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Nationwide FBI Raids on Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FB)

By • Sep 25th, 2010 • Category: News & Analysis


Source: Kasama
These events are unfolding. We will post updates as more information becomes available. From Twin Cities Indymedia
Three houses in Minneapolis raided, other houses in Michigan, NC, Chicago targeted.

Urgent – Community Meeting tonight! 5:30 pm Walker Church 3104 16th Ave S (Minneapolis) regarding the FBI Raids

On Friday morning, three houses in the Minneapolis area are believed to have been raided by SWAT Teams. While we have few details right now, the F.B.I. appears to be targeting people associated with the Freedom Road Socialist Organization. Besides the raids in Minneapolis, houses in Michigan, North Carolina and Chicago were also targeted.

Raids occurred at 1823 Riverside, above the Hard Times Cafe, and the 2900 block of Park Ave. One other raid is reported, as well. Outside Hard Times Cafe, three unmarked black SUVs (one with an Illinois license plate) sat in the parking area as of 10am, when a lawyer observed 8 FBI agents sitting in the residence examining materials. Otherwise the scene was calm.

Agents had broken in the door there at 7am Friday morning, breaking an aquarium in the process.

The Federal search warrants appear to be focusing on seizing electronic devices, international travel, and allegeing “co-conspirators.” They do not authorize arrests.

The search warrant for 1823 Riverside, the residence of activist Mick Kelly, sought information “regarding ability to pay for his own travel” to Palestine and Columbia from 2000 to today. The warrant hyped potential documents indicating any contacts/facilitation with FARC, PFLP, and Hezbollah – what it called “FTOs” or “foreign terrorist organizations”. It mentioned seeking information on the alleged “facilitation of other individuals in the US to travel to Colombia, Palestine and any other foreign location ins upport of foreign terrorist organizations including but not limited to FARC, PFLP and Hezbollah”.

The wording of the warrant appears to indicate the government seeks to create divisions among social justice and international soldarity activists by hyping alleged connections to what they call “foreign terrorist organizations.”

The warant also sought information on “Kelly’s travel to and from and presence in MN, and other foreign countries [sic] to which Kelly has taveleled as part of his work in FRSO [Freedom Road Socialist Organization”, as well as materials related to his finances and the finances of FRSO, and all computer and electronic devices.

The federal warrant was signed by Judge Susan Nelson at 3:30pm yesterday, September 23.

Labor


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  1. On December first, this message from Lynne Stewart, one of the most radical lawyers in the US who is now in prison for her activities was posted on the same news site, Kasama:

    http://kasamaproject.org/2010/12/01/lynne-stewart-on-fbi-raids-resist-resist-resist/

    Lynne Stewart on FBI Raids: Resist, Resist, Resist

    December 1, 2010

    Thanks to Land for sharing this October, 2010 message sent to the Baltimore Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. Lynne Stewart, a respected and beloved people’s lawyer, is writing from prison after being railroaded in an outrageous attempt to chill political activism and defense.

    For more on the FBI raids, see Kasama‘s ongoing coverage.

    MY FRIENDS, COLLEAGUES, BROTHERS, AND SISTERS:

    My message to you today is neither upbeat nor optimistic. We are living in dangerous times for our movement and it is getting worse as this insatiable government flexes the law to enable its nets to ensnare more people and further shred the body politic.

    This past week’s FBI raids on the support groups for various political causes, international, anti-imperialist, peace, animal rights–make it appear that anyone who opposes government policy and speaks or acts on behalf of that belief is now to be denoted a Terrorist and have his privacy invaded or be subjected to a subpoena or potential arrest.

    There has been a robust response from the movement with rallies and protests in many cities, the largest in Chicago and Minneapolis, where the most widespread raids occurred.

    This is most excellent but unfortunately it may be too little too late as the law enforcement community licks its chops at the prospect of distracting, occupying and ultimately destroying all vestiges of resistance in this country.

    Once when I spoke I said that I thought I thought my case was the canary in the mine shaft.

    A test of the expansion of the Law on Material Support of Terrorism. If they can label me (and) convict me behind their smokescreen of fear and intimidation and put me behind bars for a lengthy time, then they are ready to do it to the movement, to all of us. As some General said of Vietnam, “It’s not much of a war but it’s all {they} got.” We too must ready ourselves to defend not only our clients, who will come to us victimized by this outrageous, overreaching assault, but also ourselves as attorneys. As shown in my case, they will not be readily distinguished between the two. It is the worst of times and we must ready ourselves for the onslaught.

    As I said, the Law under which the FBI is operating is the prohibition of Material Aid to Terrorism, enacted during the Clinton Administration, and embraced by federal law enforcement ever since. The Secretary of State denotes certain countries and organizations as Terrorists. (There is no realistic opportunity to contest this in any court of Law.) Thereafter any kind of material aid is criminal per se. In my case it was a press release to Reuters. In the Holy Land case it was money donated to Palestinian charity. And in the Parliamentarian case, decided by the Supremes, it was counseling about methods to bring about peaceful resolution of disputes. These were the starting bell, indicating that anything, even speech, could be considered illegal and then loosing the hounds to discover (manufacture?) evidence.

    Only time can tell what will be the outcome of this affront to the Constitution. Will people end up in jail or taking a principled stand, as I did, against these charges? Will there be the kind of overwhelming support for them that will convince the government that it reveals too much of their underlying desire to be rid of any criticism? Will resistance to subpoenas by not testifying fill the jails, as Maryland’s own Dan Berrigan suggested, and block the evil attempt? I, from my perspective, have seen this before –when they rounded up supporters in the 1970’s and 80’s of the Puerto Rican freedom fighters and also anyone who had any relationship with the Black Liberation Army. There was spirited resistance then inside and outside the jails and Courthouse.

    Right now, we must take the same responsibility against a much stronger and more vicious government. Resist, Resist, and turn the tide that threatens Civil Liberties and the fabric of the Constitution.

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