Seattle United Against FBI Repression

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Seattle United Against FBI Repression was set up to defend the 23 Midwestern, mainly Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack! activists arrested by the FBI for allegegedly supporting terrorists.

Letter to Holder and Obama

February 7, 2011, Seattle United Against FBI Repression, contacts: Ellen Finkelstein and Doug Barnes press release;

Local leaders and groups ask President Obama and U.S. Attorney General to end Grand Jury investigation of peace and solidarity activists...

More than 70 regional community leaders and organizations have signed an open letter calling on President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder to use their authority to "stop assaults on freedom of speech and association, to halt FBI entrapment, [and] to keep nonviolent activists from being sent to prison.” The letter (attached) was issued by Seattle United Against FBI Repression.

Signers to the letter include Larry Gossett, Chair of the King County Council; Alice Woldt, Executive Director, Washington Association of Churches*; Pramila Jayapal, Executive Director, OneAmerica; Juan Jose Bocanegra, El Comité Pro-Reforma Migratoria y Justicia Social; Angela Ying, Pastor, Bethany United Church of Christ; Rodolfo Franco, President, Washington Federation of State Employees Local 304*; Terri Mast, Secretary-Treasurer, Inlandboatmen's Union; Jafar Siddiqui, American Muslims of Puget Sound; George Bakan, publisher of Seattle Gay News; Steering Committee of the Seattle National Lawyers Guild; Western Washington Fellowship of Reconciliation; Freedom Socialist Party; Jane Cutter, ANSWER Seattle; Elmer J. Dixon, cofounder of Seattle Black Panther Party; and many others.

According to Doug Barnes, an initiator of Seattle United Against FBI Repression, “People from a variety of communities have signed the letter because of their concern about FBI raids around the country on peace activists, labor organizers, Palestinian and Colombian solidarity groups, and socialists.” The raids began on Sept. 24, 2010 in Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota. Twenty-three activists have been issued subpoenas to appear before a Grand Jury or face imprisonment.

The letter states, “Here in the Northwest, we have not forgotten the false FBI terrorism charges after 9/11 against the owners of a Somali grocery store and wire service in South Seattle. In 2009, Olympia activists planning nonviolent civil disobedience against the war in Iraq were infiltrated by an Army intelligence agent, who passed information to the FBI, police, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). …We are also disturbed by the FBI’s renewed targeting of the Muslim community with its so-called ‘sting operations.’…These FBI entrapment tactics are creating anti-Muslim hysteria in those communities, which should not be the policy of our government.”

The letter concludes, “We are greatly concerned about these threats to our democracy, our First Amendment rights, and the civil liberties of all people who reside in the United States.” Signers ask for a prompt “proactive response” from President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder.[1]