A R C H I V E S
Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|D.C: June29 Civil Rts March on FBI/Justice Dept HQ|
|06/21/02 at 11:20:13|
|March on the FBI & Justice Department June 29|
in Washington, DC
Call to Action!
Saturday, June 29 @ 12 noon
MARCH ON THE FBI AND JUSTICE DEPARTMENT HEADQUARTERS IN WASHINGTON DC
Pennsylvania Ave. between 9th and 10th St. NW
Say no to the FBI attacks on civil rights and civil liberties
Stand up against racism and racial and religious profiling
No new COINTELPRO
Defend the Arab American, Muslim and South Asian communities
Stop the new witch hunt against political and religious organizations
Free Mumia Abu-Jamal, Leonard Peltier, Imam Jamil Al-Amin & all political prisoners in the U.S.
Money for jobs, education and healthcare - not repression and war
Stop the attacks on immigrant rights
Defend our unions
ENDORSE THESE DEMANDS TODAY!!!
The Bush administration announced in the last week of May that the FBI would be seizing vast additional powers to spy on the people of the United States. We must act now to stop this assault on our rights.
These powers pose a grave danger to civil liberties and civil rights, and will - unless defeated by the people - lead to a new round of persecution of people based on their political or religious convictions.
There was no vote in Congress. No public referendum. No judicial review. George Bush, Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI director Robert Mueller decided to unleash the FBI on people targeted by the Bush administration - not because they have committed a crime, not because they are being investigated for a crime. They will be targeted because the government has determined that their political or religious views or affiliations warrant surveillance, infiltration, and disruption of their personal lives or the organizations to which they belong.
Ashcroft and Mueller are adopting the tactics of the vicious reign of J. Edgar Hoover's secret police tactics that were used against unions; progressive groups; women's, l/g/b/t and anti-war groups; African American, Latino and American Indian civil rights organizations. Tens of thousands of people lost their jobs, were falsely imprisoned, were deported or went into exile and were subject to government harassment. Scores of political activists in the Black Panther Party, the Young Lords Party and in many others movements were murdered by FBI COINTELPRO (counter-intelligence) programs.
Pressure brought to bear on the government from the mass people's movements of the 1960s and 1970s eventually led to the government adopting new guidelines, purportedly designed to curb FBI abuse of people's rights. In fact, this kind of FBI abuse has never stopped. What is new is that the FBI is overtly shifting from focusing on criminal investigations into focusing on counter-intelligence programs - a code word for an attack on dissent and on political and religious organizations that Bush and Ashcroft have decided should be targeted. Following on the heals of the Patriot Act - which has put the CIA back into the business of domestic spying - the FBI and the CIA are teaming up to conduct secret police activities.
Since September 11, 2001, thousands of Muslim, Arab American and South Asian people have been subjected to the complete violation of their civil rights and civil liberties. Charitable organizations have had their assets seized. Thousands have been illegally detained. Educational institutions, homes and businesses have been raided. And the FBI has carried out a massive interrogation campaign of people based on race, religion and ethnicity.
Bush, Ashcroft and the ultra-right are taking advantage of the so-called war on terrorism to beat back the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights. They think that people will be frightened and intimidated and unwilling to carry out a political mobilization to stop this attack on free speech.
As Bush proclaims endless war and diverts billions of dollars from social services to the military-industrial complex in the coming years, the government is putting into place repressive mechanisms aimed at stopping the growing anti-war movement in the United Sates.
We can defeat this attack on civil rights and civil liberties. We must unite against racism and racial profiling.
More than anything, the people of this country need to be back in the streets to let the government know that we will not be silenced and we will not be intimidated. Everything that we have learned from the union movement, the civil rights movement and the anti-war movements of the past is that the people can defeat the government's plans through their own mobilization.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
*ENDORSE the June 29 protest!
*DONATIONS are urgently needed! Tax-deductible contributions can be made online.
*HELP GET THE WORD OUT - organize others to come to Washington DC on June 29. (downloadable flyers, local contacts and more are now available). We are calling on all nearby cities in the East Coast, South and Midwest to come to Washington DC on Saturday, June 29 for a regional demonstration at the FBI headquarters. If you can't make it to DC, organize a local action at a Federal Building on Friday, June 28.
