March 6, 2011

Solidarity letter from Venus Collective

The Venus Collective is a Chicago-based women’s group that continues the efforts of our feminist foremothers by honoring women’s cultural and creative contributions around the world. Venus fosters leadership, builds community collaborations and provides an inclusive space for women to reflect on our multiple identities.

The Venus Collective stands in solidarity with the community activists whose homes were raided on September 24, 2010. We see the raids and subpoenas as an attack on peace building efforts and other movements to preserve human rights. These unwarranted raids were direct attacks on the individual’s rights to organize and build international solidarity. We denounce the acts of intimidation carried out by U.S. government agencies on its own citizens. We ask that the grand jury proceedings against anti-war and international solidarity activists stop, that the FBI, police and U.S. prosecutors cease from criminalizing the activists’ legal efforts bring about progressive change.

These raids are in direct contradiction to our government’s principles of democracy which include the freedom to organize and express dissent when governments abuse their power. It is our belief that the activists who endured the raids should in fact be lauded for their selfless commitment to holding governments accountable.

It is especially concerning to us that U.S. Attorney, Patrick Fitzgerald is using the efforts of the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, an NGO registered with the Palestinian Authority with offices in the West Bank and Gaza as fuel against these anti-war activists. The Union is a progressive women’s organization that strives to build a civil democratic progressive community that respects women’s rights as part of human rights in general. The organization is providing daycare and women centered projects in areas where governments have simply failed their citizens. It is our expectation that the U.S. should support these heroic efforts to preserve human rights instead of furthering their military agenda at the expense of women and girls.

Venus envisions a world in which women and girls are valued as fully human and can grow, work, love and live under conditions of justice and peace.

The subpoenaed activists have our full support and respect and we thank them for their actions.

In solidarity,

The Venus Collective