January 24, 2011

Continued FBI and grand jury harassment of the anti-war movement

Nine activists have been ordered to appear before a federal grand jury in Chicago on Tuesday to testify about ties between the Midwest anti-war movement and foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs). This comes on the heels of September 2010 FBI raids on the homes and offices of anti-war and labor organizers in Minneapolis and Chicago. 

The witch hunt fits a pattern of increasing politicization of anti-terror laws, including the unlawful surveillance of Duluth's Loaves & Fishes Community and dozens of other community and activist groups around the country.

In a disturbing twist to the current grand jury fiasco, our allies at the Anti War Committee in Minneapolis recently learned that one of their own organizers - who helped plan protests during the RNC in St Paul and a fact-finding mission to Palestine - was in fact an undercover federal agent.

The grand jury investigation appears to rest on the material support provision of the PATRIOT Act, which makes it illegal to have any contact with people who the U.S. State Department considers terrorists, even to negotiate aid delivery or advocate disarmament. (To put the State Department's competency at identifying "terrorists" in context, the African National Congress - the current ruling party in South Africa and leaders in the struggle against Apartheid - once found itself on a list of foreign terrorist organizations). 

Under the draconian logic of this provision, and the brutal political realities of countries like Colombia, human rights activists in the U.S. could conceivably be charged with support for terrorism for meeting with human rights activists in other countries. Indeed, it looks like it's already begun. 


1. Rally in solidarity with those facing the grand jury:

Tuesday, January 25, 4pm
Duluth Federal Building
(1st St and 5th Ave W)

2. Contact Attorney General Eric Holder:


Tell him to stop the grand jury investigation of anti-war activists and return all material confiscated during the September raids in the Twin Cities and Chicago.

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