Green Party of Minnesota Supports Peace Activists Raided by FBI

Thanks to Tom Stream for the tip.

from the Green Party of Minnesota website:

Green Party of Minnesota Supports Peace Activists Raided by FBI

News that five homes of well-known peace activists in Minneapolis had been raided and searched by FBI agents yesterday morning brought expressions of outrage from members of the Green Party´s state coordinating committee. They voiced support for the Anti War Committee and other local groups with which the activists are associated. They believe that accusations of material aid to terrorism are intended to intimidate all who protest.

The suppression of democratic rights and the bogus use of terrorism charges continue to intensify under the Obama administration. A number of the activists also received subpoenas to testify at a Chicago grand jury. We will continue to support these activists as they face the grand jury process.

“Following upon the unjustified raids and arrests that took place in 2008, this action throws a threatening shadow over freedom of expression in our state — as no doubt it was meant to do,” says Andy Hamerlinck. He pointed out that empty charges of terrorism against the RNC 8 arrested in 2008 have long since been dropped. Only last week, all other charges were dropped against three of those defendants. “Now we have a new round of bullying.”

Related News: UFPJ has announced: “The FBI’s raids threaten the First Amendment, our Peace Movement, and reflect the dangerous expansion of guilt by association pervading the Justice Department’s “counter-terror” prosecutions. They cannot stand, and the FBI should be held accountable for any abuses. Activists are encouraged to join demonstrations at FBI and/or Federal buildings in cities around the country…” on Monday September 27th and Tuesday, September 28th.

15 thoughts on “Green Party of Minnesota Supports Peace Activists Raided by FBI

  1. Independent Green Party

    Meredith Aby, a leader of the Anti-War Committee and one of the targets of Friday morning’s raids. Photo: James Sanna for the Minnesota Independent

    “Fighting for peace is not a crime!” chanted members of the Anti-War Committee and their supporters at Friday afternoon’s press conference on the front lawn of a member’s house. “Stop the harassment now!”

    When asked for comment on the raids, FBI spokesman Steve Warfield declined, telling the Minnesota Independent only that the raids were part of an ongoing investigation by the Joint Terrorism Task Force into “material support for terrorism,” that no arrests were made, and that raids were also made in Chicago and elsewhere in the United States.

    One of the search warrants, whose details were first published by Twin Cities Indymedia, sought information on the possible “US to travel to Colombia, Palestine and any other foreign location in support of foreign terrorist organizations including but not limited to FARC, PFLP and Hezbollah.” It authorized FBI agents to seize computers, and some Anti-War Committee members said their personal cell phones, personal computers, passports, videos and some documents were also taken. According to Meredith Aby, a leader in the group, agents also took a computer and checkbook belonging to the Committee.

  2. Independent Green Party

    In interviews with the Independent, Aby and committee members Jess Sundin and Steph Yorek disavowed connections to Lebanese Hezbollah, the Colombian revolutionary group FARC or the small Palestinian militant group Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

    “We meet with human rights activists in other countries to get understanding of situations they face,” said Yorek.

    Sundin said committee members use the trips to gather information that the group then uses in presentations to the public back in the United States.

    “All trips always been very public,” Sundin said.

  3. Independent Green Party

    Fact-Finding Leads to Investigations?

    Aby said Anti-War Committee members sometimes engage in “political accompaniment work,” where they stay with activists “to keep them from being abducted or bombed” by authorities.

    On their lawyers’ advice, neither Aby nor Sundin would answer questions about whether they’d met with avowed members of the terrorist groups named in the search warrant. However, Aby told members of the media that she did not keep in contact with members of the groups they met with on their fact-finding trips.

    Aby said she had traveled to Palestine in 2002 and to Colombia in 2004 and 2006.

    Peter Erlinder, the controversial William Mitchell College of Law professor and a longtime Anti-War Committee member, told the media that the committee was being targeted under an expanded definition of what constitutes “material support for terrorism,” upheld by a recent US Supreme Court decision. The Humanitarian Law Project v. Holder case, he said, confirmed that a US citizen could be prosecuted for even offering legal counsel to a member of a group labeled as a terrorist organization by the State Department. He suggested that the Anti-War Committee’s fact-finding meetings with Palestinian and Colombian dissidents may have opened themselves up to these raids under the loose guidelines.

    “The political effect is to attack political opposition,” Ehrlinder said. “Even though local law enforcement may not intend it, that is the effect.”

  4. Robert Milnes

    The purpose seems to be-among other things-to entangle activists retroactively in expanded definitions/guidelines regarding aid to terrorist groups/persons,
    and suppress the October 2 demonstration.
    This is the same FBI that successfully colaterally attacked me in 1985.
    Libertarians, think you are immune because most of these people/groups are leftist? NOT.

  5. Robert Milnes

    If I were elected president, or was in an advisory capacity to the president, I would seek to legally remove all the Supreme Court justices. They are mostly reactionary & the remedy would be to remove them all. To be replaced by progressives & libertarians.

  6. Gene Berkman

    The Minnesota Antiwar Committee appears to include activists from the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (Fightback) – a neo-Stalinist grouplet that does have contacts with the PFLP in Palestine and FARC in Colombia.

    Mick Kelly is a leading member of the Antiwar Committee who was questioned by the FBI. Kelly is also part of FRSO (Fightback) and has a long article defending the suppression of the Tienanmen Square Democracy protests posted at the FRSO website (www.frso.org)

  7. Gene Berkman

    @ #12 – my point is that while we should condemn the US government raid on peace activists, it is possible that the people who were raided actually did have plans for violent action. They certainly have the contacts with violent organizations in foreign countries.

    And certainly while the FRSO condemns the US government, it supports repression by “socialist” regimes.

  8. Robert Milnes

    I would be willing to assist these people in their defense. I am, unfortunately, experienced as a defendant in federal court.
    Some general advice-never plead guilty. You forfeit most of your rights, particularly appellate rights. You place yourself at the mercy of the system and it is generally merciless.
    Get the best attorney you can. Never settle for a federal defender. Get yourself declared as your own counsel with your attorney as assistant counsel.
    Always select jury trial. A jury will tend to be more fair than a judge.
    Subpoenae anyone & anything possible & needed.
    Assume the FBI is lying or up to something. Do not be lienient with them as they testify.
    Get any & all discovery you are entitled to. In my case there was an exculpatory latent fingerprint report that I didn’t see until years later & then only via my own FOIPA request. + it was heavily redacted.
    Be respectful in Court & to the judge. But know the judge is not perfect. I caught my judge in several mistakes but was not able to correct them as I was under the restrictions of my federal defender. Again, be your own attorney. Take active part in your case. Get to know the laws & case law. If you lose, you will have little better to do.
    Etc.

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