Notes from CSFR phone conference #3, November 23, 2010

1. Legal update

Attorney Bruce Nestor: We know the U.S. Attorney is going to take further action with the reactivation of 3 subpoenas for Anh Pham, Tracy Molm, and Sarah Martin from Minneapolis.  Each has obtained their own lawyer now, with a tremendous legal team assembled; attorneys in Chicago providing individual representation, National Lawyers’ Guild and also the Center for Constitutional Rights involved, and attorneys in Minneapolis working around this.  The U.S. government is conducting investigation in secret still. Warrant applications would have been unsealed yesterday but the government asked for renewal and it was granted—so secret investigation continues.  On or after December 6, the attorneys are due to meet with the U.S. Attorney about a new Grand Jury date, the indication is that "immunity” will be offered, and then these women may be jailed for not speaking?  Probably around that time there will be other legal motions and matters filed with the court on behalf of the people being raided and subpoenaed -- could be an opportunity to reach out to media and supporters.

Tom Burke for CSFR: So there is urgency to the week of action from Monday, Nov 29 thru Friday, Dec 3.  We want actions to keep pressure on before the meeting with the US attorney on or near December 6th and before the winter holidays set in.

Bruce: a new additional FBI visits to a house where a woman who had worked with anti-war committee three years ago used to live. The current tenants notified people of that visit. There is no way the FBI would have had that name other than from a review of the materials that were seized -- database and membership list of the committee. The FBI spares no resources in an investigation -- will contact and seek to interview people, even those active three years ago.

2. Washington DC Delegation to Congress

Deb Konechne for CSFR:  A CSFR delegation was at the U.S. Capitol for two days, visiting 16 different offices of representatives.  We met mainly with legislative aides, directors and interacted directly with four U.S. Representatives.  High-level meetings with lead counsel of Judiciary Committee under Conyers and the Executive Director of Progressive Caucus. Trying to put pressure on every level that we can.  The “Ask” was to get someone to do a Dear Colleague Letter.  Did not get a commitment, but at the meetings there seemed to be a lot of concern, especially from Conyers, but nothing that translated into action. They are dodging us by deferring to the US Representatives from the states where the people were raided.  This is nonsensical.  The CSFR delegation presence was absolutely known and our purpose was absolutely known. Some meetings were very positive but they didn't translate into action as far as the Dear Colleague Letter. We are organizing a second CSFR delegation to focus on the Senate and to follow-up in the house next week, during the week of action. We need activists and friends help in arranging meetings with Senators and Representatives.

**Request to activists:  Please try to visit with U.S. Representatives in their home districts this week and try to get letters out of them to Obama and Holder.  http://www.stopfbi.net/2010/11/21/take-action-call-or-visit-us-representative-your-home-district-week

Deb: We were trying to get someone to initiate a dear colleague letter; but without that, we are now asking legislators to write Obama and Holder directly.  Rep. Ellison has done one.  We have an example of a dear colleague letter that is stronger than the one Ellison wrote (sample letter found here: http://www.stopfbi.net/2010/11/21/take-action-call-or-visit-us-representative-your-home-district-week). The level of knowledge of the US Reps was uneven.  Our CSFR delegation did a lot of education. The lead counsel for the Judiciary Committee said they had a briefing with the FBI that covered the raids.  So we know the FBI is working the Congress to attempt to criminalize anti-war activism. 

Bruce: the FBI has briefed more than one Rep.  It fits with comments of US Atty that they are following the political pushback from the anti-war movement on this. The U.S. Atty and FBI do not like the public protests and they are trying to say that this is going to be about criminal acts and when the U.S. government goes public, they will be focusing on international solidarity aspects of this matter and they're using that to scare Congress people.

Deb: we did do a CSFR delegation follow-up letter and put in the “Asks” in individual messages.  Those went out on Monday.  We have a legislative packet that we pulled together if anybody wants materials:  http://www.stopfbi.net/resources/legislators

3. Call for Week of Action, Monday, November 29 thru Friday, December 3

http://www.stopfbi.net/2010/11/24/call-week-action-nov-29-dec-3-stop-fbi-and-grand-jury-repression

