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Like other peace advocates, Veterans For Peace is appalled by the heavy-handed actions of the FBI in raiding the homes of anti-war activists. We would also be astonished by those actions were it not for the FBI’s long history of harassing peaceful dissent. From the disgraced leadership of J. Edgar Hoover down to these 2010 raids in Minneapolis and Chicago, the Bureau has allowed itself to become the dark agent of stifling democratic opposition to America’s embarrassing military adventures abroad and its resistance to equality at home.
The idea that the victims of these home invasions are providing “material support of terrorism” by opposing brutal U.S. foreign occupations is ludicrous. It strikes at the very heart of the freedoms that VFP members thought they were donning the uniform to defend. For those of us who sought to protect democracy from alien forces it is particularly disheartening to watch that democracy now being eroded from within by our own government. Are we truly to believe that the FBI is all that stands between us and the terrorism of the Quakers, the Catholic Worker, Greenpeace, and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals?
It is further more than a little ironic that these raids of harassment should occur only a week after the Justice Department Inspector General himself concluded that the FBI does indeed have a long sorry history of baseless intimidation of dissenters to American policy. Veterans For Peace members themselves were victims of these actions surrounding the infamous police violation of dissenter rights at the Minneapolis/St. Paul Republican Convention in 2008.
As veterans and as seekers of peace we stand in solidarity with our comrades in sister organizations who are victims of this sinister FBI action. Who knows who its next targets will be? Pressing our government to withdraw from aggressive and mindless wars should be viewed as heroic activity, not a hostile act subject to persecution.