ANSWER condemns FBI intimidation tactics
The ANSWER Coalition unequivocally condemns
today's FBI raids on the homes of anti-war and solidarity activists in Illinois
and Minnesota, and the intimidation of activists there and elsewhere.
This morning, Sept. 24, teams of FBI agents from
the "Joint Terrorism Task Force" served search warrants and grand jury subpoenas
on the activists, allegedly relating to political speech in defense of the
Palestinian and Colombian peoples. The FBI subpoenaed around a dozen activists
to testify before a grand jury in Chicago in October. They confronted and
intimidated activists in additional states as part of the operation.
Grand juries are notorious political tools used by
the government against progressive activists when it lacks actual evidence
The targeted activists have done nothing wrong.
They are long-time organizers in the struggle for justice in the United States
and against U.S. wars and repression abroad. They are leaders of organizations
like the Twin-Cities Anti-War Committee, the Palestine Solidarity Group, the
Colombia Action Network and the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, among
others. Many of the targeted activists helped organize the successful mass
mobilizations at the RNC in Minneapolis, Minn. in 2008. Now, the government is
attempting to implicate them in a bogus federal "terrorism" investigation. These
allegations are baseless, reactionary and wrong.
The aim of the FBI raids is clearly the
suppression of free speech and dissent. The government wants all activists to be
afraid to speak out. And the Obama administration's Justice Department is now
leading the charge. But we cannot allow the government to stamp out the right of
people to advocate for political beliefs that do not align with the aims of the
Pentagon war machine. We cannot allow them to continue to erode our civil rights
and civil liberties.
ANSWER encourages all anti-war activists to follow
the example of the targeted activists if you are confronted by the FBI or other
police agencies. The activists have refused to engage in conversations with the
FBI about their political beliefs and anti-war organizing.
It is important for all activists and organizers
to know your civil rights. People have the right to remain silent and to consult
with an attorney. Even if the FBI shows up at someone's home or office with a
warrant, you are not required to engage in conversation. It is better to say to
FBI or other law enforcement agents, "Let me have your contact information and
my attorney will call you." People will gain nothing by engaging in discussions
with FBI officers.
ANSWER stands in full solidarity with our targeted
sisters and brothers in the anti-war movement. We vow to struggle alongside them
until the government harassment ends and they are completely vindicated.
An injury to one is an injury to all!A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition http://www.answercoalition.org/ firstname.lastname@example.org National Office in Washington DC:
202-265-1948Boston: 857-334-5084New York City: 212-694-8720 Los
Angeles: 213-251-1025 San Francisco: 415-821-6545 Chicago: 773-463-0311