For Immediate Release
October 27, 2010
Minneapolis, MN — On Saturday, October 23, President Obama spoke at a huge campaign event at the University of Minnesota. As thousands of Obama supporters waited in line for hours to get into the event, anti-war and free speech activists with the Anti-War Committee and the Committee to Stop FBI Repression rallied outside and worked the crowd to get support for anti-war activists under attack by the FBI.
The activists held banners on University Avenue calling on President Obama to stop the FBI and grand jury repression against the anti-war movement. They handed out over 6,000 flyers to people waiting in line to get into Obama’s speech. And they gathered hundreds of signatures on postcards from Obama supporters to mail to the President asking him to do two things: (1) Stop the Grand Jury which is investigating and threatening anti-war activists; and (2) Stop the FBI from continuing to target the anti-war movement for repression.
On September 24, over 70 FBI agents carried out nationally coordinated raids against leaders of the anti-war movement. They raided 5 homes and the Anti-War Committee office in Minneapolis, and two homes in Chicago. They also intimidated activists in California, North Carolina and Wisconsin. In all 14 anti-war activists were given subpoenas to appear before a grand jury in Chicago, allegedly investigating them for “material support for terrorism”, which all activists involved fervently deny. All of those subpoenaed have refused to testify before the grand jury, calling it a fishing expedition. They may face jail time as a result of this non-cooperation.
According to Deb Konechne of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, “Almost everyone waiting to hear President Obama, who ran for president on an anti-war image, eagerly took a flyer. Hundreds also signed postcards to President Obama asking him to reign in the FBI and stop the repression against the anti-war movement. Last week, 62 Minnesota state legislators signed a letter condemning the FBI’s actions. Now hundreds of the president’s own strongest supporters are asking him to stop what the FBI is doing. It’s outrageous that the FBI treats speaking out against war as a crime, and everyone can see that the President has to do something to stop this.”
The Anti-War Committee is a Twin Cities-based grassroots organization that works to stop U.S. wars and military aid around the world, in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and Colombia. The Committee to Stop FBI Repression is a national network formed in September 2010 to defend the anti-war activists who were raided by the FBI and subpoenaed before a grand jury.
Committee to Stop FBI Repression
612-379-3585 | stopfbi.net | PO Box 14183, Minneapolis, MN 55414