Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Harrassment of NY Solidarity by the FBI

In early February, police arrested nineteen-year-old David Seigel, accusing him of vandalizing a military recruiting station in the Bronx. You can read an article from that odious rag, The New York Post, with more information on the Thunderbay Indymedia website.

It seems that the FBI is now using this as an excuse to harrass New York activists involved in the anti-war movement.
My colleague, Charlie Post, was recently visited by the FBI. He writes:
On Friday, February 27, 2005, two FBI agents came to my home in Brooklyn. I was at work and they began to question my partner about Solidarity, the socialist organization I belong to, and its possible connection to a young man who was arrested for allegedly vandalizing a military recruitment center
in the Bronx, NY. The FBI agents indicated that they had obtained our address from the Solidarity website, where I am listed as the NY contact person. They asked my partner numerous questions, including whether or not we knew the young men who had been arrested, how long she (who is not a member) and I have been members of Solidarity and whether Solidarity had a "web forum."

It is not clear whether this is the beginning of a new wave of harrassment and repression against anti-war activists, but it is important to be prepared. Should the FBI come to see you for any reason: know your rights. You are not obligated to speak to them. If they do not have a warrant, you do not have to let them into your home. Remember: Silence is your best defense, and if they do come with a warrant a subpoena, contact a lawyer immediately. Don't get paranoid, but do be careful.

Furthermore, this incident should be widely publicized, as it is one more example of the way that the war has led to repression of dissent at home. I'm sure some of you remember the young woman who was visited by the police and the U.S. Secret Service because of a poster of George Bush in her home.
In this climate, we have heard of these incidents and many others, but attempts to tie activists to federal crimes simply because of organizational affiliations are especially sinister and have potentially serious consequences.

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