Petition | Tell Minneapolis City Council Members to affirm First Amendment Rights

Note: This petition is intended for Minneapolis City Council Members.  We are requesting that only Minneapolis residents sign the petition at this time. Thank you.

Petition Text:

To Minneapolis City Council Members Kevin Reich (Ward 1), Cam Gordon (2), Diane Hofstede (3), Barbara Johnson (4), Don Samuels (5), Robert Lilligren ( 6), Lisa Goodman (7), Elizabeth Glidden (8), Gary Schiff (9), Meg Tuthill (10), John Quincy (11), Sandy Colvin Roy (12), Betsy Hodges (13):

Whereas on September 24, 2010, the FBI carried out coordinated raids on homes of anti-war and trade union activists in Minnesota, Illinois and Michigan and eventually served subpoenas to 23 people (including nine who live in Minneapolis) to testify before a Federal Grand Jury convened in Chicago regarding alleged material support for foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs); and

Whereas four days prior to the September 24th raids, the U. S. Office of the Inspector General revealed that the FBI has systematically and illegally spied on political activists; and that FBI Director Robert Mueller lied to Congress about details of the surveillance; and

Whereas on June 20, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project to uphold a provision of the USA Patriot Act that defines material support for FTOs so broadly as to include legitimate humanitarian work, journalism and international solidarity; and

Whereas 62 members of the Minnesota Legislature signed a resolution, October 18, 2010, memorializing the President and Congress of the U.S. to review arbitrary and capricious raids and to investigate the circumstances, motivation, and propriety of the judicial and FBI intimidation of these Minnesotans; and

Whereas former President Jimmy Carter voiced concern that this Supreme Court ruling may criminalize his work to promote peace, democracy and freedom; and

Whereas none of the 23 subpoenaed individuals has been charged with any crime, indicted, or compelled to testify before the Federal Grand Jury;

Therefore, as residents of Minneapolis, we urgently request that the Minneapolis City Council affirm the First Amendment rights of our activist friends and colleagues to free speech and assembly, even when nonviolently expressing opposition to policies of the U.S. Government in matters of war and peace; and

Finally, that the Minneapolis City Council join in urging Senators Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar and Congressman Keith Ellison to request a full and transparent Congressional investigation of post-9/11 surveillance of social movements and the use of expansive anti-terror laws to criminalize political dissent.