On 9/24/2010 the homes of several of my friends in Minneapolis were raided by the FBI. My friends have been subpoenaed and ordered to appear before a Grand Jury on charges of providing material support to terrorist groups in Palestine and Colombia. The same happened to activists in Chicago and in other parts of the country.
This election year ploy to "look tough" by law enforcement and federal agencies is nothing more than an intimidation tactic in the long tradition of state and federal sponsored anti-justice organizing (reaching back to anti-farm workers organizing in the 18th century through anti-slavery and anti-suffrage work, right up to anti-union, civil rights, and the peace and justice organizing of today). Never have the state or federal government been allies to peace and justice work of whatever stripe, nor have those entities ever been more than reactionary to organizing for liberation, workers rights, fundamental human rights, or any other economic, peace, or justice work of, for, and by the people (no matter what the Declaration and the Constitution may declare). This is simply another, predictable, carry forward of a long history of COINTELPRO type programs aimed at destabilizing the forces for truth, peace and justice in this country (and around the world for that matter).
And let's be clear, it is no coincidence that during this time of political and economic instability (to state the obvious...the two go hand in hand), the time and elements are ripe for a coalition movement to challenge the underpinnings of the capitalist corporate state. The Tea Party movement, no matter how misguided, is one example of every day folks that are (sadly) trying to reinforce the corporate values of the system, which the system may not love but tolerates since it does not fundamentally challenge the base structure of power. But the government and those that benefit from the status quo are deathly afraid that the Left will use this strategic opportunity to call BULLSHIT on the continuing vicious corporate political cycle that creates Great Depressions and Great Recessions, Oil Crises, and Housing Crises, Health Care Crisis, and double digit unemployment.
And so, staying true to form, the government has decided that the best defense is a good offense.
WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED!
We see ourselves in solidarity with the liberation struggles of people without regard to man made, created, and colonial borders. We see ourselves in solidarity with women, people of color, queer folks, differently abled communities, working people, the working poor, developing nations and First Nation's Peoples. We see ourselves as true democrats, that believe in the empowered right of each person to participate in creating the structures and avenues for sharing power in a manner that respects the individual but sustains the communal. We reject corporate personhood and corporate democracy and corporatism that is ripping apart the heart of America and the world. We reject bailouts for those without need. We demand a fundamental right to free education, free health care, and freedom from the shackles of the corporate cycle which demands our labor while maintaining our poverty. We demand justice, and no invasions of our homes or intimidation of our friends, family, allies, or community is going to deter us from our work, our cause, and our liberation.
It's a damn shame when photographs of Martin Luther King, Jr, and Malcolm X are taken as proof of material support for terrorism.
We are not the terrorists, we do not participate in unjust attacks on our people, but the government, through these raids, has demonstrated that it does not share our principles. It has more in common with Al-Qaeda than it does with We the People.
Shame on you FBI. Shame on you Department of Justice, and shame on you Barack Obama.
We shall NOT be moved.
And so I call on each of you that believes in justice, that believes in peace, that believes that you have the right to live free from intimidation and fear from the government that is supposed to represent not repress you, to lift your voices against this injustice. Pick up your phone and call the FBI, call the Department of Justice, call the White House, and then call your Mama, your sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, ex-girlfriends, ex-boyfriends, your neighbors, your teachers, your students, random numbers out of the damn phone book and tell them about this injustice. Raise the cry and ask people to set aside their strategic differences and embrace their fundamental realities as peace and justice organizers. Trust, it doesn't matter if you are a progressive Democrat or a member of the Socialist Party, if you are to the left of Bill Clinton, then these attacks were aimed directly at you, at anyone that thinks like you, at anyone that would dare suggest that we live in an imperfect world with flawed values and that the answers and responses of the government are aimed only at ameliorating and not eliminating the root causes of why we find ourselves in this economic crisis. We are in a spiritual crisis, in a freedom crisis, in a justice crisis, and instead of reaching out to lift us up, the government has demonstrated that all it cares about is keeping us down, in our places, as cogs in the wheel of a broken system that doesn't work, doesn't serve, and doesn't give a damn about anyone or anything but the dollar.
Last time I checked the dollar didn't eat, breathe, sleep, make love, have children, cry, laugh or starve. The dollar doesn't go homeless or get sick. It doesn't die from neglect.
People do. Paper doesn't.
I stand with all those that were raided and intimidated on 9/24/2010. I choose people. I choose justice.