 'everything'," someone remarked after 
seeing a copy.

The Uptake, in addition to almost every local corporate news outlet, 
was present at two of the raids in the morning and 
<http://theuptake.org/2010/09/24/fbi-raids-peace-activist-homes-subpoena-them-for-grand-jury/>posted 
a short video report on their site. (Photo credit above)

No immediate information was available Friday afternoon about the 
raids in Chicago.  The FBI spokesman, however, said that like in the 
Minneapolis raids, there were no arrests.  He added to the 
<http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2010/09/fbi-serves-search-warrants-here-in-terror-probe.html>AP 
in Chicago that there was no "imminent threat to the community" - 
raising the question of how anyone could be suspected of terrorist 
ties without an imminent danger.

The answer, of course, lies in the increasing trend of the state in 
using "terrorism" charges to justify repression against activists, 
lately in Minnesota through the <http://greenisthenewred.com>Green 
Scare, the <http://rnc8.org>RNC 8, and as many have predicted might 
happen, now against antiwar activists as well.

<http://www.startribune.com/local/103716104.html>Star Tribune 
coverage (with photos/video)





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