Eric W. Dolan
On September 24th, the FBI raided the homes of 14 peace activists in Minneapolis and Chicago, ostensibly searching for possible “material support” to terrorist organizations.
Nearly two months later, a coalition of 45 civil rights, human rights, peace and environmental groups have mounted a campaign to press Congress for an investigation of federal law enforcement’s conduct, claiming the raids violated constitutional protections and could reflect a growing politicization of law enforcement.
“These raids suggest an ongoing trend of intrusive government surveillance of progressive activists in the United States,” they wrote in a joint letter to President Barack Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, the leaders of Congress and FBI director Robert Mueller. “Prosecutions for protected political activity have a chilling effect, not just in the communities in which they occur, but also on the First Amendment rights of all Americans.”
No arrests were made and the FBI said there was no “imminent danger” to the public.
“The problem here is, at the same time our government is criminalizing what used to be constitutionally protected, the FBI is regaining access to an expanding set of intrusive investigative tactics,” explained Shahid Buttar, executive director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, in an interview with Raw Story.
Activism in The Age of Tyranny and Terror