Letter of Support To Activists Facing Federal Investigation And Subpoena
Adalah-NY: The Campaign for the Boycott of Israel is disturbed by recent raids and subpoenas of activists from Palestine solidarity, and anti-war groups in the Midwest. We strongly support the right of those activists and of all international solidarity and anti-war activists to express their opinions through organized protest and speech protected by the 1st Amendment. We are extremely concerned that recent FBI actions and the use of federal grand jury subpoenas are being used in conjunction with new definitions of "material support" for "foreign terrorist organizations" to criminalize and harrass legitimate dissent and advocacy.
As a grassroots nonviolent protest movement, we depend on the right of American citizens and residents to speak freely and have their voices heard. History and context lead us to doubt the good faith of U.S. government and law enforcement agencies when it comes to these investigations.
A recent report by the ACLU documented 100 recent reported incidents in 33 states where "Americans have been put under surveillance or harassed" by federal and local law enforcement agencies "just for deciding to organize, march, protest, espouse unusual viewpoints and engage in normal, innocuous behaviors such as writing notes or taking photographs in public." The FBI's internal auditor, the Office of the Inspector General, issued a report in September which severely criticized the agency for targeting anti-war groups (among others) for investigation improperly.
The chilling effect on communities and individuals who wish to raise their voices in protected speech but will be afraid of FBI harassment reaches from the Midwest to here in New York to every state of this country. We urge support of those wrongfully subpoenaed and harassed, the dropping of all investigations against those who are guilty of nothing more than organized protest and advocacy, and the return of all improperly confiscated property.