Duluth, MN—protest and press conference

Event Information
Date: 
Tue, 2011-01-25 16:00
Location: 
Federal Building Duluth, MN
United States

Respect the First Amendment: Stop FBI raids and harassment of peace and solidarity activists! Withdraw all Grand Jury subpoenas against activists and return all confiscated materials.

Rally and Press Conference
featuring the delivery of a citizen's subpoena to the FBI office to make public evidence of First Amendment violations
Wednesday, January 25, 4 PM
Duluth Federal Building

On this day, January 25, the national Committee to Stop FBI Repression has called for demonstrations in as many U.S. cities as possible in solidarity with the 23 antiwar and social justice activists who have been subpoenaed before a Federal Grand Jury in Chicago on charges of possible "material support for terrorism" under the USA PATRIOT Act. Many of their homes and offices were raided by agents last fall under sealed warrants (meaning the public can't know the purported reasons for the raids). The FBI has said it is looking for links between activists and so-called Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO), a list of groups akin the the Attorney General's list of subversive organizations during the 1950's and '60's witchhunt era.

Nine of the 23 victims of FBI/government repression on this day, January 25, have been called to testify, in the tradition of McCarthy-era witchhunting, regarding their political activities and associations. As with the previous 14, all have stated in advance that they will refuse to do so. None have been charged with any crime.

The government may then declare that they will be granted "limited immunity," that is, they will not be prosecuted for their remarks at least to some extent. They will therefore be forced to testify – their Fifth Amendment rights obliterated.

If they refuse to testify, as they stated they will, they will be held in contempt of court and likely, according to their National Lawyers Guild legal team, jailed, perhaps for years. Several are parents, currently making arrangements for the care of their children should they be jailed.

The 23 are social justice activists who stand with the oppressed and exploited around the world. Some are leaders of anti-war organizations in Minneapolis. They stand with the people of Palestine and Colombia and with the oppressed everywhere. If their guilt-by-association precedent is allowed to stand, anyone could be the government's next target. An injury to one is an injury to all.