I’m not sure what’s going on here, but it does appear that a left solidarity group in Chicago is being targeted by the FBI. Following some raids and searches of homes in September, sans arrests or charges in the short term, several activists received subpoenas to appear before the Grand Jury last month. A few more just received similar subpoenas.
Apparently they’re being called to talk about foreign nationals in Colombia and the Middle East with whom they work, and they are concerned about providing information which could result in their friends’ imprisonment or worse. I don’t believe anything like this has happened since the 1980s when Sanctuary Movement members refused to provide information about Central American war refugees they had sheltered.
I’ve been looking for neutralish media coverage of the events, and they’re hard to find. Most of the organizational links suggest that some of them are fronts for the Freedom Road Socialist Organization – an organization I dealt with on occasion when I was active in SF. They’re a neo-Maoist dogmatic group, but hardly “radical” in the sense of advocating violent protests or anything of the like. I seriously doubt they are guilty of anything, and the failure of authorities to arrest or press charges would suggest as much. Is this harassment aimed at intimidating dissent, or are they conducting investigations to generate intelligence for “allies” such as the Colombian regime, Israel, or other Middle Eastern countries? Either way, they probably won’t get much cooperation from this group. They can be held in contempt, but not indefinitely.
In either case, this is a disturbing situation for anti-war activists all around the country as solidarity work generally involves contacts with people who may simply be on foreign government s— lists. It puts activists in a very tough spot, and whether it is government design, will discourage interaction between groups across national borders.
If anyone has any more information, please post it.