Message to Ashcroft: "Hell No, We Don't Want Your COINTELPRO"
THIS SUMMER - PEOPLE'S TRIBUNALS IN MAJOR U.S. CITIES CHARGING THE U.S. & ISRAEL WITH WAR CRIMES AGAINST PALESTINE
Over 600 activists with International A.N.S.W.E.R. met yesterday in New York City and announced plans for a mass June 29 demonstration at the FBI's Washington D.C. headquarters to protest John Ashcroft's domestic espionage program that targets political organizations, mosques and community groups.
A.N.S.W.E.R. - which stands for Act Now to Stop War & End Racism - was one of the central forces behind the 100,000-strong march for Palestine April 20th in Washington, D.C. The activists who planned this demonstration came from around the country Saturday for an all-day, anti-war conference opposing Bush's war policies that threaten Iraq, Colombia, Philippines, back genocide against Palestinians and take money from people's needs and funnel it to the Pentagon.
After a report back from A.N.S.W.E.R.'s medical and legal delegation - just back from the West Bank and Gaza - conveners announced plans this summer for people's tribunals charging the U.S. and Israel with war crimes against the people of Palestine.
"Today we have launched a national fight-back movement to stop John Ashcroft and the FBI from bringing back the very worst features from J. Edgar Hoover's reign over domestic intelligence," stated Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, a co-founder of the Partnership for Civil Justice-LDEF and steering committee member of the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition.
"Ashcroft's changes have been presented as an innocuous update of FBI procedures," said Verheyden-Hilliard. "This has become the preferred method of presentation by Ashcroft as the Justice Department shreds the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights."
"These changes, however, are much more insidious than simply allowing the FBI to surf the web," Verheyden-Hilliard continued. "They are a full-scale revival of COINTELPRO, the notorious government infiltration program which reached its peak in the 60s and was aimed at Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement."
"Ashcroft is facing a growing and powerful anti-war, anti-racist movement that won't be easily intimidated," said Larry Holmes, co-director of the International Action Center, also with A.N.S.W.E.R. "We're not going to let Ashcroft, the FBI, Bush and his right-wing gang - with the complicity of the Democratic Party and Congress - tear up the constitution, open up a war on political dissent, and stop the very necessary movement against his war-mongering, pro-rich madness."
Lynne Stewart Says:
I Will Be At the June 29 Demonstration In Washington I Hope Everyone Joins Us To Stand Up For Civil Rights!
Attorney Lynne Stewart
I stand before you today because I want to urge everyone to be in Washington on June 29th. Because I truly believe that the only way to save the country is to put the people in the streets and protest what is going on.
I'm before you today not because I'm facing 40 years at the indictment of John Ashcroft, but because for 40 years I have fought and struggled to make my country do justice -- not just in the courts, where I work, but everywhere.
And I think that all the people who in the sixties marched on Washington for racial justice and to end an unjust war -- those people should be there on the 29th. Also, so should all the next generations, who have not had the privilege of being active, and participating with fellow Americans, if I can use that word.
What also needs to be protested is what has happened to the Muslim community and the communities of persons who are targeted by Ashcroft/Bush -- such as Jose Padilla, who is sitting in a jail somewhere while they wait for him to talk to them. So we are confirmed in our belief of torture at the hands of the persons who supposedly represent us.
It is for that reason that I say there is no time to be lost: We must be there on the 29th. We must raise our voices, demand an end to the abrogation of civil liberties, for all the reasons that Ramsey Clark just said, for all the reasons we know in our own hearts.
You know, Angela Davis said: if they come for me in the morning, they'll be back for you tonight. And that is the way we are living now in America. We must protest, we must raise the people, we must be of the people, raise them from the slumbering that allows them to believe that this Ashcroft/Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld axis -- this evil axis -- will somehow protect them. We know that it will not. The only thing that can protect us is to do justice in the world.
For that reason, I'll be there on June 29, and I hope that everyone within hearing distance of my voice will be there also.
Attorney Lynne Stewart made the above comments at one of a series of A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition press conferences held this week announcing the June 29 March on the FBI's Washington headquarters to Defend Civil Liberties, part of the group's national campaign including other protests around the country (see www.internationalANSWER.org for more details).
Stewart is currently facing decades of jail time for supposedly helping her client direct "terrorist" activities from his jail cell. In fact she is one of the targets in Bush's domestic war against civil liberties and civil rights. Stewart is specifically under attack for being an effective lawyer who helps defend her clients against government abuse.
ANSWER PRESS RELEASE
June 20, 2002
Representatives and supporters of the A.N.S.W.E.R. - Act Now to Stop War & End Racism - coalition held a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington DC to announce the national Campaign to Defend Civil Rights. The group announced a major demonstration on June 29th at the headquarters of FBI and Justice Department.
"Our community is uniting with other civil rights and anti-war organizations to mobilize for the June 29th demonstration protesting the attacks on civil rights and civil liberties," stated Mahdi Bray, Executive Director of the Muslim American Society's Freedom Foundation.
Rainbow Coalition/PUSH leader Joe Leonard explained that his organization was mobilizing for the June 29th protest because Bush and John Ashcroft's use of racial and political profiling was "a threat to all the hard won civil rights gains of past generations."
"The Bush administration is substantially expanding the FBI and CIA authority to conduct domestic spying in the absence of probable cause or criminal conduct and is authorizing indefinite detention for citizens and non-citizens at the sole discretion and the direction of George Bush and John Ashcroft --without charge or trial, and without access to an attorney," Mara Verheyden Hilliard of the Partnership for Civil Justice explained in a larger analysis of the government's latest move.
"The government is now authorizing monitoring internet and email activity, secret searches and seizures in our homes and offices, and expanded electronic eavesdropping," she said. "The new Attorney General guidelines authorize the FBI spying on people in US who are not suspected of any criminal activity but are engaged in political dissent or pursuing religious activity."
Other speakers at the Press Conference included: Lubaba Abdallah, Muslim Student Association of U.S. & Canada; Rev. Graylan Hagler, Senior Minister, Plymouth Congregational Church; Macrina Cardenas, Mexico Solidarity Network; Peta Lindsay & Daniel Keesler, A.N.S.W.E.R. youth and student organizers; Chuck Kaufman, National Coordinator, Nicaragua Network; Damu Smith, Black Voices for Peace; and Brian Becker, Co-Director, International Action Center.
New York Newsday Article
Civil Rights Rally Planned
By Andrew Johnson
June 20, 2002
A former U.S. attorney general and a Manhattan lawyer who is under federal indictment for conspiracy joined forces Thursday to assail what they called the Bush administration's assault on civil liberties under the guise of post-Sept. 11 security.
Ramsey Clark, who was attorney general under President Jimmy Carter, said at a Greenwich Village news conference that such measures as the months-long detainment of people without charges is tantamount to the worst abuse of civil rights in the nation's history.
"McCarthy only talked," said Clark, referring to Sen. Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin and his infamous hunting of Communists in the 1950s. "Bush is acting."
Activist attorney Lynne Stewart, who defended Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman at his 1995 trial on charges of plotting to blow up New York landmarks, was even stronger in her attack on the administration.
Stewart was charged in April with conspiring to help Abdel-Rahman get his messages to his terrorist followers in the Islamic Group.
Thursday, she called Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft the "other evil axis," a twist on Bush's "axis of evil" terminology in his State of the Union speech to describe Iran, Iraq and North Korea.
She predicted their tactics against civil liberties would not help to curb terrorism.
Stewart, who has pleaded innocent to the charges and is free on bond, also condemned the possible "torture" of Jose Padilla, the "dirty bomber" suspect who is being held in military custody without charges, a lawyer or trial. She cited "circumstantial evidence" for her allegation of mistreatment.
Clark characterized the recent Bush initiative to "strike first" against global terrorism as a posture of "Shoot first, ask questions later and I will protect you."
"That's Goebbels," Clark said, referring to Josef Goebbels, the Nazi propaganda chief under Adolf Hitler.
Clark also called on Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian areas and cease the expansion of Israeli settlements there, and said the United Nations could help to reach those goals.
Larry Holmes of the Manhattan-based International Action Center, which Clark founded and at whose offices the news conference was held, said that a demonstration scheduled June 29 in Washington would be the largest collection of voices assembled against the government's actions since Sept. 11.
"We will defend against the attacks of John Ashcroft," Holmes said. "We're going to fight."
Copyright © 2002, Newsday, Inc.
|06/21/02 at 11:22:54|
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