Wednesday, July 27, 2011

National Writers Union resolution condemning FBI raids passed National Executive Committee


From the National Writers, Local 1981 of the United Auto Workers
Adopted by National Executive Committee (NEC) and the Community Action Program (CAP) committee

Condemning FBI Repression

National Writers Union CAP Committee
Whereas, on the morning of September 24, 2010, the home of Joe Iosbaker, Local 73 Executive Board member, Chief Steward and union activist, and his wife, AFSCME member Stephanie Weiner, was raided by the FBI who confiscated crates of computers, books, cell phones, passports, children’s drawings and photos of Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr;

Whereas, Tom Burke, a former SEIU Local 73 Executive Board member and steward has also been targeted by these raids;

Whereas, simultaneous to the same time and date, the FBI conducted raids on nine (9) other union activists in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Michigan and issued subpoenas to all 14 activists to appear at a grand jury hearing;

Whereas, these members have not been arrested or charged with any crime, and;

Whereas, FBI spokespersons have stated that the raids were prompted by the activities of these other individuals subject to the same coordinated raid, in seeking peace and justice for workers and other oppressed people throughout the world, and;

Whereas, these persons are entitled to a presumption of innocence under the United States Constitution, and;

Whereas, every American has the constitutional right to advocate and organize for peace and change in the foreign policy of the United States, and;

Whereas, at least nine additional subpoenas to a secret grand jury have been subsequently issued related to the September 24 raids, and;

Whereas, NWU takes note of the very recent report by the Department of Justice Inspector General that soundly criticized the FBI for improperly targeting domestic peace and antiwar groups for investigation, and;

Whereas, these FBI raids have all the earmarks of a fishing expedition and whereas the FBI has a terrible history including the Palmer Raids, the McCarthy hearings, J. Edgar Hoover, the Civil Rights movement and mark a new and dangerous chapter in the protracted assault on the First Amendment rights of every union fighter, international solidarity activist or anti-war campaigner, and;

Therefore Be It Resolved that the National Writers Union goes on record:

  1. Publicly expressing its grave concern that these raids might be the beginning of a new and dangerous assault on the 1st Amendment rights of every union fighter, international solidarity activist or anti-war campaigner with an announcement on the NWU website,

  2. That we notify legislators, fellow unionists and others that NWU opposes these arbitrary and capricious FBI raids, and

  3. In light of the Inspector General’s recent critical report of FBI conduct, that NWU calls upon President Obama to order an immediate investigation into the circumstances, motivation and propriety of the judicial and police intimidation of these union members and their fellow activists.

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