Tag Archives: Rally

Chicago activists protest latest round of FBI subpoenas – CNN iReport

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A  group of about 100 activists braved frigid temperatures to protest the latest round of FBI subpoenas in front of the Dirksen Federal Building in Chicago Monday night.
The FBI issues summons to appear before a federal grand jury to three college students Friday. They are scheduled to appear on Jan. 25, said their attorney Jim Fennerty of the National Lawyers Guild. The women are being targeted because they traveled to the Palestinian occupied territory of the West Bank, he added.
The new subpoenas bring to 17 the number of activists throughout the Midwest that have been targeted by the FBI for their Palestinian and Colombian solidarity work. On Sept. 24, the FBI raided several homes in Minnesota, Chicago and Michigan and issued to subpoenas to 14 people.
To date, all 14 have refused to testify, causing Patrick Fitzgerald, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, to withdraw the summons. However, he has since reissued subpoenas to three Minnesota women, who are facing “indeterminate imprisonment” if they refuse to testify again, said Maureen Murphy of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression.
The national committee was formed in response to the Sept. 24 FBI raids.
Grand juries are used to determine whether to charge a person with a crime. They differ from juries in criminal trials in that they are not screened for bias, according to the website Grand Jury Resistance Project. In addition, grand juries are conducted in secret without a judge and defense lawyers are not allowed into the room with their clients. However, they may confer with their clients outside the courtroom.
Many people claim that grand juries are misused to silence political opposition.
“Because of their broad subpoena powers and secretive nature, grand juries have been used by the government to gather information on political movements and to disrupt those movements by causing fear and mistrust,” the Grand Jury Resistance Project website states.
That’s a stance the National Lawyers Guild takes. According to its website, the Guild denounces the recent FBI actions.
“The Guild denounces the attacks on free speech, freedom of association, and the right to dissent that these actions represent,” the website states. “The raids and summonses reflect escalating hostility toward individuals and groups working in solidarity with the Palestinian and Colombian people and are blatantly political attacks on peaceful activists.”
The NLG has established a hotline for activists contacted by the FBI and has issued a Know Your Rights brochure and other information.
Murphy was upbeat about the event. The “push back” against the government has show results. Rallies and demonstrations have taken place in at least 60 cities nationwide, she said.
For more information on this issue:
Committee to Stop FBI Repression,
National Lawyers Guild,
Grand Jury Resistance Project,
For action items:
American Muslims for Palestine,
Full Disclosure: I am the director of media and communications for the American Muslims for Palestine, which endorsed Monday’s rally.

Published first on CNN iReport http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-526337

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AMP, Free Gaza Movement Call-Out: Rally Tuesday for Freedom Flotilla

Israel threatens Freedom Flotilla with military action, arrests

The next 48 hours is critical for a fleet of ships loaded with tons of donated medical and humanitarian supplies making its way toward Gaza, according to the Free Gaza Movement.

Israel is threatening to take military action against the flotilla and to detain all 800 international passengers aboard. Israel has turned the port city of Ashdod into a “giant interrogation room,” and all those detained will be turned over to various agencies within the Israeli security apparatus, according to the Hebrew-language Ma’ariv newspaper.

Nine ships carrying 10,000 tons in donated humanitarian aid and medical supplies are due to enter Gazan waters on Saturday as part of an ongoing effort by groups such as the Free Gaza Movement to break the siege on Gaza. However, Israel has indicated strongly it will not allow the humanitarian aid to reach its destination.

The American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) and the Free Gaza Movement are joining together for a massive rally and demonstration at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 1, in front of the Israeli Consulate at 111 E. Wacker Drive, Chicago (just east of Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive).

It is imperative that you attend this rally.

Israel has commandeered Free Gaza Movement vessels in the past. The Israeli military is threatening to take action against unarmed peace and civil resistance volunteers. Furthermore, a fleet of so-called Israeli citizens is en route to intercept and harass the flotilla. AMP and the Free Gaza Movement are extremely concerned about the safety of the humanitarian activists aboard the Freedom Flotilla.

Buses will be leaving at 3:30 p.m. SHARP from both the Mosque Foundation in Bridgeview and from the Islamic Community Center of Illinois in Chicago.

For more information, call Awad Hamdan, AMP Chicago chairman at 773.951.2020, or Kevin Clark, Free Gaza Movement Midwest Coordinator at 773.267.5198.

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