On Friday morning, September 24, the FBI raided the homes of six political activists in the Twin Cities.
Two of the activists, Jess Sundin and Mick Kelly, helped organize the march against the Republican National Convention in 2008, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, which broke this story.
FBI spokesperson Steve Warfield told the Star Tribune said the raids were related to an “investigation into activities concerning the material support of terrorism.” Kelly’s attorney, Ted Dooley, disputes that.
“This is suppression of a political liberty,” he tells The Progressive. “This is a suppression of association, aimed at keeping activists who disagree with the American government from sharing information.”
The executive director of the Minnesota ACLU agrees.
“Once again the government is going after people for exercising their pesky First Amendment rights to speak freely and the other pesky First Amendment right to associate peaceably,” Chuck Samuelson tells The Progressive. “We are deeply concerned.”
Samuelson calls it “S squared, D squared”—same stuff, different day. “It’s like the bad old days of Richard Nixon,” he says.
The ACLU is not involved in the case yet, Samuelson adds.
FBI also executed two search warrants in Chicago.
The Twin Cities IndyMedia gave more details of the search warrants, suggesting that the FBI was targeting the Freedom Road Socialist Organization and trying to get information about members’ travel to Palestine and Colombia.
Jess Sundin gave an interview earlier this year calling for massing anti-war protests against Iraq and Afghanistan.
“The anti-war movement needs to be more visible and bring more people into the streets to protest these unjust wars,” she said.
Attorney Dooley has words of caution for any political activist.
“You should be scared shitless,” he said. “If you get in their way, they’re going to walk all over you.”
Asked if he had anything else to add, he replied: “Yeah, you might want to put extra locks on your doors.”
If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his other "McCarthyism Watch" pieces by clicking here.
Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter