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Friday, June 28, 2013

[haw-info] Please sign your name to this letter in support of anti-war activists

Dear Members of HAW,

Below is a letter to Eric Holder, U.S. Attorney General, and Gary Shapiro, Acting U.S. Attorney, Northern District of Illinois  that we hope you will sign.  If you would like to sign the letter, please send your name, title, and affiliation to Tracy Molm at t.lorraine.molm@gmail.com 


The letter asks Holder and Shapiro to officially end the investigation of 23 anti-war and international activists.  Here's a bit of background.  In September 2010 the FBI raided the homes of these activists and carted away box loads of these individuals' materials, including computers, photos, and documents.  Although most of these materials have been returned, and the FBI has had three years to conduct this investigation, no charges have been brought against the 23 people, nor has the investigation been dropped.   The letter basically asks the investigation to be closed.  As members of HAW, we think it is important to oppose this FBI/government harassment of anti-war and solidarity activists, which is why we are asking you to sign this letter.





Margaret Power for HAW

Eric Holder, Attorney General, United States of America

Gary Shapiro, Acting U.S. Attorney, Northern District of Illinois

July 1, 2013

 Dear Sirs:

We, the undersigned, are elected officials, educators, and activists within governmental, labor, religious, academic, and community-based organizations. All of us, in our own ways, have been involved for many years in the fight for human rights and equality for people of the United States and throughout the world.

We join in writing to you to request that your specific criminal investigation into the First Amendment protected activities of anti-war and international solidarity activists – which was initiated well before September 2010 – be terminated and that your office make a formal announcement of that termination.

As you are aware, 23 anti-war activists living in Minneapolis and Chicago have been subpoenaed to testify before a Federal Grand Jury empaneled in the Northern District of Illinois. Indeed, the homes of nine of these activists were raided by the FBI in September 2010, and their personal property was seized, including thousands of books, pamphlets, photographs and other personal materials, all protected by the First Amendment. Though most of these possessions have been returned to the owners, the search warrants authorizing these raids falsely alleged that the families targeted were involved in "providing material support for terrorism."

The individuals subpoenaed refused to testify before the Grand Jury, asserting their constitutional rights and stating that they believed that the government was using the grand jury to chill the exercise of their political right to question U.S. foreign policies, including those directly affecting the people of Palestine or Colombia.

Nearly three years have passed. This certainly is ample time for the government to fully investigate allegations of criminal conduct by any of the people targeted. However, the investigation and the chilling effect upon political freedom continue. The people subpoenaed suffer under a cloud of unresolved accusations by the Federal Government and fear of criminal charges. This unjustly impairs their rights to be politically active and criticize government policies. It's well past time for this investigation to end.

We emphatically request that your office move ahead swiftly with the termination of this investigation. We look forward to receiving notification regarding the end of this process.



Margaret Power
Professor of History
Department of Humanities
Illinois Institute of Technology
3301 S. Dearborn St.
Chicago, IL 60616


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