Carlos Montes, target of political repression

In this video, Carlos Montes speaks about his activism and the struggle against political repression. Montes is a lifelong activist in the Chicano community in Los Angeles, focused on issues of education, and opposition to imperialist war.
He spoke in San Francisco on August 31, 2011, sponsored by the Bay Area Committee to Stop Political Repression.
This video is presented by pro-jectPRO:JECT and Collision Course Media.

“Is Your Community Under Government Attack?”

“Know Your Rights When the FBI Knocks”

 
In this presentation, Zahra Billoo of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (San Francisco Bay Area) discusses the government targeting of Arab and Muslim communities in the US. This targeting continues a long history of many state-targetted communities and peoples who have faced denial of rights, ethnic/cultural/political profiling, intrusive surveillance, physical attacks, arrests, imprisonments, and deportations–and who have struggled to maintain their unity and the ways to defend themselves and to resist such attacks.

The program was sponsored by the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, in Oakland, California, in February 2011.

The video is by Collision Course Media, and is one of the “Know Your Rights” series

Message from People’s Lawyer Lynne Stewart on the FBI raids

 

Lynne Stewart, people's lawyer sentenced to 10 years in prison for helping a Muslim political prisoner exercise his right to free speech

Message to the Baltimore Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild from Lynne Stewart

MY FRIENDS, COLLEAGUES, BROTHERS, AND SISTERS:

My message to you today is neither upbeat nor optimistic. We are living in dangerous times for our movement and it is getting worse as this insatiable government flexes the law to enable its nets to ensnare more people and further shred the body politic.

This past week’s FBI raids on the support groups for various political causes, international, anti-imperialist, peace, animal rights–make it appear that anyone who opposes government policy and speaks or acts on behalf of that belief is now to be denoted a Terrorist and have his privacy invaded or be subjected to a subpoena or potential arrest. There has been a robust response from the movement with rallies and protests in many cities, the largest in Chicago and Minneapolis, where the most widespread raids occurred.

This is most excellent but unfortunately it may be too little too late as the law enforcement community licks its chops at the prospect of distracting, occupying and ultimately destroying all vestiges of resistance in this country.

Once when I spoke I said that I thought I thought my case was the canary in the mine shaft. A test of the expansion of the Law on Material Support of Terrorism. If they can label me (and) convict me behind their smokescreen of fear and intimidation and put me behind bars for a lengthy time, then they are ready to do it to the movement, to all of us. As some General said of Vietnam, “It’s not much of a war but it’s all {they} got.”

We too must ready ourselves to defend not only our clients, who will come to us victimized by this outrageous, overreaching assault, but also ourselves as attorneys. As shown in my case, they will not be readily distinguished between the two. It is the worst of times and we must ready ourselves for the onslaught. Continue reading

Stop FBI raids and repression against international solidarity and anti-war activists

Tell President Obama, Attorney General Holder, DOJ Inspector General Fine, the Senate and House Judiciary Committees, Congressional Leaders, U.N. Secy Gen Ban, and members of the media to  STOP THE FBI CAMPAIGN OF REPRESSION AGAINST ANTI-WAR AND INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY ACTIVISTS NOW!

We are coming together in response to the FBI raids on seven homes and an anti-war office on Friday, September 24, 2010. The FBI also handed subpoenas to testify before a federal grand jury to fourteen activists in Illinois, Minnesota, and Michigan. These activists are involved in many groups, including the Twin Cities Anti-War Committee, the Palestine Solidarity Group, the Colombia Action Network, Students for a Democratic Society, and the Freedom Road Socialist Organization. These activists and many others came together to organize the 2008 anti-war marches during the Republican National Convention in St. Paul.

Across the country organizations and individuals are standing together to protest the United States government’s attempt to silence and criminalize anti-war and international solidarity activists. We see the raids and subpoenas as an attack on anti-war and other progressive movements. It is an attack on our freedom to speak, our freedom to assemble with like-minded people, and our freedom to tell the government that their actions and policies are wrong. It is an attempt to clear the way for more wars and occupations of other countries by the U.S. military.

