On Wednesday July 25th, the FBI conducted a series of coordinated raids against activists in Portland, Olympia, and Seattle. They subpoenaed several people to a special federal grand jury, and seized computers, black clothing and anarchist literature. This comes after similar raids in Seattle in July and earlier raids of squats in Portland.
Though the FBI has said that the raids are part of a violent crime investigation, the truth is that the federal authorities are conducting a political witch-hunt against anarchists and others working toward a more just, free, and equal society. The warrants served specifically listed anarchist literature as evidence to be seized pointing to the fact that the FBI and police are targeting this group of people because of their political ideas. Pure and simple, these raids and the grand jury hearings are being used to intimidate people whose politics oppose the state's agenda. During a time of growing economic and ecological crises that are broadly affecting people across the world, it is an attempt to push back any movement towards creating a world that is humane, one that meets every person's needs rather than serving only the interests of the rich.
This attack does not occur in a vacuum. Around the country and around the world, people have been rising up and resisting an economic system that puts the endless pursuit of profit ahead of the basic needs of humanity and the Earth. From the Arab Spring to the Occupy movement to now Anaheim, people are taking to the streets. In each of these cases, the state has responded with brutal political repression. This is not a coincidence. It is a long-term strategy by state agencies to stop legitimate political challenges to a status quo that exploits most of the world's people.
We, the undersigned, condemn this and all other political repression. While we may have differences in ideology or chose to use different tactics, we understand that we are in a shared struggle to create a just, free, and liberated world, and that we can only do this if we stand together. We will not let scare tactics or smear campaigns divide us, intimidate us, or stop us from organizing and working for a better world.
No more witch-hunts! An injury to one is an injury to all.
To add your group's name to the solidarity statement, please email: email@example.com
Committee Against Political Repression
Sacramento Prisoner Support
Committee to Stop FBI Repression
Stop the Injunctions Coalition
National Jericho Movement for Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War
Civil Liberties Defense Center
We Are Oregon
Portland Jobs with Justice
Rose City Cop Watch
Bayan-USA Pacific Northwest Region
Portland Central America Solidarity Committee (PCASC)
Red Spark (Kasama)
Earth First! Journal collective
1st of May Anarchist Alliance
Black Unity Movement
The Institute for Anarchist Studies
Connect the Dots
Parasol Climate Collective
Portland Anarchist Black Cross
Right to Survive
Right to Dream 2
Rosehips Medic Collective
Communities United Against Police Brutality
The Radical Anti-Capitalist Caucus, of Occupy Portland
Students on Strike Organizing Committee
Autonomous Workers’ Group
Occupy Oakland Anti Repression Committee
Oakland Occupy Patriarchy
Oakland Occupy Legal
East Bay Solidarity Network
Portland Animal Defense League
Cascadians Against War
PDX Bike Swarm
Northbay Movement for a Democratic Society
Solano Peace and Justice Coalition
Solano Peace and Freedom Party
Northbay Uprising Radio Collective
MN Anti-War Committee
Peoples’ Action for Rights and Community
Redwood Curtain CopWatch
Arizona Prison Watch
All Power to the Positive podcast
Justice for Palestinians, San Jose, CA
Culture of Resistance
Family & Friends of Daniel McGowan
Blazing Arrow Organization
Portland International Socialist Organization
Anti-Racist Action-LA/People Against Racist Terror
The Portland World Citizens’ United Front
The Wild Poppies Collective
Everglades Earth First!
