Monday, May 09, 2011

U.S. Attorney Escalates Attacks on Civil Liberties of Anti-War, Palestinian Human Rights Activists

From: "Committee to Stop FBI Repression" <>

U.S. Attorney freezes bank accounts. Call Fitzgerald on Monday!

Committee to Stop FBI Repression (

U.S. Attorney Escalates Attacks on Civil Liberties of Anti-War,
Palestinian Human Rights Activists

Call U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald first thing Monday morning!
(contact info at bottom of this email)

On Friday, May 6, the U.S. government froze the bank accounts of
Hatem Abudayyeh and his wife, Naima. This unwarranted attack on a
leading member of the Palestinian community in Chicago is the latest
escalation of the repression of anti-war and Palestinian community
organizers by the FBI, U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, and U.S.
Attorney General Eric Holder. Hatem Abudayyeh is one of 23 activists
from Minnesota, Michigan, and Illinois subpoenaed to a federal grand
jury in Chicago, and his home was raided by the FBI in September of
last year. Neither Hatem Abudayyeh nor Naima Abudayyeh have been
charged with any crime.

One of the bank accounts frozen was exclusively in Naima Abudayyeh's
name. Leaders of the national Committee to Stop FBI Repression, as
well as Chicago's Coalition to Protect People's Rights are appalled
at the government's attempt to restrict the family's access to its
finances, especially so soon before Mothers' Day. Not only does the
government's action seriously disrupt the lives of the Abudayyehs and
their five-year-old daughter, but it represents an attack on
Chicago's Arab community and activist community and the fundamental
rights of Americans to freedom of speech.

The persecution of the Abudayyeh family is another example of the
criminalization of Palestinians, their supporters, and their movement
for justice and liberation. There has been widespread criticism of
the FBI and local law enforcement for their racial profiling and
scapegoating of Arab and Muslim Americans. These repressive tactics
include infiltration of community centers and mosques, entrapment of
young men, and the prominent case of 11 students from the University
of California campuses at Irvine and Riverside who have been
subpoenaed to a grand jury and persecuted for disrupting a speech by
Michael Oren, Israeli Ambassador to the US. The government's attempt
to conflate the anti-war and human rights movements with terrorism is
a cynical attempt to capitalize on the current political climate in
order to silence Palestinians and other people of conscience who
exercise their First Amendment rights in a manner which does not
conform to the administration's foreign policy agenda in the Middle East.

The issuance of subpoenas against the 23 activists has been met with
widespread opposition and criticism across the country. Six members
of the U.S. Congress, including five in the past month, have sent
letters to either Holder or President Obama, expressing grave concern
for the violations of the civil liberties and rights of the 23
activists whose freedom is on the line. Three additional U.S.
representatives have also promised letters, as thousands of
constituents and other people of conscience across the U.S. have
demanded an end to this assault on legitimate political activism and
dissent. Over 60 Minnesota state legislators also issued a resolution
condemning the subpoenas.

The Midwest activists have been expecting indictments for some time.
The freezing of the Abudayyeh family's bank accounts suggests that
the danger of indictments is imminent.

Take action Monday, May 9:
Call U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald at 312-353-5300.
Then dial 0 (zero) for the operator and ask to leave a message with
the Duty Clerk.
Demand Fitzgerald
-- Unfreeze the bank accounts of the Abudayyeh family and
-- Stop repression against Palestinian, anti-war and international
solidarity activists.

In solidarity,
The Committee to Stop FBI Repression and
The Coalition to Protect People's Rights

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