CSFR Report: June 13 - June 26

In this report:

  • Solidarity with Carlos Montes
    • National call-in day July 6
    • Successful day of action June 16
  • National conference call of the CSFR June 28
  • Letter from Rep. John Lewis
  • Solidarity statements
  • Press coverage
  • Organizing materials

Solidarity with Carlos Montes

Support Carlos Montes - National call-in day on July 6

On Wednesday, July 6, Carlos Montes will go to a Los Angeles court to face six felony charges and enter a plea. The charges against Carlos carry a total penalty of up to 18 years, and are aimed at his effective political organizing against war and for people’s civil rights.

Our last national call-in day was on June 14 and was very successful. The call-in days are very important: please take a few minutes to make the phone call and to encourage members of your groups, your friends and family to call in, then e-mail info@stopfbi.net to let us know you called. Call-in information for July 6 is available here.

Successful June 16 national day of action in solidarity with Carlos Montes

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets in at least 18 cities across the country on Thursday, June 16, 2011 against the U.S. government’s expanding repression of anti-war and international solidarity activists. The demonstrations took place as long-time Chicano and immigrants’ rights activist Carlos Montes appeared 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. Read the rest of the press release here

Protests and events happened in the following places:

  • Alhambra, California - Come to the Alhambra Courthouse June 16!
  • Asheville, North Carolina - WALKOUT! Movie showing and meeting in solidarity with Carlos Montes
  • Bluffton, South Carolina - Carlos Montes Solidarity Rally, Bluffton SC
  • Chicago, Illinois - Chicago Rally at Federal Building in Solidarity with Immigrants Rights and Chicano Activist Carlos Montes
  • Dallas, Texas - Dallas Solidarity Protest with Carlos Montes
  • El Paso, Texas - Rally in Support of Carlos Montes - El Paso, TX
  • Gainesville, Florida - Protest in solidarity with Carlos Montes - Gainesville
  • Hartford, Connecticut - Press conference and picket in Hartford in solidarity with Carlos Montes
  • Kalamazoo, Michigan - Vigil in Solidarity with Carlos Montes, Veteran Chicano Activist and Immigrants’ Rights Leader
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin - Protest in solidarity with immigrants’ rights leader Carlos Montes
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota - Protest FBI Repression! Support Carlos Montes!
  • New York City, New York - NY Groups to Join Nationwide Protests as Federal Government Expands Repression of Political Activists
  • Oakland, California - Bay Area Solidarity Rally: Stop FBI Attacks on Political Activists
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - Philadelphia protest in solidarity with Carlos Montes
  • Raleigh, North Carolina - Raleigh Protest at Federal Building in Solidarity with Immigrants Rights and Chicano Activist Carlos Montes
  • Salt Lake City, Utah - Protest in Solidarity with Carlos Montes in Salt Lake City, UT
  • San Jose, California - San Jose Film Showing and Meeting in Solidarity with Carlos Montes
  • Seattle, Washington - Seattle Solidarity Rally with Carlos Montes

National conference call of the CSFR June 28

We invite you to attend a conference call at 9:00 PM EST on June 28 to organize support for Carlos Montes as he goes to court on Wednesday, July 6. Carlos' situation is serious, but we also have opportunities to reach out and broaden support against the FBI repression. We took note that the early morning protest in Los Angeles was large, as was the protest in the Bay Area. As well we are seeing the Chicano/Mexicano and immigrants' rights movements leading solidarity events and protests in places from El Paso, Texas to Chicago, Illinois. So please make time to be on this important organizing call. It will only take one hour. Call-in information is available here.

Rep. John Lewis writes to Attorney General Eric Holder about FBI repression

Our legislative working group continues to make a big impact with their work. The CSFR is pleased to announce that Rep. John Lewis (5th District, Georgia) wrote a letter to Attorney General Holder on May 13, expressing concern about the case. Lewis also included a strong letter from CSFR defense attorney Michael Deutsch with the People's Law Office in Chicago.

Lewis' letter says in part:

I am writing because I am reminded of another time and another period in our history, during the Civil Rights Movement, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and I and many others in the movement, were investigated in an attempt to silence our voices. Mr. Deutsch and other union leaders have expressed concerns about the "chilling effect" such investigations may have on the free speech rights of Americans.

So far nine congressional representatives have sent letters of concern to Attorney General Holder and/or President Obama. If you are interested to help obtain a letter from your representative, please contact info@stopfbi.net

Solidarity statements

We received some very strong solidarity statements in the last two weeks:

We ask our supporters to continue their work in seeking resolutions from trade unions, religious groups, social justice organizations, and others in solidarity with the CSFR.

Press Coverage

The CSFR had an excellent two weeks for press coverage. On June 13, the Washington Post ran a lengthy piece about the FBI repression ("Activists cry foul over FBI probe"). The story was above the fold on the front page of the newspaper, and was read by hundreds of thousands. The piece prompted other national news organizations to cover the story.

The New York Times had two editorials ("Backward at the F.B.I.") and ("Free to Search and Seize") which mentioned the FBI repression of activists. In the latter editorial, op-ed contributor David Shipler wrote:

American history is replete with assaults on liberties that first target foreigners, minorities and those on the political margins, then spread toward the mainstream. The 1917 Espionage Act, for example, was used to prosecute American labor leaders and other critics of the government, and the 1798 Alien Enemies Act was revived after Pearl Harbor to intern American citizens of Japanese ancestry. A similar process is taking place now, as the F.B.I. has begun using counterterrorism tools to search, infiltrate and investigate groups of American peace activists and labor leaders in the Midwest.

Fox News has also been busy covering the case. Fox Business News Channel had Tom Burke, a spokesperson for the CSFR, on "America's Nightly Scoreboard" to talk about the case. Glenn Beck dedicated a 15 minute segment of his show to attacking Stephanie Weiner and other targets of FBI repression in Chicago, while Alan Combs hosted Joe Iosbaker to talk about the case on Combs' radio show.

Finally, Meredith Aby, who had her home raided by the FBI in September 2010 and who was subpoenaed to the federal grand jury in Chicago has an article in the widely-read Latin America solidarity newsletter Interconnect: "Taking a Stand Against FBI Repression of the International Solidarity Movement".

Here is a listing of more press coverage the we received in the last two weeks:

New organizing materials

A supporter of the CSFR submitted a "Stop the Frame-ups" poster in solidarity with Carlos Montes. It is a great contribution and we welcome others to submit their artwork, music, and videos in solidarity with the CSFR to info@stopfbi.net

There are also a number of videos that have been posted to the website, please have a look at our Videos section.