January 28, 2011

Solidarity Statement from Portland Coalition Opposing Political Repression (PDX-COPR)

January 27th 2011

On September 24th 2010, the FBI raided the homes of 5 well-known anti-war and international solidarity activists in Minneapolis, as well as the Anti-War Committee office. This is a suppression of our democratic rights. This action threatens our families, our children, and our communities. This is the U.S. government attempting to silence those who support resistance to oppression in the Middle East and Latin America!

In December 2010, under the direction of U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, the FBI delivered nine new subpoenas in Chicago to anti-war and Palestine solidarity activists. Patrick Fitzgerald’s office ordered that the nine appear at a Grand Jury in Chicago on January 25th 2011. Therefore we joined the national call to protest on the Portland federal building on January 25th 2011 in solidarity with hundreds of organizations and thousands of people nationwide for a day of action and support.

FBI political repression dates back to the early 1900’s, when former director J Edgar Hoover, targeted foreign-born radicals such as Pan Africanist Marcus Garvey and Anarchist radicals such as Emma Goldman. By the 1960’s, under Hoover, the FBI counterintelligence program (COINTELPRO) was formed and illegally infiltrated organizations such as Students for a Democratic Society, those who supported the peace movement as well as the Puerto Rican independence movement and the American Indian Movement. Black activists were spied on and murdered such as Fred Hampton of the Black Panther Party. Dr. Martin Luther King was considered a communist by the FBI and was heavily watched including his collaboration with Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee as well as brother Malcolm X. FBI programs and tactics are early antecedents to today’s political repression that has graduated into the PATRIOT Act and HOMELAND SECURITY. Therefore political repression is no stranger to activist communities of color throughout the county. Here in Portland, Oregon a local African American Muslim man, Patrice Lumumba Ford is currently serving an 18 year sentence on false conspiracy charges as part of the governments "war on Terror" and post 911 siege of Muslim communities.

Nationally many new cases of FBI repression have sprung up. For example a former FBI informant is currently suing the bureau for heavy surveillance in an Irvine California Mosque. Another man Mohamed Osman Mohamud, a 19-year-old Somali man who is Muslim and from an immigrant community, faces life in prison. The FBI supplied him with money, transportation, an apartment, provoked him to realize a terrorist action and provided him with fake explosives in order to blow up a Christmas tree in downtown Portland. Locally we also see the states willingness to re-join the Joint Terrorism Task Force, build a new FBI field office, and locally construct an ICE detention center. All of these institutions are destroying many communities with the worst impact on people of color, immigrants and Muslims.

We also recognize that in a time of economic crisis there is no reluctance by the government to throw away millions of dollars daily on an intelligence industrial complex that has waged a war at home on our civilian population since the inception of this nation. We urge any concerned person to quickly join in support and solidarity by signing two petitions that address the recent raids but also to call into question historical FBI activity by opening COINTELPRO hearings. In solidarity!

Portland Coalition Opposing Political Repression (PDX-COPR)
pdxcopr@gmail.com

Petitions
To stop repression: http://www.iacenter.org/stopfbi
Open COINTELPRO hearings: http://www.thejerichomovement.com/cointelpro.html