Green Party co-chair Theresa El-Amin to speak at a conference in North Carolina against FBI raids on Feb. 19
WASHINGTON, DC– Green Party leaders called for an end to FBI harassment, raids, false entrapment, and other violations of the rights of peace activists, progressive leaders, and whistleblowers throughout the US.
Theresa El-Amin, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States, will speak at a conference addressing the recent FBI raids on anti-war and international solidarity activists’ homes and workplaces, to take place Saturday, Feb. 19, 9:45 am to 5:00 pm at the UNC Law School on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (free and open to the public: http://www.stopfbi.net/conference/north-carolina).
The conference, organized by the Triangle Committee to Stop FBI Repression, is the southern regional event in response to FBI raids on September 24, 2010 on activistsâ€™ homes in Minneapolis and Chicago, and at the office of the Twin Cities Anti War Committee.Â Similar conferences are planned for New York, Chicago, and Oakland (http://www.stopfbi.net).
“If the US began to resemble a police state under Bush, the resemblance has increased under Obama.Â While granting impunity to top-level Bush-Cheney officials responsible for authorizing torture, warrantless surveillance of US citizens, war crimes, and other serious abuses of power, the Holder Justice Department has allowed the FBI, police, and prosecutors to violate the constitutional rights of activists for peace and justice and to harass whistleblowers,” said Ms. El-Amin.
“The Obama Administration, surpassing the Bush Administration’s contempt for the rule of law, has even argued for the right to assassinate US citizens suspected of aiding terrorists, as in the case of Anwar al-Awlaki– a gross violation of the Constitution’s guarantee of due process,” added Efia Nwangaza, South Carolina attorney with the US Human Rights Network and Green candidate for the US Senate in 2004.Â Ms. Nwangaza will also speak at the North Carolina conference.Â (More on the al-Awlaki case: http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/04/07/assassinations)
Greens cited several other examples of abuses by FBI, police, and prosecutors, including the 2010 conviction of popular Boston Councilmember Chuck Turner, a Green Party member, after the prosecution failed to bring forth credible evidence.Â Mr. Turner, an outspoken opponent of US military aggression, was the target of an FBI investigation apparently aimed at black officeholders in Boston, since Dianne Wilkerson, a black state senator, was also targeted.Â The prosecutor and judge admitted that Mr. Turner was being punished for his criticism of the FBI and the US attorney who initiated the investigation (http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=38295348245).
The Turner case recalls the conviction of Rev. Edward Pinkney in Benton Harbor, Michigan. Rev. Pinkney, a community activist and Green Party candidate for Congress, was accused of voter fraud in the wake of a successful recall campaign and was only convicted on the second try by an all-white jury, and then was jailed for quoting the Bible at a judge (http://www.gp.org/press/pr-state.php?ID=84 and http://www.solidarity-us.org/node/525).
Other targets during the past decade include Palestinian activist Amer Jubran in 2002 (jailed without charges and forced to leave the US: http://amerjubrandefense.org), members of the New England Committee to Defend Palestine (http://www.onepalestine.org/resources/articles/Repression_Of_Palestinian_Activists.html), Tarek Mehanna (arrested by the FBI for refusing to become an informant on his mosque, now in solitary confinement: http://www.freetarek.com), and Imam Abdullah (shot 18 times and left to die during a 2009 FBI raid in Dearborn, Michigan: http://www.gp.org/press/pr-state.php?ID=261).
The FBI also has a long history of actions against environmental activists, including the infamous Judi Bari car bombing case (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judy_Bari).
In Maryland, an ACLU lawsuit in 2008 revealed that police abused their power by infiltrating law-abiding antiwar groups, death penalty opponents, and other organizations, including the Maryland Green Party.Â In 2007, Brandon Darby admitted that he worked as an informant for the FBI.Â Mr. Darby was co-founder of Common Ground Relief, a relief organization that aided New Orleanians in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, along with Malik Rahim, who has run as a Green for public office in New Orleans.
Greens also pointed to the 2005 conviction (with an expanded sentence in 2009) of Lynne Stewart, an attorney who was representing Abdel Rahman, based on evidence gathered in violation of attorney-client privilege.Â The conviction and severe ten-year sentence were meant to intimidate lawyers willing to represent clients accused of terrorism and silence lawyers who would expose abuses by law enforcement and government officials, said Greens.
Green Party leaders also noted dangerous legislation introduced by Rep. Peter King (R-NY) and Sens. John Ensign (R-Nev.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Scott Brown (R-Mass.) that would expand the Espionage Act in order to criminalize Wikileaks, endangering the ability of the press to expose war crimes and wrong-doing by government officials and enabling the prosecution of Wikileaks and making anyone who supports Wikileaks vulnerable to charges (http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/02/15/rep-peter-king-introduces-anti-wikileaks-legislation). In 2010, Rep. King demanded that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Attorney General Holder classify Wikileaks as a “foreign terrorist organization.”
Greens urged Congress to reject the bills, calling them a tool to suppress the right to dissent and freedom of the press and obstruct the ability of journalists to investigate official crimes, which often requires uncovering classified documents.
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“Why is Chuck Turner in Handcuffs?”
By John Andrews, Massachusetts Green-Rainbow Party, December 8, 2008
“When Sting is King: Chuck Turner: ‘Guilty’, Energized”
By Dave Lewit, Alliance for Democracy, October 31, 2010
“ACLU, CCR seek to have Obama enjoined from killing Awlaki without due process”
By Glenn Greenwald, Salon.com, August 3, 2010
“Greens vs. the FBI: An Interview with Hugh Farrell and Mary Sackley”
By Linda Greene, CounterPunch, February 16, 2011
Green Pages: The official publication of record of the Green Party of the United States (Fall 2010 issue now online)