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Justice Dept. Renews Enforcement of Subpoenas for Antiwar Activists

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    http://www.democracynow.org/2010/11/5/justice_dept_renews_enforcement_of_subpoenas Justice Dept. Renews Enforcement of Subpoenas for Antiwar Activists Targeted
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 6, 2010
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      http://www.democracynow.org/2010/11/5/justice_dept_renews_enforcement_of_subpoenas
      Justice Dept. Renews Enforcement of Subpoenas for Antiwar Activists
      Targeted in FBI Raids

      We get an update on the fallout from the FBI raids in late September
      that targeted antiwar activists in Minneapolis and Chicago. Subpoenas
      to appear before a grand jury were served on thirteen people but later
      withdrawn when the activists asserted their right to remain silent.
      But this week, the US Department of Justice said it intends to enforce
      the subpoenas for some of them and require them to appear before a
      grand jury. We speak to former president of the National Lawyers
      Guild, Bruce Nestor. [includes rush transcript]

       JUAN GONZALEZ: We turn now to an update on the fallout from the FBI
      raids in late September that targeted antiwar activists in Minneapolis
      and Chicago. Subpoenas to appear before a grand jury were served on
      thirteen people but later withdrawn when the activists asserted their
      right to remain silent. But this week the Justice Department said it
      intends to enforce the subpoenas for some of them and require them to
      appear before a grand jury. All those subpoenaed have been involved
      with antiwar activism that is critical of US foreign policy in
      Colombia and the Middle East.

      We’ll be joined in a minute by their attorney, but first, here’s a
      reminder of what happened on September 24th. Soon after the raids, two
      of the activists whose homes had been raided told their stories on
      Democracy Now! We spoke to Joe Iosbaker in Chicago and Jess Sundin in
      Minneapolis.

      JESS SUNDIN: Friday morning, I awoke to a bang at the door, and by the
      time I was downstairs, there were six or seven federal agents already
      in my home, where my partner and my six-year-old daughter had already
      been awake. We were given the search warrant, and they went through
      the entire house. They spent probably about four hours going through
      all of our personal belongings, every book, paper, our clothes, and
      filled several boxes and crates with our computers, our phones, my
      passport. And when they were done, as I said, they had many crates
      full of my personal belongings, with which they left my house.

      JOE IOSBAKER: It was a nationally coordinated assault on all of these
      homes. Seven a.m., the pound on the door. I was getting ready for
      work, came down the stairs, and there were, I think, in the area of
      ten agents, you know, of the—they identified themselves as FBI, showed
      me the search warrant. And I turned to my wife and said, "Stephanie,
      it’s the thought police."

      AMY GOODMAN: Joe Iosbaker of Chicago, whose home was one of the three
      raided by the FBI in September.

      The federal law cited in the search warrants prohibits, quote,
      "providing material support or resources to designated foreign
      terrorist organizations." In June, the Supreme Court rejected a free
      speech challenge to the material support law from humanitarian aid
      groups that said some of its provisions put them at risk of being
      prosecuted for talking to terrorist groups about nonviolent
      activities.

      For more, we’re joined here in New York by Minneapolis-based attorney,
      past president of the National Lawyers Guild, Bruce Nestor. He’s
      representing those who have been summoned before a grand jury.Tell us
      the latest. We only have a minute.

      BRUCE NESTOR: Three people are now being—looking at reappearing in
      front of the grand jury and likely being forced with the choice
      between talking about who they meet with, what the political beliefs
      of their friends and allies are, or perhaps risking contempt and
      sitting in jail for eighteen months. These are people who are deeply
      rooted in the progressive community in Chicago and Minneapolis. These
      are grandmothers, they’re mothers, they’re union activists. They were
      some of the organizers of the largest antiwar march at the 2008
      Republican National Convention.

      And so—and they’re being prosecuted under this material support for
      terrorism law, a law that was really enhanced under the PATRIOT Act
      and that allows, in the government’s own words, for people to be
      prosecuted for their speech if they coordinate it with a designated
      foreign terrorist organization. What you run the risk of there is that
      even if you state your own independent views about US foreign policy,
      but those views somehow reflect a group that the US has designated as
      a terrorist organization, you can be accused of coordinating your
      views and face, if not prosecution, at least investigation, search
      warrants, being summoned to a grand jury to talk about who your
      political allies and who your political friends are. So, so far, this
      law has largely been used against individuals, often Muslim Americans.
      Of course, Lynne Stewart—

      AMY GOODMAN: Ten seconds.

      BRUCE NESTOR: Lynne Stewart is one of the biggest cases. This is the
      first time that they’re going directly after the antiwar and peace
      movement. It’s something people really need to respond to. Go to
      www.stopfbi.net for more information about what you can do.

      AMY GOODMAN: Bruce Nestor, thanks for joining us, past president of
      the National Lawyers Guild.

      http://www.democracynow.org/2010/11/5/justice_dept_renews_enforcement_of_subpoenas


      http://www.stopfbi.net/

       Committee to Stop FBI Repression Organizing to stop FBI repression of
      anti-war and international solidarity activists
       Stop FBI National Meeting in New York City, Sat. Nov. 6   Wednesday,
      October 20, 2010 - 02:50

          The Committee To Stop FBI Repression is convening a national
      meeting in New York City on November 6th, 2010, at 6:30 pm. We want to
      invite all those interested in building the movement against FBI raids
      and the Grand Jury attempt to criminalize anti-war and international
      solidarity activists.

      We have done nothing wrong and we are speaking out and organizing to
      have the Grand Jury called off. We have a lot of work pressing upon
      us, and while the attack is bad, it offers our movement an opportunity
      to unite, strengthen, and grow!

       Read more

      http://www.stopfbi.net/
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