October 2, 2010

Socialist Alliance: Solidarity with U.S. Socialists and Anti-War Activists Raided by FBI

The Socialist Alliance (Australia) reaches out in comradely solidarity to the socialist and anti-war activists in the US who were subjected to early-morning raids on their homes and offices by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) in Minneapolis, Chicago, Michigan and North Carolina on September 24. We understand that the FBI seized computers, passports, books, documents, cell phones, photos, financial records, diaries, maps and other materials using warrants were issued under a 1996 statute which made it a crime for US citizens to provide “material assistance” to any organisation designated by the government as “terrorist". We condemn these raids and demand that the property seized be immediately returned and the victims of the raids be fully compensated. We also call for the revocation of the anti-democratic grand jury subpoenas against some of the raided activists. We will also approach other organisations and activists to discuss and plan solidarity with the activists now being victimised under US "terrorism" laws. Similar "anti-terrorism" laws have been introduced in Australia and they have been used most viciously against members of the Muslim, Sri Lankan Tamil and, most recently, Kurdish communities. Australians David Hicks and Mamdouh Habib, former Guantanamo detainees — and in the case of Habib a victim of US torture rendition — continue to be harassed and restricted by the post-9/11 "anti-terrorism" regime in Australia. In 2005, US anti-war activist Scott Parkin, was arrested, detained and then deported on the grounds of “national security". He has been denied the right to legally challenge what many experts have deemed to be a clear abuse of the law and democratic rights. In 2007, Dr Mohamed Haneef, an Indian medical practitioner employed in an Australian hospital was arrested, detained and finally deported with no justification on anti-terrorism. The Australian Federal Police leaked false information to the press in an attempt to justify their treatment of Dr Haneef but later an official inquiry found that they had no grounds to arrest and detain Dr Haneef. Haneef's subsequent deportation was "legitimised" by the government arbitrarily cancelling his visa.Protests initiated by Socialist Alliance on this case received global media coverage and extensive coverage in India. In February this year, Alejandro Rodriguez, a Latin American-Australian activist, was detained and interrogated by the Australia political police because of his efforts in solidarity with the progressive movements in Latin America, and Colombia in particular. The Socialist Alliance continues to protest against and campaign for the repeal of the anti-democratic "terrorism" laws in Australia hand in hand with our campaigning against the imperialist wars of aggression, in which the Australian government is also complicit. Socialist Alliance also campaigns for a Bill of Rights, which Australia still does not have. An injury to one is an injury to all. End terrorism by ending the imperialist wars of terror against Afghanistan, Iraq and other nations, and by ending the war on civil liberties conducted in the guise of fighting terrorism. (Adopted by the Socialist Alliance National Executive on October 1, 2010.)