Witchhunts of Human Rights Activists : a Symptom of Serious US Malaise

Managing Editor of the excellent Electronic Intifada, Maureen Murphy, has been served by the FBI with a summons to appear before a US Grand Jury.

The FBI came unannounced to knock on doors at two apartments in Chicago this morning. FBI agent Robert Parker, under orders from U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald’s office, delivered a subpoena to Maureen Murphy. Murphy, like several other individuals served subpoenas, is an organizer with the Palestine Solidarity Group-Chicago.

This continues the repression unleashed by Fitzgerald on the anti-war movement since September 24th, when fourteen subpoenas were delivered to anti-war, labor, and solidarity activists in coordinated raids involving more than 70 federal agents. Armed FBI agents raided homes, taking computers, phones, passports, documents, notebooks, and even children’s artwork. A total of 23 subpoenas have been served to activists around the country.

Maureen Murphy said, “Along with several others, I am being summoned to appear before the Grand Jury on Tuesday, January 25th, in the Dirksen Federal Building in Chicago. We are being targeted for the work we do to end U.S. funding of the Israeli occupation, ending the war in Afghanistan and ending the occupation of Iraq. What is at stake for all of us is our right to dissent and organize to change harmful US foreign policy.” Ms. Murphy is also the Managing Editor of the widely-read website, The Electronic Intifada.

In addition, three women in Minneapolis – Tracy Molm, Anh Pham, and Sara Martin – are threatened with reactivated subpoenas by Fitzgerald’s office and new Grand Jury dates. Tom Burke of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression explained, “It is likely the three individuals, like all the others so far, will continue to refuse to take part in Fitzgerald’s witch hunt. Fitzgerald can then call for putting them in jail as long as he wants.”

For more information: www.stopfbi.net

Contact: Tom Burke, Committee to Stop FBI Repression, 773-844-3612

On the 20th December, Electronic Intifada reprinted a United States Palestinian Community Network press release in support of US Palestinian activists and other community activists harassed by the FBI.

Since 24 September, the FBI has raided seven Chicago and Minneapolis homes of activists and has served a total of 19 federal subpoenas across the Midwest. The targeted citizens are outspoken community organizers and students critical of US policy in Colombia, Palestine and the Middle East.

The grand jury and FBI are seeking evidence that connects the 19 activists and their “potential co-conspirators” to US-designated “terrorist organizations.” Five of the nineteen activists being targeted are Palestinian-Americans whose only crime is working tirelessly to inform fellow citizens of the realities of Israeli occupation. None of the 19 has been charged with a crime, and all deny providing material support, including money, to any foreign organization. These activists are shining examples of courage and fortitude, ordinary citizens doing the extraordinary work of building knowledge and support for justice and a common humanity

Federal harassment of our communities and associational life has grown precipitously during the last decade, as Arabs, Muslims and their allies continue to be persecuted for their lawful and necessary civic engagement. This suppression of civil rights and free speech seeks to criminalize and quell civic activism undertaken in support of Palestinian and other oppressed peoples’ struggles against US-funded occupation and war. This harassment must stop.

The United States Palestinian Community Network stands in full support of our brothers and sisters unjustly targeted by the federal government.

We assert our determination and commitment to challenge our government’s policies, both here and abroad, and will continue to defend the rights of Palestinians, our allies, and all those struggling against oppression. The USPCN upholds the constitutional right of Americans to dissent without fear of persecution, and the rights of peace and justice organizations to organize, educate, and assemble, free and unbridled.

We call upon all USPCN local chapters, members and fellow citizens, to join existing local and national efforts organized by the Committee to Stop FBI Repression (http://www.stopfbi.net).

Do not be intimidated, we struggle together. Continue to speak your conscience, continue to educate, and continue to organize. Justice will prevail.

It is beyond reprehensible that the US is witchhunting honourable people who stand up for truth and justice for oppressed people. What next? Star chambers and kangaroo courts for Electronic Intifada subscribers? How can YOU help? Firstly:

@Maureen_70 : if you think the FBI shouldn’t be messing with activists be sure to call US Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald (312-353-5300) and say so #stopfbi #

Secondly, donate to Electronic Intifada so the truth can continue to ring out clearly above a cacophony of base, repressive dross.

Next, subscribe and donate to the Committee to Stop FBI Repression.

These loathsome US measures are signs of the empire’s moral bankruptcy and desperation. When the state is challenged, when truth is spoken to power, the state devolves to authoritarianism, with FBI actions being “reminiscent of the agency’s COINTELPRO program of the 1950s and 1960s that targeted Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and Black Panther leaders, among many others”.

