February 8, 2012

US Palestinians organize as government renews threats to indict solidarity activists

Originally Published at http://electronicintifada.net/ By Maureen Murphy

The US Palestinian Community Network (USPCN) is asking supporters to sign a pledge to defend civil and human rights as it was revealed last week that the lead government prosecutor of the Holy Land Five has been assigned to the ongoing secret investigation against anti-war and international solidarity activists across the US.

USPCN is a Palestinian formation aimed at unifying Palestinians in the Shatat (exile) in support of self-determination and the right of return and ending the Zionist occupation and colonization of Palestine.

USPCN has rallied around Palestine solidarity and anti-war activists who are being targeted as part of an investigation into material support for foreign terrorist organizations. I am one of almost two dozen activists in Chicago and the Minneapolis/St.Paul areas who have been subpoenaed to a federal grand jury as part of this investigation.

The FBI and other federal agencies, in a coordinated raid in September 2010, burst into the homes of prominent organizers in the Midwest and harassed activists across the country. In the following months, subpoenas were delivered to a total of 23 activists; all of us have refused to testify, saying that we are being targeted because of our political work which is protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

Veteran Chicano liberation, anti-war and immigrant rights activist Carlos Montes was also raided by the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department last May. Montes is named in one of the search warrants served in Minneapolis in September 2010, and when he was in custody the FBI questioned him about his political associations.

He was charged with trumped-up technical firearms code violations related to his participation in protests decades ago. (For more information about Montes and this attack on him, see this good backgrounder by Chris Hedges: “Carlos Montes and the Security State: A Cautionary Tale.”)


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