The CSFR would like people to mainly protest outside of Congressional offices -- Reps or Senators -- ties nicely with the two delegations to DC. On two occasions while the delegation was in an office trying to arrange a meeting, supporters called into the office demanding that the delegation be received. By doing protests outside U.S. Representatives' and Senators' offices, it gives a focus to our demands and it very much makes that public profile of the anti-war movement and the opposition to the raids and the grand jury go that much further -- not just federal buildings being protested -- placing demands on politicians and those politicians will be writing Holder or calling him and Obama will hear about that and the US attorney will know about that.  Depending where you live, you might have to pick another place to protest.  The main theme for the next week is protest and actions and the overall message that we're emphasizing – we are still operating under three points of Stop FBI raids, Return activists belongings, and End the Grand Jury -- but we really want to emphasize "Call Off the Grand Jury--Stop the Witch Hunt."  Third point: US attorney is looking to force people to testify against their friends and comrades. Three women being called back, we think it's likely that they are going to refuse to speak. If there is an immunity offer they could be put in jail by the US Attorney. We think there is a lot of strength in personalizing the three to the movement and to the media, to try to get a sense of who they are put it out to the public and promote their profiles and their pictures. The activists whose subpoenas are being reactivated are Sarah Martin, Tracy Molm and Anh Pham. Minnesota's already produced a poster that will be up on stopfbi.net this week:  http://www.stopfbi.net/events/minnesota-committee-stop-fbi-repression/12-2-10/minneapolis-protest-sen-klobuchar%E2%80%99s-office-ke

We are really asking people to start to promote the three women who are being targeted by the grand jury and by the US attorney in particular.

Protest Plans (Please below for more formal list and how to join it.)

Mick Kelly: Minnesota will probably on Thursday hold a protest at Rep. Klobuchar’s office. Numbers will be pretty good and we have the letter Deb mentioned and we'll be insisting that the representative send the letter to Obama and Holder that the witch-hunt be called off.

Daniel: SDS and Milwaukee Activist Defense Network will be protesting Dec. 3 outside the federal building at 5pm, location of WI's Senator Kohl’s office

Vancouver: holding protest outside US consulate on Thursday, time hasn't been set

Sara in NY: determining whether to do action Thursday or Friday, assuming it would be at Federal building but with this orientation is helpful to know that it would be important to do it in front of congressional offices. Looked up on web and googled Jerry Nadler who has a reputation as a liberal and progressive his district is in lower Manhattan. Chair of judiciary subcommittee on civil rights and civil liberties. An office that's very well located for people to go to. 

Frank in Boston: exploring w/other groups to see what to do. Kerry is a possibility.

Andy from NY: Likes idea of targeting Nadler's office. United National Anti-War Committee meeting on Sunday and this was agenda appoint and it was agreed that all affiliates of UNAC agreed to do action wherever they are this week.

Pete in Chicago: We don't have a plan ready to go but we have been talking about an emergency response plan and are prepared to demonstrate at Dirksen federal building when a call is issued.

Maureen in Chicago: we have a meeting with Congresswoman Schakowsky herself on the 29th. Our main efforts will be focused around that

Kosta in North Carolina: have a phone meeting with congressman David Price and on November 30th, we will be hosting Jess Sundin and are talking about trying to pull together a demonstration next week as well

Sue from DC: small committee going, trying to decide on a demonstration outside of FBI building on Dec. 2nd and meeting w/members of Congress from around here.  Hope to get some support from Rep. Donna Edwards. Educational event scheduled for Dec. 6.

Tom:  Jess Sundin called Cindy Sheehan who said they cancelled plans in D.C. for a protest on January 16th.  Hoping to work together with CSFR soon.

Masao from San Jose: had first meeting of local organizing committee on Saturday. CSFR speaking at meeting co-sposnored by Middle East Children's Alliance, UNAC and Muslim Student Association and Students for Justice in Palestine at UC Berkeley at the teach-in on Palestine, Islamophobia and Civil Liberties. Weekly anti-war vigil at main library a block away from the federal building in San Jose, Friday Dec. 3, 5-6 pm

Jill in NY: Seattle is having an action on Dec. 2nd at noon at FBI office. People's Bureau of Investigation going to Federal Bureau of Investigation. They have a local committee there now.

Sara: hearing concrete plans from a number of cities that an email specifically on actions during this week of activity, listing some of the plans that are already known and urging as many new cities as possible.

Jess: everyone who does plans and the details for them, email them so we can post them on the web. Send to stopfbi@gmail.com

4. Fundraising

With reactivation of three subpoenas, each person now has to have their own lawyer who has to be paid. We want to ask folks to put out calls for legal defense fund. The legal is going to start adding up quickly and we're going to have to put some efforts together to contact progressive wealthy donors, important academics, Hollywood celebrities, and other public figures, but we can't do it alone and we need help with ideas and concrete efforts to make it happen.  If it helps, we can send people to meetings and events. 

5. Reminders:

**Editorials—We want to generate more editorials and articles from professors, lawyers, commentators, experts, and public figures.  Please contact us with your results. 

