Protests in 19 Cities Against FBI Probe and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder Repression of Political Activists

As Carlos Montes Appears in Court, National Protests Demand: “Drop the Charges! Stop FBI Attacks on Immigrants’ Rights, Anti-War and International Solidarity Activists!”

June 15, 2011

Protesters are taking to the streets in at least 19 cities on Thursday, June 16, 2011 against the U.S. government’s expanding repression of anti-war and international solidarity activists. The demonstrations take place as long-time Chicano and immigrants’ rights activist Carlos Montes is due in court on charges relating to a May 17 raid on his California home by FBI and Los Angeles Sheriffs police. The raid on Montes’ home is a continuation of the repression targeting anti-war and international solidarity activists in the Midwest since September 2010, as the Washington Post reported earlier this week.

According to FBI documents discovered in May and released by the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, Federal officials are targeting Montes because he is part of the group that organized protests against the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, MN. Montes, a community organizer for more than 40 years, was a leader of the 1968 Los Angeles high school walkouts against racism – documented in the popular HBO film “Walkout!” – and a founder of the Brown Berets. More recently, Montes opposed Arizona’s racist anti-immigrant laws and the ban on Chicano studies.

Preparing for court, Carlos Montes said, “I am protesting the attack against me in my home on May 17. Attorney General Eric Holder is up to no good!” Montes continued, “I denounce the LA Sheriff and FBI attack on our rights to speak out and organize against US wars, occupation, and military interventions from Afghanistan to Iraq to Colombia. We will not be criminalized for our international solidarity with oppressed people, like the millions rising up in the Arab countries.”

Jess Sundin of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression in Minneapolis said, “I was so angry when I learned that the government escalated their repression of anti-war and international solidarity activists, with a violent raid on the home of my friend Carlos Montes.”

“Carlos stood behind us during the raids on our homes last September, and I could never be silent as he defends himself against trumped up criminal charges,” Sundin said. ”He has been an important voice for building unity between the anti-war movement and the immigrants’ rights movement, and now we will unite in standing behind Carlos.”

The Committee to Stop FBI Repression continues to build momentum for its campaign to stop the FBI and government repression of activists. To date, over 400 organizations have issued solidarity statements with the CSFR, while unions representing over 800,000 workers have adopted resolutions in support of those being targeted by the FBI. Nine congressional representatives have written letters of concern to A.G. Holder, while tens of thousands of people across the country are participating in street protests and signing petitions in solidarity with the CSFR.

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