Open Letter from Professors and Academics
The following Open Letter from Professors and Academics was initiated by Students for a Democratic Society.
As you may know, on Friday, September 24, 2010, the FBI raided seven houses and an office in Chicago and Minneapolis, serving subpoenas to 14 anti-war and international solidarity activists from Minneapolis and Chicago to appear before a Grand Jury.
The raids were coordinated nationally, and many other activists have been visited and personally threatened by the FBI, in states such as Wisconsin, North Carolina, and California. These activists are being investigated under a law commonly referred to as ‘Material Support of Terrorism’. It is being used to intimidate these and other activists, unconstitutionally limiting the ability to criticize the foreign policies of the Federal Government. More information can be found at www.stopfbi.net.
This is a dangerous attack on the constitutional rights of free speech of every social justice, antiwar and human rights activist and organization in the U.S. today. Dissent, whether or not we agree with the views of those involved, is an important part of any democracy. This is especially true in one such as ours which claims to value the rights of the individual. One must have the freedom to criticize if one is to be free. Any incursion upon this freedom is dangerous to us all.
This suppression of civil liberties is aimed at anti-war activists, trade unionists, and those who dedicate their time and energy to supporting the struggles of the Palestinian and Colombian peoples against U.S. funded occupation and war. The activists are involved with many groups, including: the Twin Cities Anti-War Committee, the Palestine Solidarity Group, the Colombia Action Network, Students for a Democratic Society, and Freedom Road Socialist Organization. This is a dangerous national effort to shut down growing opposition to U.S. wars. It cannot be allowed.
The FBI and the U.S. government must end this campaign of intimidation against anti-war and international solidarity activists. I am outraged at this disrespect of democratic rights. I ask that you support the call to:
- Stop the repression against anti-war and international solidarity activists.
- Immediately return all confiscated materials: computers, cell phones, papers, documents, etc.
- End the grand jury proceedings against anti-war activists.
As members of the academic community, many look to your leadership on these and other issues in our society. Please consider adding your name to the list of academics opposing the raids and grand jury; writing your Representatives in Government; donating money for legal defense; holding events in your community; and writing articles to the media to support these activists who care so much about the world we live in.