We Demand:

* Stop the repression of anti-war and international solidarity activists.
* Immediately return all confiscated materials: computers, cell phones, papers, documents, etc
* End the grand jury proceedings against anti-war activists.

Labor Unions Denounce FBI Raids

FBI agents in Minneapolis

In These Times

by Joe Burns

Important labor groups are speaking out against the recent spate of federal attacks on the civil liberties of U.S. peace and labor activists.. On October 1, 2010, the convention of AFSCME Council 5, representing 46,000 public employees in Minnesota, passed a resolution objecting to recent FBI raids of prominent peace and labor rights activists in Minneapolis and Chicago. Likewise, the San Francisco Central Labor Council delegates meeting voted on September 27 to denounce the raids and “participate in the ongoing movement to defend our civil rights and civil liberties from FBI infringement.”

On September 24, the FBI raided the homes of seven activists, seizing computers, cell phones and documents. The FBI also raided the offices of the Twin Cities Anti-War Committee, seizing their computer containing a database of supporters. The peace movement nationally has roundly condemned the FBI for attempting to silence dissent. In the weeks following the raids, demonstrators protested in dozens of US cities.

The FBI also issued subpoenas requiring the activists to testify before a grand jury in  Chicago. Many of those subpoenaed are trade unionists. The AFSCME Council 5 resolution noted that four of the subpoenaed activists were members in good standing of ASCME Council 5. The San Francisco CLC resolution made note that among the Chicago activists subpoenaed was Joe Iosbaker, a longtime SEIU chief steward at the University of Illinois Chicago and a stalwart in the Chicago labor solidarity scene. Continue reading

Internationalist Activist Coalition’s Call: Stand in Solidarity against FBI Raids and the Silencing of Dissent

*Please forward! Also see Spanish and French versions (at the end of the post) for multilingual and international communication.

October 8, 2010

Dear Fellow International Solidarity Activist,

We are calling on our international allies to take action in support of long-time peace and human rights activists who have come under attack for their work against U.S. occupation and military intervention abroad.

On September 24th, 2010, the FBI subjected about a dozen anti-war activists and activists working in solidarity with struggles in Palestine and Colombia to searches and raids of their homes in Illinois, Minnesota and Michigan.  Activists in California, Wisconsin and North Carolina were also harassed.

The activists in Illinois, Minnesota and Michigan were served with Grand Jury subpoenas.  They are refusing to testify, a brave choice which could land them in jail. The illegitimate Grand Jury process, which began on October 5, must be stopped. The raids and Grand Jury process constitute an FBI abuse of power clearly designed to create a climate of fear among those who dare to fight for peace and justice.  We must be vigilant in our defense of these activists and their right to continue their important international solidarity work without harassment.

This is an escalation of the daily targeting of and culture wars against Arab and Muslim communities and immigrants in the United States. It is a continuation of the long-standing repression of dissent in the United States from McCarthyism to the brutal targeting of peoples’ movements by COINTELPRO, and, of most recently, environmental justice activists.  It is also part of an increasing wave of right-wing hate that has been legislated through state and federal policies that turn police into immigrant bounty hunters.

We are calling on our counterparts – anti-war, human rights, Palestine and other international solidarity activists, anti-racist activists and grassroots organizers – to act in solidarity with those being targeted by political repression. Continue reading

Anti-War Activists Whose Homes were Raided to Refuse Orders to Testify

Anti-war activist Meredith Aby, center, whose home was raided by FBI agents in Minneapolis, is surrounded by supporters as she addressed the media, Sept. 24.

By Michael Tarm

Associated Press,  October 5, 2010

CHICAGO – Anti-war activists whose homes or offices were raided as part of an FBI terrorism funding investigation will

refuse to testify before a grand jury as ordered, in a showof defiance that could land them in jail.

