United for Peace and Justice stands in solidarity with the anti-war and international solidarity activists whose homes were raided by the FBI on Friday, September 24. Homes in Chicago and Mineapolis were raide. Doors were kicked in during the early morning raids and personal belongings including childrens' artwork, posters of Martin Luther King, Jr, were taken, as well as cell phones, computers and boxes of paper records. About a dozen activists from Illinois, Minnesota and Michigan have been subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury.
The FBI emphasized that no arrests were made, but that evidence was being collected regarding the possible 'material support' of terrorism. The 'material support' statute is so broadly written that it can, and does, criminalize international peace-building activities whose only connection to terrorism is to reduce it.
Only one week ago, the Justice Department's own Inspector General released a report documenting political surveillance by the FBI. Friday's raids are the latest violations by a recidivist agency whose abuses have unfortunately recurred throughout its history.
The FBI's raids threaten the First Amendment, our Peace Movement, and reflect the dangerous expansion of guilt by association pervading the Justice Department's "counter-terror" prosecutions. They cannot stand, and the FBI should be held accountable for any abuses. Activists are encouraged to join demonstrations at FBI and/or Federal buildings in cities around the country."