CSFR Report: May 23 - June 12: All out for solidarity with Carlos Montes!

This update contains news about the Committee to Stop FBI Repression's (CSFR) activities over the last two weeks - much of it centered around actions in solidarity with Carlos Montes.

In this report:

Over 14 cities to hold protests in solidarity with Carlos Montes on June 16

On May 19, the CSFR issued the following statement:

On May 17, 2011 at 5:00 AM the SWAT Team of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and members of the FBI raided the home of Carlos Montes, a long time Chicano activist and active member of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression. The SWAT Team smashed the front door and rushed in with automatic weapons as Carlos slept. The team of Sheriffs and FBI proceeded to ransack his house, taking his computer, cell phones and hundreds of documents, photos, diskettes and mementos of his current political activities in the pro-immigrant rights and Chicano civil rights movement. Also taken were hundreds of historical documents related to Carlos Montes’ involvement in the Chicano movement for the past 44 years.

Carlos was arrested on one charge dealing with a firearm code and released on bail the following morning. His first court appearance is set for June 16, 2011.

This attack on Carlos Montes is part of the campaign of FBI harassment taking place against the 23 peace and justice activists which has until now been centered in the Midwest. Carlos Montes’ name was listed on the subpoena left in the office of the Twin Cities Anti-War Committee last September 24. When Carlos Montes was placed in the LA County Sheriff's car, an FBI agent approached and asked him questions about the Freedom Road Socialist Organization.

Protests on June 16 across the country

The CSFR has been working with our local committees and ally organizations to build for a day of action on June 16 - the day that Carlos has his first court appearance.

To date, 14 cities have scheduled protests and pickets outside of their local federal and FBI buildings, and more are expected to join in.

New solidarity statements in solidarity with Carlos Montes and the CSFR

We also received solidarity statements from the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAc), FMLN de Minnesota, BAYAN USA, Anti-War Committee, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), and University of Minnesota SDS.

We urge your organization, trade union local, religious group, or other association to issue a statement in solidarity with Carlos Montes and other people targeted by FBI and government repression. Statements may be sent to info@stopfbi.net.

Call-in Day in support of Montes June 14

We are organizing a national call-in day to Attorney General Eric Holder's office on June 14 to express our support and solidarity with Carlos Montes. Please call in to Holder's office on June 14 and express your support with Carlos and the activists being targeted by the FBI.

New Petition in solidarity with Carlos

With the help of our friends at the International Action Center, we are circulating a new national petition in solidarity with Carlos Montes and demanding the government stop its attacks on activists. Please sign this petition - by signing you will generate e-mails to the media and elected officials notifying them that you are supporting the CSFR and Carlos.

Successful Protest of Eric Holder in Minnesota

On May 27, members and supporters of the Minnesota CSFR held a successful day of protests against Attorney General Eric Holder. A statement from the MN CSFR announcing the protest said in part:

This is a critical opportunity for all supporters of civil liberties and the anti-war movement to come out to demand an end to FBI and grand jury repression of local activists. Attorney General Holder can call this off – and he’s coming to us! He will be speaking at a conference and receiving an award. Help us take this opportunity to publicize his

Under U.S. Attorney General Holder’s “leadership”:

  • peace groups have been investigated solely because they organize protests. In fact, his own Department of Justice Inspector General’s report soundly criticized the FBI for improperly targeting domestic peace and anti-war groups for investigation.
  • the FBI has expanded its surveillance deep into the Arab and Muslim community – including every mosque in the U.S.! And there has been an increase in racial profiling of Arabs & Muslims.
  • he has defended the current director of the FBI, Robert Mueller, and recently asked Congress to extend Mueller’s term two more years, despite the Inspector General revealing that the FBI has systematically and illegally spied on political activists; that the FBI director lied to Congress about details of the surveillance; and that agents frequently confuse civil disobedience with “domestic terrorism”.

The protests received extensive media coverage, in outlets including the Star Tribune, Associated Press, Southside Pride and Minnesota Public Radio.

Video footage of the protests is available from The UpTake in two stories: Speaking Up Over Attorney General’s Silence On FBI Misdeeds and Attorney General Holder to FBI Victim: “I Shouldn’t Talk to You”.

New information flyer in Arabic

On June 2 we published an Arabic-language solidarity statement from the Chicago-based Coalition to Protect People's Rights. The statement is titled, "Targeting the civil liberties of the Arab and Muslim communities".

Press Coverage

We have received a great deal of press coverage in the last two weeks - articles about the case can be viewed in our Press Coverage section. Of particular interest is a newly-broadcast report from Al Jazeera on the case. Al-Jazeera Arabic did a series of interviews with the Abudayyeh family, Jim Fennerty and Maureen Murphy in January and was broadcast on June 12. The report also includes some shots of the January 25 protest in Chicago.

Solidarity with David House and other WikiLeaks supporters

For our supporters in the Boston area, we ask that you consider attending an event on June 15 in solidarity with David House, who has been subpoenaed to a grand jury hearing testimony about WikiLeaks. A statement from Civic Counsel, which is organizing the protest, says in part:

We are gathering to protest the detainment and unfair treatment of Bradley Manning and the pending grand jury investigation that seeks to embroil WikiLeaks, its associates, and its supporters in espionage charges. Recent attacks on its citizens has made it clear to us that the United States government no longer automatically grants freedom and liberty to its governed.

These attacks against activists are nothing compared to what we will face if the grand jury decides to extradite Julian Assange on charges of espionage. Due to the vague wording of the Espionage Act, there will remain “no distinction between the leaker, the recipient of the leak, or the 100th person to redistribute, retransmit, or even retain the national defense information that, by that point, is already in the public domain”, a Hearing Before the House Committee on the Judiciary determined. This will give the government the legal groundwork to incriminate anyone who supports WikiLeaks, and perhaps any organization that provides an outlet for whistle-blowers in the future.

Subpoenas have been served to David and others in Greater Boston to appear before the grand jury. The date of his appearance is the day of our protest, which we have chosen to show our solidarity, as subpoenaed activists risk being held in contempt and jailed for the duration of the trial should they refuse to cooperate with the grand jury.

More information can be found at http://www.civiccounsel.org

Next meeting

The next national organizing conference call of the CSFR will take place on June 21. Please look on StopFBI.net for the call-in number and access code closer to June 21, or e-mail info@stopfbi.net if you would like to participate.