October 4, 2010

Statement by Organizations and People of Faith Against the FBI Raids

We are people of faith and conscience who condemn the recent FBI raids in Chicago as a violation of the constitutional rights of the people and organizations raided. They are a dangerous step to further criminalize dissent. The FBI raids chisel away and bypass fundamental constitutional rights by hauling activists before grand juries under the guise of national security. An overly broad definition of “material support for terrorism” in the June 2010 US Supreme Court ruling concerns us as people of faith who continue to be actively engaged in humanitarian work and peacemaking.

The real illegitimate activities are U.S. foreign policies that support war and occupation. We believe that peacemaking is a sacred commandment. We feel compelled to work to end military solutions that kill and maim innocent people, destroy civil society institutions, create massive poverty and dislocation of people from their homelands, militarize our own nation and continue to create more animosity against the United States, thus undermining our security.

We are committed to a just peace in Israel and Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and Colombia. Some of us have visited these conflicted areas and accompanied those most affected by the violence. Some of us have permanent staff and volunteers working nonviolently for a peaceful resolution to these conflicts. We all stand opposed to the United States’ and all nations’ support of military aid and military intervention in these countries. The infusion of military aid has exacerbated violence rather than resolved it.

We believe in a divine spirit of justice and hope that promotes understanding and equality of all humanity. We refuse to remain silent in the face of the latest efforts of the FBI to chill dissent against war by invading homes of peace activists and calling a grand jury with sweeping powers to manufacture fear. We denounce the use of fear and the far-reaching labeling of critical dissent as “terrorism” that tramples on not only our right, but our duty to dissent as people called to a moral standard of justice for all.

8th Day Center for Justice Staff
American Friends Service Committee – Chicago Office
American Muslims for Palestine – National
Arab Jewish Partnership for Peace and Justice in the Middle East
Chicago Faith Coalition on Middle East Policy
Community Media Workshop
Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago
Fellowship of Reconciliation
First Chicago Church of the Brethren
Fox Valley Citizens for Peace & Justice
North Suburban Peace Initiative
Voices for Creative Nonviolence
Witness for Peace-Great Lakes Region

Individuals (organizational affiliation for identification purposes only)
Karen Alfort, Welington Ave. UCC
Yali Amit, Professor, University of Chicago
Jennifer Bing, American Friends Service Committee
Fr. Bob Bossie, SCJ
Jean Bryan
Pauline M. Coffman, Steering Committee, Middle East Task Force of Chicago Presbytery
Joyce Cassel
John Cassel, Chicago First Church of the Brethren
Thom Clark
Ken Crowley, Witness for Peace-Great Lakes Region
Rev. Dan Dale, pastor, Wellington Ave. UCC
Rev. Jean Siegfried Darling, The Peoples Church of Chicago
Mary Dean, Voices for Creative Nonviolence
Rev. Audrey deCoursey, Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren, Elgin, Illinois
Darlene Dehne, Wellington Ave. UCC
Rev. Deborah Derylak
LaDonna R. Emery, Wellington Ave. UCC
Barbara Engel
Jeni Fabian, Wellington Ave. UCC
Laila Farah, PhD., Director, WGS Graduate Program, DePaul University
Rev. Cotton Fite, St. Luke’s Church, Evanston, IL
Frank Goetz, West Suburban Faith-based Peace Coalition
Br. Michael Gosch, CSV, Clerics of St. Viator (Viatorians)
Rev. Larry Greenfield, Executive Minister, American Baptist Churches of Metro Chicago
Rev. Denise Griebler, Pastor, St. Michael’s UCC
Denise Gron, Wellington Ave. UCC
Rev. Ann-Louise Haak, Lake Street Church of Evanston
Charlie Havens
Caroline Herzenberg
Gregg Hodgson, Citizen
Charles Hughes, Wellington Ave. UCC
Chris Inserra, Wellington Ave. UCC, SOA Watch
Tomis Kapitan, professor of philosophy, Northern Illinois University
Daniel Kaplan, American Friends Service Committee
Kathy Kelly, Voices for Creative Nonviolence
Lisa Kosowski, Arab Jewish Partnership for Peace and Justice in the Middle East
Mark Lickerman, Code Pink, Unitarian-Universalist
Rabbi Rebecca Lillian, Chicago, IL
Brad Lyttle, Midwest Peace Center
Michael McConnell, American Friends Service Committee
Ed McManus, Fellowship of Reconciliation
Lillian Moats, DuPage Peace through Justice Coalition
Donna Morris-Ely, Wellington Ave. UCC
Syed Zahid Mohsin
Rev. Craig B. Mousin, Wellington Ave. UCC
Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid, Chair Parliament of World Religions
Tim Nafziger, Christian Peacemaker Teams
Janet Owen
Gerald Paoli, Voices for Creative Nonviolence
Bettina Perillo
Susan Pierson, Wellington Ave. UCC
Miryam Rashid, American Friends Service Committee
Priscilla Reynolds, Wellington Ave. UCC
Pam and Lan Richart, Eco Justice Collaborative
Jackie Rivet-River, Peace Productions, Inc.
Rabbi Brant Rosen, Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation, Evanston, IL
Rev. David Safeblade, Wellington Ave. UCC
Akhter Sadiq
John Michael Schuh, Wellington Ave. UCC
Rupa Shah MD
Newland Smith
Rev Sam Smith, Chicago Chapter of the Fellowship of Reconciliation
Karen Stockwell, Wellington Ave. UCC
Mary Tarullo
Rev. Robert V. Thompson, Lake Street Church of Evanston
Greg Vachon, Wellington Ave. UCC
Paul and Pat Vogel
John Volkening, Wellington Ave. UCC
Jim Vondracek, Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America
Rev. Gretchen Winkler, Convener, Working Group on the Middle East, Metropolitan Chicago Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America