“To resume, in a few words, the system of the Imperial government, as it was instituted by Augustus, and maintained by those princes who understood their own interest and that of the people, it may be defined an absolute monarchy disguised by the forms of a commonwealth. The masters of the Roman world surrounded their throne with darkness, concealed their irresistible strength, and humbly professed themselves the accountable ministers of the senate, whose supreme decrees they dictated and obeyed.” – Edward Gibbon, “Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire”, Chapter 3


Transcript: The Assange interview – abominable interview by the increasingly popularist BBC
Is Karl Rove Driving the Effort to Prosecute Julian Assange?
WikiLeaks’ Assange fires back at The Guardian to competitor
I receive death threats from US soldiers: Assange
WikiLeaks cables: Iraq security firms operate ‘mafia’ to inflate prices
Julian Assange defends decision not to face questioning in Sweden
WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange issues threat and complains about … leaks
Nothing in the Wikileaks documents? Please
Assange Responds To Time Naming Zuckerberg Person of the Year
WikiLeaks cables: Bangladeshi ‘death squad’ trained by UK government
WikiLeaks cables: Lamb sales behind New Zealand’s ‘flap’ with Israel
WikiLeaks cables: McDonald’s used US to put pressure on El Salvador
Cablegate And Sudan : $ 9 billion Man !!
US embassy cables: US anger over Fahrenheit 9/11 screening at New Zealand Labour Party fundraiser
CIA launches task force to assess impact of U.S. cables’ exposure by WikiLeaks WTF!!
Reporters Without Borders to host mirror site for WikiLeaks
Rundle: the trouble with being Assange
WikiLeaks cables: Vatican vetoed Holocaust memorial over Pius XII row
Rundle: police procedures ignored in Assange interviews
WikiLeaks and the Secrets that Deceive
Raw Story report confirmed: Bank of America is Wikileaks’ target
WikiLeaks and Turkey
The #Wikileaks Forums
Yours Obediently, Europe

Australian Wikilinks and other Australian Links

Haneef settlement figure kept under wraps

Palestine / Israel Links

The smoking cable: Israel said it had ’secret accord’ with U.S. over expanding settlements even as Obama said in Cairo they must stop!
FBI delivers subpoenas to four more anti-war, solidarity activists as U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald Expands Witch Hunt
Has racism become acceptable?
Israeli arms firm to benefit from EU-funded research
Israel Effectively Denies Palestinian Victims of Operation Cast Lead Access to Justice: PCHR files petition to Israeli Supreme Court
“Guys, I just totally raped this student chick!”

Hundreds in Tel Aviv call for deportation of foreign workers, refugees
Israeli Intransigence Lets BDS Into the Mainstream
Israeli MK meets Austrian far right chief; irks local Jews
Arabs: Political environment to blame for attacks
NYT vs. WaPo on Life in Gaza
How to spend 40 years morally corrupting a society
Limited Judaisation – changes to racist Knesset Bill – ‘The sponsors have agreed that the bill will be limited to communities comprising up to 400 families, down from 500 in the original proposal. In addition, it will apply only in the Negev and Galilee, and not throughout the country. ‘
Thirteen-year-old Sentenced to 21 Days House Arrest in Jerusalem
Israel to blame for deadlock in Mideast peace talks : Erdogan is only half right – the US is primarily to blame because of its stupid policies which support Israel at the expense of Palestinian rights
Palestinian refugees: Israel’s demographic policy and right of return
Deck London’s Walls with Bethlehem’s Calls
Migrants fearful after rally
PSCC Media Coordinator May Face Prison for Riding a Bicycle
Human rights NGO monitoring Palestinians’ legal rights gets robbed of internal use documents

Other Links

5 Ridiculous Things You Probably Believe About Islam
Richard Holbrooke: A Statesman’s Statesman — if You Take Your Diplomacy Straight up Without Principles as a Chaser
Obama wants to keep suspects in jail for as long as he wants
How Energy Use Dwarfs the Power of Facebook and Twitter
In a big antiwar piece, Mearsheimer dares to say ‘why they hate us’
Spanish Legislature Rejects Hollywood-Backed Copyright Law Changes
Terrorist by Association : The Justice Department targets nonviolent solidarity activists
Guantánamo Prisoners Sacrificed in Political Horse-Trading
Why Turkey is not turning Islamist
Turkey and Syria aim to change region’s destiny
Christmas Sweater Club Punished At Local High School – US insanity
UN capitulation to Colombo criminals


Standing together against US government witch hunt
Statement from Palestine solidarity activist Maureen Murphy on receiving a subpoena
Flashpoints: U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald Expands his Witch Hunt against anti-war and Palestine solidarity activists in the Chicago area. We will speak to one of those who was subpoenaed by the FBI. Also Obama takes executive action in support of indefinite detentions without trial, of so-called enemy Combatants
FBI Expands Probe into Antiwar Activists