Make Art, Not War

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A year later, standing strong

Today is September 24th 2011, and the one year anniversary of the FBI raids on the houses (and offices) of my friends and fellow activists of the anti-war committee. A lot has come to light about this investigation since, about the spy that walked among us for over two years, about the FBI's covert intervention in our work and travel, and eventually the full on assault (delivered with subpoenas and battering rams) on our rights to freedom of speech and freedom of association.

No kidding. They are calling us terrorists.

Even though we are the ones fighting and organizing against terrorism in countries like Colombia where being a union organizer is a deadly undertaking, and Palestine where collective punishment is being used to oppress an entire population. Indeed, we are the ones right here at home organizing against U.S. funded terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq. We stand with all people of the world oppressed by their government or ours, to say that peace is the answer, and justice is the method.

But, in their book, that makes us terrorists. "A domestic threat" if you will. So be it. I am not apologetic to a system that perpetuates war just to make a profit, or that would engage in KGB-style tactics to silence dissent.

So, I wrote them a letter to this affect. I shared it today at the rally on Jess's lawn, and I thought I would share it here as well. Here is An (amended) Open Letter to the FBI

An Open Letter to the FBI

Fuck you guys.

Fuck you for Fred Hampton, I just read that they got to Hemmingway. Hell, they’ve still got Leonard Peltier. And now they’re here in the mid-west, looking for anti-war and then all the rest.

Fuck you for the 14 (wait now) 23 - no, one more 24 that you are after right now. I just wanna know how many times you have directly interfered with peace and justice in this country. I wanna know how many lives…

And I wanna talk about it. I want out stuff back- fuck- I want our spy back. She did the grunt work around here and I’ve never seen my tax dollars so well spent. I want to talk about your budget, FBI, gone unchecked since 9/11. Ten years later, and you’re tailing peace activists just to bill the time and tapping phones and raiding homes…

Looking for what? Proof that we disapprove of this government? Well, we haven’t been at all shy about that, have we? We show up. On your Capitol lawns with our signs, and our banners, and our bullhorns and we SCREAM at your buildings, from behind your police lines, I- I guess I should feel honored to have this much of your attention.

Tear gas in my eyes and all. Those plastic zip-tie handcuffs as they round us up like cattle, and now the heat is really coming down because it was never a fair battle and the Grand Jury inquisition has begun. It’s some of that good ol’fashioned McCarthyism, except now the red tag term is terrorism. Meanwhile, the real war criminals are accepting awards. Those torturers and wire tappers, patting each other’s backs at the podium.

Anyway, Fuck them.

I came here to talk to you. To ask what the hell we’re ganna do now that they’re kicking in doors in Dinkytown looking for dissenters. They’re taking down posters off the walls, calling it evidence to be used against us and you’re next if you don’t think so. Anybody left with an opinion. Anybody here consider themselves out spoken? I am talking to you.

So, here’s a quick history lesson in FBI repression.

John Lennon. They tried to deport him-did you know that?- for speaking out against the war. It was right before the Republican National Convention of 1972 and Nixon was afraid it was going to cost him re-election, so they tried to kick him out of the country for having a concert. You see? They were afraid of a concert.

Dr. Martin Luther King’s home was raided by the FBI (now we’re on to something). He received threats and harassment from them for half his Nobel Peace Prize deserving career and was in the end assassinated. I read that he was under surveillance when it happened. That under cover police watched from across the street as King was shot. But they couldn’t kill the dream he started dreaming and we are still coming, ready or not. And I do mean ready or not.

So don’t forget about the RNC of 08. You know, we’ve got a real movement in this state and in case you haven’t noticed it’s going on right now. And hold your breath for the peaceful 23 whose grand jury subpoenas are hanging over all our heads. Don’t be silent! Tell everyone you know about this! Go to stopFBI.net and get involved! Call the president. And tell him to call it off. We said end the war, AND the witch hunt, Defend the first amendment. Enough is enough. No more attacks on them and no more attacks on us.

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