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Statement by United National Antiwar Committee
On the morning of Sept. 24, FBI agents armed with Grand Jury subpoenas raided the homes of several antiwar and social justice activists in Minnesota, Michigan and Illinois. A we write reports are coming in that FBI agents have been contacting other activists in Wisconsin, North Carolina and California.
Among those subpoenaed and/or whose organizations are under attack are supporters of the United National Antiwar Committee (UNAC). They attended our founding July 23-25, 2010, Albany, New York founding national conference of 800 activists from 35 states. The UNAC conference approved a 28-point Action Plan culminating in bi-coastal San Francisco/New York mass demonstrations demanding that the U.S. government immediately withdraw of all U.S. troops, mercenaries and war contractors from Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Other conference –approved demands were “End U.S. aid to Israel – military, economic and diplomatic. End U.S. support to the Israeli Occupation of Palestine and the siege of Gaza!”
Using the pretext of investigating “terrorism,” and with “possibly providing material aid to terrorists,” the FBI agents – 20 in the Twin Cities and 12 in Chicago – were armed with search and seizure warrants signed by U.S. Magistrate Judges and/or representatives of the U.S. Attorney’s office. They seized computers, cell phones, political leaflets and other printed materials. In Minnesota agents worked for 12 hours confiscating material including 30 boxes of literature, photographs of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X and pictures drawn by their children.
The individuals targeted included leaders of organizations like the Minneapolis Antiwar Committee, whose office was raided, the Palestine Solidarity Group, the Colombia Action Network and the Freedom Road Socialist Organization.
The activists were ordered to appear before Grand Juries in various cities investigating criminal activity and possible association with “terrorist” organizations. The earliest subpoena dates were October 5 and 7.
The FBI also has also served or harassed activists in North Carolina and Wisconsin as part of the same “investigation.”
The government’s subpoenas “commanded” the recipients to bring with them to the Grand Jury proceedings:
“(1) all pictures and videos relating to any trip to Colombia, Jordan, Syria, the Palestinian Territories, or Israel;
(2) all items relating to any trip to Colombia, Jordan, Syria, the Palestinian Territories, or Israel;
(3) all correspondence, including but not limited to emails and letters, with anyone residing in Colombia, Jordan, Syria, the Palestinian Territories, or Israel;
(4) all records of any payment provided directly or indirectly to Hatem Abudayyeh, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (“PFLP”) or the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (“FARC”);
(5) all records of any telephonic or electronic communications with anyone in Colombia, Jordan, Syria, the Palestinian Territories, or Israel; and
(6) any item related to any support provided to any designated terrorist organization, including the PFLP or the FARC.”
All those subpoenaed have refused to discuss their political work and views with FBI agents, as is their right. They have publicly denounced these raids as an attempt by the government to intimidate and repress opposition to U.S. wars of intervention and occupation.
The United National Antiwar Committee denounces the government’s raids, seizures and subpoena as an attack on the entire antiwar movement and all organizations seeking social justice and an end to U.S. wars of intervention around the world. We stand in full solidarity with all those who now face government persecution and possible imprisonment.
The United National Antiwar Committee demands:
• Stop the repression against anti-war and international solidarity activists.
• Immediately return all confiscated materials: computers, cell phones, papers, documents, etc.
• End the Grand Jury proceedings and FBI raids against all anti-war activists.
We call on all antiwar and social justice organization across the country to organize protest demonstrations in the coming days at Federal Buildings or FBI offices.
Demonstrations have already been called in the following cities:
Minneapolis MN, Mon: 4:30, FBI Office Monday, 111 Washington Ave. S.
Chicago, IL, Monday: 4:30 FBI Building, 2111 W. Roosevelt Rd.
NYC, Tues. 4:30 to 6pm Federal Building, 26 Federal Plaza,
Newark, NJ Tues 5 to 6pm Federal Building Broad Street
Washington DC, Tues 4:30 – 5:30 FBI Building 935 Pennsylvania Ave NW.
Detroit MI Tuesday 4:30 McNamara Federal Building
Buffalo, NY 4:30 at FBI Building – Corner of So. Elmwood Ave. & Niagara St.
Durham NC on Monday, 12 noon Federal Building, 323 E Chapel Hill St
Raleigh NC. Tuesday 9 am. Federal Building, 310 New Bern Ave
Asheville, NC Tuesday
Atlanta, GA, Tues Noon, FBI Building
Gainesville, FL on Monday, 4:30 PM at FBI Building
Salt Lake City, Utah, 9 AM on Monday at Federal Building
Albany, NY, 5 – 6 PM, Wednesday at the Federal Buildkng
Add your voice to denounce the attacks on antiwar and social justice activists. Call the U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder at 202-353-1555 or write an email to: AskDOJ@usdoj.gov.
Send copies of all communications to UNAC at the above email address. Affiliate your organization to UNAC now! Join our National Coordinating Committee of antiwar and social justice organizations across the county to immediately end all U.S. wars, interventions. Trillions for jobs, education and human needs not war!
Joe Lombardo and Marilyn Levin,
Co-coordinators, United National Antiwar Committee