October 15, 2010

Duluth Central Labor Body Condemns Government Attacks on Anti-war Movement

On Thursday, October 14, delegates to the 17,000-member Duluth AFL-CIO Central Labor Body unanimously adopted a resolution of support for Midwest anti-war activists facing FBI and Department of Justice harassment. The resolution calls for a congressional inquiry into government spying and grand jury investigations of US social movements, and will be hand-delivered to US Senators Klobuchar and Franken by DCLB president Dan O’Neill today.

Delegates noted that a large number of the people targeted are longtime labor organizers, among them three members of AFSCME local 3800 and a member of Teamsters local 320 at the UofM and a member of Education Minnesota.

For more information about the case, visit the Anti-War Committeeor the Committee to Stop FBI Repression. The National Lawyer’s Guild also provides helpful Know Your Rights materials for activists.

Duluth Central Labor Body resolution
in support of Midwest anti-war activists

Whereas on September 24, 2010, the FBI carried out coordinated raids on the homes and offices of anti-war and trade union activists in Minnesota, Illinois and Michigan, during which agents confiscated computers, mailing lists, cell phones, passports, political literature, correspondence and children’s drawings; and served subpoenas to 14 people to testify before a federal grand jury about alleged material support for foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs); and

Whereas from the Palmer Raids to J Edgar Hoover’s COINTELPRO, the FBI and Department of Justice have long histories of exploiting public fears in order to disrupt trade union, civil rights and anti-war organizing; and

Whereas four days prior to the September 24 raids, the Office of the Inspector General of the United States revealed that the FBI has systematically and illegally spied on political activists; that FBI director Robert Mueller lied to Congress about details of the surveillance; and that agents frequently confuse civil disobedience with “domestic terrorism”; and

Whereas on June 20, 2010, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Holder v Humanitarian Law Project to uphold a provision of the USA Patriot Act that defines material support for FTOs so broadly as to include legitimate humanitarian work, journalism and international solidarity;

Therefore be it resolved that the Duluth AFL-CIO Central Labor Body denounce the September 24 FBI raids and grand jury investigation of Midwest anti-war and trade union activists as a dangerous assault on free speech and association; and

Be it further resolved that the DCLB call on Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken to request a full and transparent Senate investigation of post-9/11 FBI surveillance of social movements and the use of expansive anti-terror laws to criminalize dissent; and

Be it finally resolved that the DCLB forward this resolution to Midwest-area labor councils and the AFL-CIO and urge these organizations to similarly condemn FBI and DOJ attempts to intimidate and disrupt grassroots social movements.