Tuesday, October 19, 2010

New resolution slams FBI raids of Minneapolis activists

From the moment FBI agents and local police raided their homes last month looking for evidence of ties to overseas terrorist groups, Twin Cities peace activists have been calling the actions part of a government intimidation campaign.

They have refused to testify in the Chicago grand jury for which they received subpoenas, and have kept the spotlight on their case with a series of rallies and protests.

Now they're getting politicians into the act. This week a resolution was brought forward in the Minnesota Legislature's special session condemning the raids and subpoenas. Rep. Karen Clark and Sen. Linda Berglin sponsored the document, which has been referred to the Rules Committee.

The resolution calls the raids "arbitrary and capricious" and compares them to the Palmer Raids of the 1920s, Joe McCarthy's un-American activities hearings, and the FBI's COINTELPRO harassment program of the 1960s and '70s.

The activists and their supporters are also asking Sen. Amy Klobuchar to introduce a similar resolution at the federal level.

"There's no question that keeping this in the public eye is a big part of our strategy," said Jess Sundin, one of the Minnesota activists who received a subpoena. "We've been getting a lot of support so far."

Sundin and the others under investigation are still waiting to see if they will receive a second-round of subpoenas. If they refuse to testify a second time -- which they have pledged to do -- they will face jail time.

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