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The Freedom Road Socialist Organization condemns in strongest terms the recent raids and subpoenas to appear at a Grand Jury directed at anti-war activists in the Midwest. The raids and subpoenas that took place on Friday, September 24, targeted activists from many groups, including the Twin-Cities Anti-War Committee, the Colombia Action Network, the National Committee to Free Ricardo Palmera, the Palestine Solidarity Group, and Students for a Democratic Society. Some of these activists are also members of FRSO.
Overall, seven houses and an office in Minneapolis and Chicago were raided. The raids were massive, involving more than 70 FBI agents. Subpoenas were issued to eleven activists in Minnesota, Illinois and Michigan. Additionally, the FBI contacted and tried to intimidate activists in California, North Carolina and Wisconsin. Then on Monday, September 27, three more activists from the Twin Cities Anti-War Committee were hit with subpoenas.
These raids are an attack on the anti-war movement in the United States. What ties these activists together is their organizing and support for the anti-war protests at the Republican National Convention held in Saint Paul, Minnesota, in 2008.
The raids and subpoenas are also an attempt to criminalize the politics of solidarity with people oppressed by U.S.-backed regimes. These activists are not terrorists; their only “weapons” are their voices and their pens. The real terrorists are the Israeli Occupation Forces and the armed settlers who terrorize the Palestinian people daily. Israel is the number one recipient of U.S. military aid. The real terrorists are the Colombian military and their death squads who murder hundreds of Colombian workers and peasants every year. Colombia is the number three recipient of U.S. military aid and the home to seven new U.S. bases.
The FBI has a long history of harassing anti-war activists. They harassed anti-war and solidarity activists in the 1950s, during the dark days of McCarthyism. In the 1960s the FBI spied on anti-war activists, including the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Junior. The infamous J. Edgar Hoover, long time director of the FBI, led a smear campaign against Dr. King, helping to create a climate of hate leading up to his assassination in 1968. Just days before the raids, the Inspector General of the Department of Justice issued a report criticizing the FBI for its spying on peace activists in the last few years.
The United States reveals once again that this is a democracy for the rich and powerful which is willing and able to turn the FBI, police and courts against working and oppressed people, especially those who struggle for peace and justice. The government has aimed its attack on the anti-war movement and international solidarity activists to pave the way for more wars, occupation and military intervention in the Middle East, Latin America, Asia and Africa.
The FRSO has always stood firmly on the side of the oppressed nations and people of the world who are resisting U.S. imperialism and nothing the U.S. government tries to do is going to change that. Freedom Road stands in unswerving political support and solidarity with national liberation struggles. However, the FRSO has never given material support. National liberation movements will find their material support in the streets and in the countrysides of their own countries.
We must stand strong as never before and fight back. Sisters and brothers, now is the time for all of us to set aside our fear and show our unity and strength. We congratulate the anti-war, anti-intervention and progressive movements for the outpouring of demonstrations across the country against the FBI raids and subpoenas. We appreciate the statements of support from across the country and around the world for those who have been targeted. A broad united front of organizations and individuals is coming together.
We must send a clear message to the FBI and to the U.S. government that no matter what they do, we will stand united and stand for justice! We demand:
- 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 against anti-war activists!