FBI raids update

By Lynn Koh
Dec 5, 2010

In September we learned that the FBI had raided the homes of 14 anti-war and solidarity activists. All, I believe, refused to appear before the grand jury. 3 of those 14 have been called back before the grand jury, meaning that they risk incarceration if they refuse again.

It also seems like an additional 3 subpoenas were served to Palestine solidarity activists in Chicago.

Needless to say, this is kind of a new thing for my generation of anti-war activists, who first became active after 9/11. We've certainly seen our brothers and sisters in the movement arrested, brutalized, infiltrated, expelled from school or threatened with expulsion (like myself), etc. But this is the clearest attempt to intimidate activists that is openly politically motivated, and using a 'grand jury' -- something most of us didn't even learn about in our high school government classes.

When I first heard about the raids in September, I was certainly outraged; but a small part of me hoped that this was some kind of miscalculation -- and that the intensity of the outcry against the raids would rattle the FBI into seeing that it had overstepped its bounds. But, serving the 3 additional subpoenas signals that rather than seeing the initial raids as an embarrassment or a mistake, whoever is calling the shots (Holder? Mueller? A faceless bureaucrat? Said bureaucrat's magic 8 ball?) wants us to know that yes, this was a conscious, considered decision and that they are not going away.

Which means we have to dig in for a long fight.

The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the entire War Times project

Lynn Koh is a long-time activist in the anti-war movement, and is a labor organizer in the Bay Area.

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