October 4, 2010

Vigorously Oppose Government Attacks on Activists! Resistance is a Right!

Statement of the U.S. Marxist-Leninist Organization Joint Terrorism Task Forces in Minnesota and Chicago raided the homes of activists September 24, seizing, as the search warrants demanded, “documents, files, books, photographs, videos, souvenirs, war relics, notebooks, address books, diaries, journals, maps or other evidence, including evidence in electronic form” meaning computers, cell phones, email and internet records, etc. Passports were also confiscated even though none of those targeted were arrested or charged with any crime. About a dozen armed agents at each location, some with guns drawn, raided people’s homes in Illinois and Minnesota, with other activists in Michigan and North Carolina also targeted. These Joint Terrorism Task Forces include not only the FBI but commonly the military, local and state police and other federal policing agencies like ICE, ATF and the DEA. The organizers involved were also subpoenaed to testify in October before grand juries that are supposedly investigating “terrorists,” and "conspiracies to provide material support to terrorism." Refusal to testify, which is the just stand of those involved, could mean jail. The U.S. Marxist-Leninist Organization denounces these raids and demands an end to all government attacks on activists and organizers. We salute the activists for their refusal to be intimidated and join all those across the country opposing these attacks. Undaunted and unafraid together we say, All Out to Support Resistance, At Home and Abroad! The people targeted are known for their work in defense of rights here at home, their firm opposition to aggressive U.S. wars and their support of the peoples of Palestine and Colombia fighting for their national and social rights. Efforts by organizers in the U.S. to build fraternal ties with the peoples in Colombia and Palestine were directly targeted, with correspondence, travel and any ties made to peoples in both countries seized. These raids are also taking place when numerous organizing efforts are being done to raise funds and humanitarian aid for Gaza. Some of the people attacked were active in organizing demonstrations at the Republican National Convention (RNC) in St. Paul in 2008 and defending the RNC8. The trial of the RNC8, activists arrested even before demonstrations began at the RNC and initially charged with "terrorism" starts October 25. So these attacks are also part of creating an atmosphere in the Twin Cities that it is activists opposing the U.S. that are dangerous, not the U.S. government carrying out the raids and police violence. These attacks are an attack on the right to dissent in the U.S., and an attack on the right to resistance, abroad and at home. They are directed at the anti-war movement as well as all the many efforts to defend and support resistance, whether in Palestine, Colombia, Lebanon, Cuba, Venezuela or Korea to name a few. They are designed to dampen and paralyze organizing efforts that favor the peoples while diverting time and resources to legal cases. More than this, the Obama administration is attempting to impose as normal and acceptable that anyone it determines is a "terrorist" or “providing, attempting and conspiring to provide material support to designated terrorist organizations,” as the search warrants put it, can be targeted for spying, harassment, jailing and even death. All on the president's say-so. The “terrorism” charges of today were the “communism” charges of the past and the present as well. As former British Prime Minister recently put it, "Islamic fundamentalism" and "extremism" are analogous to " revolutionary communism," and requires the government to spend "as long as we need to," to defeat it. The current government raids and grand juries are the McCarthyite witch hunts of the present, aimed again at communists, at leading anti-war and rights activists and all those who affirm the right to resist and organize for change that benefits the people. Promoting and using the claim of "terrorism" and equaitng it to "revolutionary communism" are the weapons to safeguard the U.S. state at all costs and justify any crime, while blocking efforts to develop an alternative to U.S.-style democracy. We firmly stand against all attacks on resistance and support all those advancing the fight for the rights of all abroad and at home. We are stepping up the fight for empowerment of the people as central to the solutions of the problems of our time. We reject all efforts to block emergence of an alternative, including institutions of our own, where the people themselves govern and decide. No to Government Impunity! Yes to Resistance! Build Politics of Empowerment!