**Professors--Sign-on letter for professors and academic workers.  Students can help organize this: http://www.stopfbi.net/petition/dear-colleague/professors-and-academics

**On-line Petition--Ask activists to circulate and gather signatures to the online petition at http://www.stopfbi.net/petition

Please check this initial protest list for correct information and write to Tom Burke at info@colombiasolidarity.org if there needs to be corrections or additions. 

CSFR Week of Actions--Stop FBI.net

Chicago, IL, Monday, November 29th, 5533 N. Broadway, at U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky’s office. 

CSFR Delegation to visit the U.S. Senate, Wednesday, December 1st and Thursday, December 2nd, at the U.S. Capitol. 

Minneapolis, MN, Thursday, December 2nd, 4:30 PM, 1200 Washington Ave. S, at U.S. Senator Klobuchar’s office. 

Vancouver, Canada, Thursday, December 2nd

Seattle, WA, Thursday, December 2nd, 12:00 Noon, at the FBI offices, 1110 3rd Avenue,

Washington D.C., Thursday, December 2nd, FBI Building, 935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Milwaukee, WI, Friday December 3rd, 5:00 PM, Federal Building, 310 W. Wisconsin Ave, at U.S. Senator Kohl’s offices. 

San Jose, CA, Friday, December 3rd, 5:00 PM, San Jose Public Library, East San Fernando St. and South 4th St., ½ block from Federal Building

 


 

Committee to Stop FBI Repression (CSFR)                           November 25, 2010

Call for Week of Action!

Don’t Let the Grand Jury Jail Anti-War Activists!

Local protests and actions between Monday, November 29 and Friday, December 3

We are calling for a week of action to “Call off the Grand Jury!  Stop the Witch Hunt!” for the week of November 29 – December 3. We are urging activists to focus on U.S. Congress people.  Demand that they take action to stop the Grand Jury.  Please protest at their Congressional offices or the Federal Building.

Three activists from Minneapolis--Tracy Molm, Sarah Martin and Anh Pham are being called back before the Grand Jury in Chicago, and we need to build a movement to defend these activists and the others being targeted by the FBI.

Many actions around the country are already planned and the list is growing!  Please contact us ASAP at stopfbi@gmail.com so we can list your action.

For more information about protests and a helpful flier, see

http://www.stopfbi.net/2010/11/24/call-week-action-nov-29-dec-3-stop-fbi-and-grand-jury-repression


Here is the call (and the flier, attached), for the Minneapolis Action, to help you plan:
Protest at Sen. Klobuchar’s office
to Keep Anh, Tracy & Sarah out of Jail!
Thursday, December 2, 4:30 pm
1200 Washington Ave. S, Mpls

On Sept. 24, the FBI raided anti-war & international solidarity activists in Minneapolis & Chicago, then subpoenaed 14 people to appear before a Grand Jury investigating “material support of terrorism.”

The 14 activists were ordered to bring info with them on all their political contacts & activities here & around the world. This is an outrageous attack on the right of free speech and association! Naming names of activists they’ve met from places like Colombia and Palestine could jeopardize those activists’ safety at the hands of their oppressive governments. The people subpoenaed have not materially supported terrorism. All “pled the 5th” so the government temporarily suspended their subpoenas.

Now US Attorney Fitzgerald's office says 3 of the activists - Anh Pham, Tracy Molm & Sarah Martin - will soon have their subpoenas reactivated. They’ll face the choice of participating in the witch hunt or going to jail indefinitely for ‘contempt’.

This must be stopped. Join us to demand that Senator Klobuchar pressure President Obama and Attorney General Holder to stop US Attorney Fitzgerald's McCarthyist witch hunt. Demand that Sen. Klobuchar do all she can to keep Anh, Tracy and Sarah out of jail!

CSFR List of Actions

Chicago, IL, Monday, November 29th, 5533 N. Broadway, at U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky’s office. 

CSFR Delegation to visit the U.S. Senate, Wednesday, December 1st and Thursday, December 2nd, at the U.S. Capitol. 

Minneapolis, MN, Thursday, December 2nd, 4:30 PM, 1200 Washington Ave. S, at U.S. Senator Klobuchar’s office. 

Vancouver, Canada, Thursday, December 2nd

Seattle, WA, Thursday, December 2nd, 12:00 Noon, at the FBI offices, 1110 3rd Ave.

Washington D.C., Thursday, December 2, FBI Building, 935 Pennsylvania Ave., NW

Milwaukee, WI, Friday December 3rd, 5:00 PM, Federal Building, 310 W. Wisconsin Ave, at U.S. Senator Kohl’s offices. 

San Jose, CA, Friday, December 3rd, 5:00 PM, San Jose Public Library, East San Fernando St. and South 4th St., ½ block from Federal Building