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On September 26th the FBI raided homes and seized personal belongings (phones, computers, etc.) of anti-war and international solidarity activists — mostly people associated with Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) — in Minneapolis, Chicago and other cities, accusing them of giving “material aid to foreign terrorist organizations” such as FARC in Colombia and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. However, we believe this raid to be a bold threat against all left-wing revolutionary organizations that are involved in mass working-class organizing. The WSA wishes to speak out against this attack on FRSO. We urge all people of good conscience to oppose this state repression.
This attack has many people worried. Some are wondering if this is the beginning of an attack on U.S. social movements. The targeted members of FRSO are active in numerous social movement organizations, but mainly people affiliated to FRSO have been raided. We do not have a crystal ball, but we do not believe these raids signal open season on all activists. We believe the real danger here lies elsewhere. These raids may signal coming attacks on explicitly revolutionary organizations. As a revolutionary organization, this prospect worries us. More likely, however, these raids will encourage revolutionaries to keep their politics to themselves, or worse, drive revolutionaries out of social movements. While we do not agree with all of FRSO’s political views, we believe that revolutionaries should be active in social movements and open about their politics. The U.S. government has a long history of targeting small left-wing groups in isolation as a “divide and conquer tactic.” Witness the use of red baiting to divide the left and drive radicals out of labor unions in the 1950s, the effects of which are felt in organized labor to this very day. The example is relevant in this case, as a number of FRSO members are active members and leaders in the Twin Cities labor movement.
The WSA condemns this attack and the arbitrary power which it claims for the repressive agencies of the state. We should also note the hypocrisy of the state agencies who do not shrink from supporting or engaging in mass-scale terrorism abroad, while asserting arbitrary powers at home in the name of “anti-terrorism” and allowing domestic armed extremists to assist in policing the border in Arizona. We lastly wish to offer a word of solidarity to the victims of this raid (a few of whom are known individually by our own local members and have shared involvement in local labor organizing), and urge all to raise our voices in protest. As the old saying goes, “an injury to one is an injury to all.”
For a World Without Bosses, Bureaucrats or States!
Workers Solidarity Alliance