Attorneys for the 14 activists called to testify havecoordinated their responses since the Sept. 24 raids and have

agreed their clients won’t testify, Melinda Power, an attorney for a Chicago couple whose home was searched, said

Tuesday. Agents searched seven homes and one office in Minneapolis and Chicago. Continue reading

Arab American Action Network (AAAN) Board Statement on FBI Raids

October 1, 2010

Last Friday, September 24th, the FBI raided the homes of, and served Grand Jury subpoenas to, Hatem Abudayyeh, Executive Director of the Arab American Action Network (AAAN), and several other anti-war activists in Chicago, Michigan, and Minneapolis, and questioned others in North Carolina and California—essentially attempting to criminalize their strong and tireless advocacy against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and support for the rights of the peoples of Palestine and Colombia.

For many years, Hatem Abudayyeh has led the social services, cultural outreach, adult education, and youth development programming of the AAAN; and has advocated for the civil and human rights of Arabs and other immigrants in the U.S., as well as Palestinians and oppressed peoples across the world. The Arab American Action Network denounces the raids on the homes of, and the serving of Grand Jury subpoenas to, these anti war activists in Chicago and across the country. The FBI has overstepped its boundaries and targeted individuals based on their commitment to peacefully challenge U.S. policies in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, and Colombia. Continue reading

National Lawyers Guild Hotline and “Know Your Rights” Materials for Activists Targeted by FBI

September 28, 2010

New York–The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) and its Mass Defense Committee provides legal defense and educational resources to activists, including those subjected to the September 24 raids and grand jury subpoenas in Michigan, Minnesota and Illinois. The Guild denounces the attacks on free speech, freedom of association, and the right to dissent that these actions represent. The raids and summonses reflect escalating hostility toward individuals and groups working in solidarity with the Palestinian and Colombian people and are blatantly political attacks on peaceful activists.

National Lawyers Guild lawyers, in their continuing efforts to protect the right to dissent, are coordinating defense of these activists. The NLG offers several resources for activists who are subject to similarly aggressive and politically motivated breaches of their rights.

NLG Hotline: 888-NLG-ECOL  (888-654-3265)

-A hotline for U.S. activists who have been contacted by the FBI. Callers are matched with NLG defense attorneys in their states who have experience dealing with similar cases.

Know Your Rights Brochure: www.nlg.org/resources/know-your-rights

-A two-page brochure that summarizes the rights of citizens when they are contacted or stopped by the police or federal authorities. Available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, Farsi and Punjabi.

Operation Backfire: www.nlg.org/publications/operation-backfire

-A booklet that discusses government attacks on activists and subsequent prosecutions. Available for free download.

The National Lawyers Guild recommends that activists consult and make use of these resources. The Guild advises anyone visited by the FBI to assert your right not to answer any questions, to get the card of the FBI agent and state that you will have an attorney contact the agent on your behalf.

ANSWER misrepresents FBI’s attack on international solidarity activists

[The FBI raids are not mainly an attack on our”civil liberties” or on the “anti-war movement”, as ANSWER claims. The goal of the FBi and the Obama administration with these allegedly “anti-terrorist” raids is to suppress the far ranging support network in the US  for the Palestinian people’s struggle, at a time when the Israeli state is facing global condemnation and de-legitimatization for its brutal occupation of Palestinian land. When people in the US join the worldwide opposition to imperialism and Zionism, it severely jeopardizes the continuity of existing wars and the launching of new wars—and preventing THIS is the government’s motivation for these attacks.–Frontlines ed.]

Stand with Anti-War Activists Targeted by the FBI!  ANSWER condemns FBI intimidation tactics

September 24, 2010

The ANSWER Coalition unequivocally condemns today’s FBI raids on the homes of anti-war and solidarity activists in Illinois and Minnesota, and the intimidation of activists there and elsewhere.

This morning, Sept. 24, teams of FBI agents from the “Joint Terrorism Task Force” served search warrants and grand jury subpoenas on the activists, allegedly relating to political speech in defense of the Palestinian and Colombian peoples. The FBI subpoenaed around a dozen activists to testify before a grand jury in Chicago in October. They confronted and intimidated activists in additional states as part of the operation. Grand juries are notorious political tools used by the government against progressive activists when it lacks actual evidence against them. Continue reading