On November 15, three FBI agents came to the Chicago home of an international solidarity
St. Luke Presbyterian Church in Minnetonka, Minnesota joins with other peace and justice groups and progressive activists in condemning the September 24, 2010 FBI raids on the homes of 14 peace activists in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and other cities.
The mission of St. Luke Presbyterian Church is to be “a joyful, inclusive and compassionate community on a spiritual journey seeking to do justice, make peace, act mercifully, and to walk humbly with God.” Doing justice and making peace means speaking out against those government policies that result in oppression, injustice and killing.
Opposition to U.S. policy is not a crime. When law enforcement and the Grand Jury system are used to repress nonviolent dissent with impunity, this undermines the very foundation of our First Amendment rights and makes us all less safe. The recent FBI raids are reminiscent of the Palmer Raids of the 1920’s, the McCarthy hearings of the 1950’s, and the FBI’s harassment of the civil rights movement. We express our grave concern that these raids may reflect a new and dangerous assault on the First Amendment rights of every anti-war campaigner. It is crucial to our democracy that government not restrict First Amendment rights to openly criticize the actions and policies of our government.
Thus, we call on our elected officials including President Obama and Attorney General Holder to end harassment of peace and antiwar activists immediately, to affirm their commitment to the constitutional rights to freedom of speech and assembly, and to direct their energies toward ending the war that drains our nation of its resources and moral authority.
St. Luke Presbyterian Church – July 19, 2011.