May 10, 2011

Congressman John Conyers (MI) writes letter to Attorney General Eric Holder about FBI raids

The Committee to Stop FBI Repression sent a delegation to visit congressional offices in Washington DC on May 4th and 5th.

CSFR had a very effective delegation, and met with 25 offices in two days. The delegation was very well received and found grave concern about the abuses of the FBI and Grand Jury on Capitol Hill. The delegation met with the Judiciary Committee Counsel at the office of Congressman Conyers (MI) and received tremendous support. Within one day the office was contacting delegation members for further information and in just three days sent a letter to Attorney General Holder.

##Letter from Congressman John Conyers (MI) to Attorney General Eric Holder about FBI raids

**May 6, 2011**

The Honorable Eric Holder

Attorney General

U.S. Department of Justice

950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20530

Dear Attorney General Holder,

My constituents have requested that I assist in making known to you their concerns regarding the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) investigation of anti-war and labor union activists. On September 24, 2010, the FBI conducted searches of seven homes and an office building in Minneapolis and Chicago and issued subpoenas to 23 individuals in Illinois, Minnesota and my home state of Michigan. The FBI also visited individuals in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, San Jose, California, and Durham, North Carolina in relation to the investigation. Media reports have cited documents that the case is focused on possible violations of federal laws prohibiting support to terrorist organizations.

Some of my constituents in Michigan have expressed concerns that the FBI is targeting individuals and organizations because of their political views, rather than any direct connection to a federal criminal investigation. They are concerned these investigations of individuals engaged in First Amendment protected speech and association activities are similar to the investigations of peace and justice organizations criticized in a recent Department of Justice Inspector General Report. Resolutions and statements have been submitted to my office expressing concern about these raids. I have received copies of resolutions and/or statements of concerns from MN AFSCME Council 5; SEIU Illinois State Council; Chicago AFSCME Local 3506; Teamsters Local 705; and the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America.

My constituents have expressed concerns about the “chilling effect” such investigations may have on the free speech rights of Americans. While I understand that the Department is not at liberty to comment on pending criminal investigations, any information that you can provide to address the concerns raised by my constituents would be deeply appreciated.

I know you share my commitment to protecting our civil liberties and preserving our freedoms as Americans. Please do not hesitate to contact me or my Judiciary Committee Chief of Staff Perry Apelbaum if we can provide additional information.

Very truly yours,
John Conyers, Jr.