FBI Raids on Activists’ Homes and Offices in Midwest

Mick Kelly’s door was kicked in at 7:00 a.m, and his home was raided Friday, September 24, 2010, in the Twin Cities by the FBI.  Kelly wasn’t alone.  Jessica Sundin’s home, which she shares with her partner and child, was also entered by six FBI agents, at the same time. Three other Twin Cities Left-wing activists had their homes raided— Meredith Aby, Tracy Mohlm, and Ahn Pham. A local anti-war coalition office was also raided.

The FBI obtained six search warrants and raided homes of prominent anti-war organizers to investigate “into activities concerning the material support of terrorism,” said FBI spokesperson, Steve Warfield.

The same story was true for two Chicago organizers, as well as activists in Michigan and North Carolina.  Melinda Power, an attorney for Joe Iosbaker (of Chicago), said Iosbaker did nothing illegal. "[The FBI is] after people who are active in social justice."

The Twin Cities organizers had a history of organizing, some going back to the early 1990s.  Most recently, they had helped organize protests against the 2008 Republican National Convention and Democratic National Convention, as well as a number of anti-war protests. One was a member of Students for A Democratic Society, at the University of Minnesota. Mick Kelly’s search warrant mentioned his membership with the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO), a socialist party in the US. 

All the organizers who had their homes raided have been vocal against US military aid and support of dictatorships around the world, but in Kelly’s case, the FRSO was a specific focus. 

The FRSO offers vocal defense for organizations that fight (even militarily) the dictatorships that the US supports.  For example, in Colombia, the FSRO argues in favor of the peasant militia and organization of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), as well as similar terrorist organizations around the world.  (Meanwhile, the US offers military support to terrorist states, like Colombia, to fight the FARC.)

Police made off with computers, cell phones, books, diaries, journals, maps, souvenirs, antiques, videos, photographs, files, and other items mentioned in the search warrants. They were also searching for evidence of the activists’ travel history, to which they found nothing mentioned in the warrants; though, Sundin admits to having traveled to Colombia but did nothing illegal. 

These searches were conducted as part of an Executive Order of the President of the United States, which should be a clear indication of what President Obama and the Democrats have in store to “change” in the next two (or six) years.  These organizers have been critical of Obama’s support of the Afghanistan War, the keeping of troops and bases in Iraq, his opposition to single-payer health care, his racist discrimination against Latinos and immigrants, and other policies. 

The Republicans would have not gotten away with this; the Democrats would have criticized them for violating civil liberties.  But, needing to be united at a time when fearing defeat, the Democrats will follow discipline to increase their support.  If critics speak out, the Democrats will, in lock-step, silence them. 

A vote for the Democrats this Fall (and Obama in 2012) is a vote for the raiding of Left-wing organizers’ homes and offices, and throwing the maximum amount in prison as possible, as well as silencing any other Left-wing opposition to Obama’s policies.  Any principled supporter of free speech must break from the two-parties and opt for more Left-libertarian policies.  The Democrats, like the Republicans, are unacceptable.


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