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Green Party speaks out against FBI raids targeting peace activists

Green party anti-war poster

Image via Wikipedia

Green Party: Raids and harassment against peace activists by FBI, police, and prosecutors must end

Green Party co-chair Theresa El-Amin to speak at a conference in
North Carolina against FBI raids on Feb. 19

Green Party leaders called for an end to FBI harassment, raids, false entrapment, and other violations of the rights of peace activists, progressive leaders, and whistleblowers throughout the US.

Theresa El-Amin, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States,
will speak at a conference addressing the recent FBI raids on anti-war
and international solidarity activists’ homes and workplaces, to take
place Saturday, Feb. 19, 9:45 am to 5:00 pm at the UNC Law School on
the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (free
and open to the public:
http://www.stopfbi.net/conference/north-carolina). 

The conference, organized by the Triangle Committee to Stop FBI
Repression, is the southern regional event in response to FBI raids on
September 24, 2010 on activists’ homes in Minneapolis and Chicago, and
at the office of the Twin Cities Anti War Committee.  Similar
conferences are planned for New York, Chicago, and Oakland
(http://www.stopfbi.net).

“If the US began to resemble a police state under Bush, the
resemblance has increased under Obama.  While granting impunity to
top-level Bush-Cheney officials responsible for authorizing torture,
warrantless surveillance of US citizens, war crimes, and other serious
abuses of power, the Holder Justice Department has allowed the FBI,
police, and prosecutors to violate the constitutional rights of
activists for peace and justice and to harass whistleblowers,” said
Ms. El-Amin.

“The Obama Administration, surpassing the Bush Administration’s
contempt for the rule of law, has even argued for the right to
assassinate US citizens suspected of aiding terrorists, as in the case
of Anwar al-Awlaki — a gross violation of the Constitution’s
guarantee of due process,” added Efia Nwangaza, South Carolina
attorney with the US Human Rights Network and Green candidate for the
US Senate in 2004.  Ms. Nwangaza will also speak at the North Carolina
conference.  (More on the al-Awlaki case:
http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/04/07/assassinations)

Greens cited several other examples of abuses by FBI, police, and
prosecutors, including the 2010 conviction of popular Boston
Councilmember Chuck Turner, a Green Party member, after the
prosecution failed to bring forth credible evidence.  Mr. Turner, an
outspoken opponent of US military aggression, was the target of an FBI
investigation apparently aimed at black officeholders in Boston, since
Dianne Wilkerson, a black state senator, was also targeted.  The
prosecutor and judge admitted that Mr. Turner was being punished for
his criticism of the FBI and the US attorney who initiated the
investigation (http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=38295348245).

The Turner case recalls the conviction of Rev. Edward Pinkney in
Benton Harbor, Michigan. Rev. Pinkney, a community activist and Green
Party candidate for Congress, was accused of voter fraud in the wake
of a successful recall campaign and was only convicted on the second
try by an all-white jury, and then was jailed for quoting the Bible at
a judge (http://www.gp.org/press/pr-state.php?ID=84 and
http://www.solidarity-us.org/node/525).

Other targets during the past decade include Palestinian activist Amer
Jubran in 2002 (jailed without charges and forced to leave the US:
http://amerjubrandefense.org), members of the New England Committee to
Defend Palestine
(http://www.onepalestine.org/resources/articles/Repression_Of_Palestinian_Activists.html) ,
Tarek Mehanna (arrested by the FBI for refusing to become an informant
on his mosque, now in solitary confinement: http://www.freetarek.com),
and Imam Abdullah (shot 18 times and left to die during a 2009 FBI
raid in Dearborn, Michigan:
http://www.gp.org/press/pr-state.php?ID=261).

The FBI also has a long history of actions against environmental
activists, including the infamous Judi Bari car bombing case
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judy_Bari).

In Maryland, an ACLU lawsuit in 2008 revealed that police abused their
power by infiltrating law-abiding antiwar groups, death penalty
opponents, and other organizations, including the Maryland Green
Party.  In 2007, Brandon Darby admitted that he worked as an informant
for the FBI.  Mr. Darby was co-founder of Common Ground Relief, a
relief organization that aided New Orleanians in the aftermath of
Hurricane Katrina, along with Malik Rahim, who has run as a Green for
public office in New Orleans.

Greens also pointed to the 2005 conviction (with an expanded sentence
in 2009) of Lynne Stewart, an attorney who was representing Abdel
Rahman, based on evidence gathered in violation of attorney-client
privilege.  The conviction and severe ten-year sentence were meant to
intimidate lawyers willing to represent clients accused of terrorism
and silence lawyers who would expose abuses by law enforcement and
government officials, said Greens.

Green Party leaders also noted dangerous legislation introduced by
Rep. Peter King (R-NY) and Sens. John Ensign (R-Nev.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Scott Brown (R-Mass.) that would expand the Espionage Act in order to criminalize Wikileaks, endangering the ability of the press to expose war crimes and wrong-doing by government officials and
enabling the prosecution of Wikileaks and making anyone who supports
Wikileaks vulnerable to charges
(http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/02/15/rep-peter-king-introduces-anti-wikileaks-legislation).
In 2010, Rep. King demanded that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
and Attorney General Holder classify Wikileaks as a “foreign terrorist
organization.”

Greens urged Congress to reject the bills, calling them a tool to
suppress the right to dissent and freedom of the press and obstruct
the ability of journalists to investigate official crimes, which often
requires uncovering classified documents.

MORE INFORMATION

“Why is Chuck Turner in Handcuffs?”
By John Andrews, Massachusetts Green-Rainbow Party, December 8, 2008
http://www.green-rainbow.org/content/why-chuck-turner-handcuffs

“When Sting is King: Chuck Turner: ‘Guilty’, Energized”
By Dave Lewit, Alliance for Democracy, October 31, 2010
http://www.green-rainbow.org/content/when-sting-king

“ACLU, CCR seek to have Obama enjoined from killing Awlaki without due process” By Glenn Greenwald, Salon.com, August 3, 2010
http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/08/03/awlaki

“Greens vs. the FBI: An Interview with Hugh Farrell and Mary Sackley”
By Linda Greene, CounterPunch, February 16, 2011
http://counterpunch.com/greene02162011.html

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