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Peace and Economic Justice

Next meeting of the Peace and Economic Justice Committee

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Protest FBI Raids and Harassment of Antiwar Activists

On Friday Sept. 24, the FBI raided homes of anti-war and international solidarity activists in Chicago and Minneapolis. Doors were kicked in during the early morning raids and personal belongings including children's artwork, posters of Martin Luther King, Jr. were taken, as well as cell phones, computers and boxes of paper records. About a dozen activists from Illinois, Minnesota and Michigan have been subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury.

The FBI emphasized that no arrests were made, but that evidence was being collected regarding the possible 'material support' of terrorism. The 'material support' statute is so broadly written that it can, and does, criminalize international peace-building activities whose only connection to terrorism is to fight against it.

Recently the Justice Department's own Inspector General released a report documenting political surveillance by the FBI. Friday's raids continue this pattern, whose purpose is to intimidate and suppress dissent rather than in any way protecting U.S. citizens. These raids threaten the First Amendment rights of all of us.

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