- Category: Repression
- Created on Wednesday, 12 January 2011 17:25
- Written by Committee to FBI Repression
This was received by Kasama for posting -- and was issued by the Committee to Stop FBI Repression. When they refer to the Freedom Road Socialist Organization they are referring to one of two FRSOs -- i.e. the group that produces the newspaper Fight Back.
Once again, this experience confirms a dangerous trend that every activist should be aware of: police agents, infiltrators and agent provocateurs are seeking ways to accuse secular leftists and internationalist of "material support" for groups the U.S. government has places on its "terrorist" lists. In a number of cases these groups are not "terrorist" at all -- but popular and radical organizations representing just demands of the people.
Let's say clearly: Some radicals do not believe there is any danger of infiltration. Some even act like any discussion of these government activities is paranoia or "cop-baiting." Some assume that the left is "too insignificant" to get such sinister attention.
We urge everyone to study these incidents closely and raise their own understanding of the legalities involved. These infiltration tactics require some heightened alertness and discipline by everyone.
In addition, we urge readers to find ways to extend solidarity toward the folks of FRSO-FB in particular -- who are faced with extremely unjust and dangerous government attempts at persecution. Help circulate information about their case.
Anti-War and International Solidarity Activists Denounce FBI Infiltration
The anti-war and international solidarity activists who are being called before a grand jury in Chicago have learned that beginning a few months before the protests against the Republican National Convention in the 2008 in St. Paul, Minnesota, a law enforcement officer infiltrated the Twin Cities Anti-War Committee (AWC). The infiltrator went by the name Karen Sullivan, joined the AWC in April 2008, and about a year later she joined the Freedom Road Socialist Organization.
Misty Rowan, of the Anti-War Committee, said, "The AWC played an important role in organizing the permitted march on the Republican National Convention on September 1, 2008, and also organized a rally and march on the fourth day of the convention. We can only assume that this First Amendment protected organizing was the reason that this agent, Karen Sullivan, infiltrated the AWC. It is the same kind of infiltration criticized in the October 2010 inspector general report and highlighted in the recent release of documents from the Richmond, Virginia, police, where any sort of assembly is defined as a disturbance and threat."
Jess Sundin, of the Anti-War Committee, said; "This professional liar posed as a fellow activist for two and a half years, and acted as if she was our friend. She spent time around my child, and even attended a small BBQ to celebrate my release from the hospital after I survived a near-fatal brain hemorrhage in April of last year. This event had no investigative value. By attending personal events like this, she showed how unprincipled she was."
In the summer of 2009, the agent signed up to go on a solidarity trip to Palestine. Three members of the delegation were denied entry at the Tel Aviv airport and eventually sent back to the U.S., Sarah Martin, Katrina Plotz and the agent. We have now learned that on the word of this agent, these political activists were prevented from witnessing first-hand what is paid for with U.S. tax dollars in Israel and the Occupied Territories.
In conversations between our attorneys and the prosecutor’s office in Chicago, we have had confirmation that Karen Sullivan was in fact a law enforcement officer working undercover.
It now appears that the investigation of the U.S. Attorney is focused on small donations to the daycare and women’s center projects of the Union of Palestinian Women's Committees, an NGO registered with the Palestinian Authority with local offices in towns across the the West Bank and Gaza. The Union is a progressive women's organization that strives to build respect for women's rights.
Steff Yorek, of Freedom Road Socialist Organization said, "We are appalled that we were infiltrated by police agents, targeted for our political organizing and views. This violates our rights to freedom of association and speech."
The Committee to Stop FBI Repression is planning a National Day of Protest for January 25, in cities across the country. This protest is in solidarity with people refusing to testify at the secret grand jury in Chicago on that day.