The Center For A Stateless Society
Black Orchid Collective
Portland Rising Tide
Laughing Horse Book and Film Collective
Occupy 4 Prisoners, Oakland
Night Heron Grassroots Activist Center
Palm Beach County Environmental Coalition
New York Taskforce for Political Prisoners
The North American Anarchist Studies Network
Cleveland 4 Support Group
Freedom Socialist Party
Peace & Justice Center of Sonoma County
Justice for Randy L. Dixon Rivera & Family
Peace Resource Center
Occupy Washington DC
Occupy Peace House DC
BDS LA for Justice in Palestine
The American Iranian Friendship Committee
NYC Jericho Movement
Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee, NYC Chapter
New Direction Fest
Socialist Viewpoint Magazine
Bay Area United Against War Newsletter
Al-Nakba Awareness Project
USA-Socialist Party, USA
The Young Social Democrats-Young Peoples’ Socialist League
Alliance for Global Justice
Campaign for Labor Rights
New York City Labor Against the War
Labor for Palestine
Libertalia Autonomous Space
Community Futures Collective
The International Coalition to Free the Angola 3
Workers World Party
International Action Center
East Bay Saturday Dialogues
Soa Watch South Florida
Good Morning Revolution
Wandering Llama Press
Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists Social Justice Committee
Citizens Against Corruption
Mutant Legal Collective NYC
The Northampton (MA) Committee to Stop the Wars
South Chicago ABC Zine Distro
Defending Dissent Foundation
Occupy Seattle Street Medics
Vashon Women In Black
Veterans For Peace, Linus Pauling Chapter 132
Organic Consumers Association
World Can’t Wait
Internationalist Prison Books Collective
Alliance of the Libertarian Left of New England
Earth First! Prisoner Support Project
The Mineapolis Autonomous Radical Space (MARS) Collective
Wensday Media Distro
The Alice Committee
Liberty Tree Foundation
Grand Jury Resistance Project
Alliance for Peace and Justice of Western Massachusetts
Welfare Rights Committee (Mpls/St. Paul, MN)
Occupy LCC (Lane Community College)
Phoenix Class War Council
The Wingnut Anarchist Collective
the ART lab
The People’s Tribunal (SF Bay Area)
San Jose Peace & Justice Center
Citizens for Legitimate Government
New York Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition
Unite Left Review
Wisconsin Bail Out The People Movement
Queers Without Borders
Olympia Coalition for a Fair Budget
Charm City Anarchist Black Cross
Blue Heron Infoshop
Portland Books to Prisoners
Moveon Desert Council
Progressive Democrats Of America Desert Chapter
Occupy Colorado Springs
Support Vegans in the Prison System
Denver Anarchist Black Cross
Twin Cities IWW General Defense Committee Local 14
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
Animal Defense League of Salt Lake City
Seattle Communist Study Group
Our World In Depth
Grupo El Heraldo
The Portland Solidarity Network
Workers Solidarity Alliance
Occupy New Haven
NYC Anarchist Black Cross
Pilipino Association of Workers and Immigrants
CODEPINK LI, Women for Peace
People's Community Medics
"FBI agents raid Occupy associated Portland houses"
2012-07-25 by Will Potter from "Green is the new Red", reposted at "IndyBay.org" newswire [http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2012/07/25/18718309.php]:
Intro from "IndyBay.org" post: Repost from 'Green is the New Red' about raids on three Portland houses during the morning of Weds. July 25th. One house had been vacant for years, one had been a well known activist house, and one may have had anarchist squatters. The crime being investigated is unknown. Apparently grand jury notices have been distributed to a few people in Olympia, Seattle, and Portland.
As I’ve been reporting on Twitter, there have been multiple homes raided and grand jury subpoenas issued in Portland, Olympia, and Seattle.
Three homes were raided in Portland, by approximately 60-80 police including FBI and Joint Terrorism Task Force. Individuals at the homes say police used flash grenades during the raid.
Grand jury subpoenas have been served to individuals in all three cities: 2 in Olympia, 1 in Seattle, and 2 in Portland. The grand jury is scheduled to convene on August 2nd at the federal courthouse in Seattle.
No arrests have been made. Electronics were confiscated along with additional personal items.
All legal documents related to the searches and grand jury are sealed, and the FBI will only say it is related to an “ongoing violent crime” investigation. But based on interviews with residents, and what police told them at the scene, this is clearly related to the ongoing demonization of anarchists and the Occupy movement.
I’ll continue updating as this develops; please follow me on Twitter (@will_potter) for the latest.
UPDATE: Reports of FBI and police lingering around after the raids, trying to get people to voluntarily talk. Know your rights, never talk to police without an attorney.
2012-07-25 photograph showing FBI agents raid homes in Portland, Ore., by Greenisnewred:
2012-07-25 photograph showing FBI raiding Portland house, by Greenisnewred:
2012-07-25 photograph showing investigation of unknown crime, by Greenisnewred:
"Interview clarifying purpose of raid" 2012-07-27 from "Portland Mercury" (Index Newspapers, LLC)[http://blogtown.portlandmercury.com/BlogtownPDX/archives/2012/07/27/breaking-interview-and-documents-from-fbi-raid-show-feds-are-targeting-anarchists]:
The first interview with any of the Portlanders who were served grand jury subpoenas as FBI agents searched their homes on Wednesday, July 25, shines some light on what authorities may be hoping to achieve with the raids [http://blogtown.portlandmercury.com/BlogtownPDX/archives/2012/07/25/fbi-raids-homes-across-northwestlooks-like-targeting-anarchists].
Dennison Williams was in bed at his house on NE 8th Avenue on Wednesday morning when he heard a bang and someone shout, "FBI!" Then came a loud crash, which turned out to be agents breaking down his front door, and Williams heard a bang and a saw a flash of light—the agents throwing flash grenades. Williams started yelling from his bed that he was upstairs and unarmed.
"I was scared," he said. "The police in this town have a history of shooting people, I was worried they would accidentally shoot me."
According to Williams, FBI officers entered his room with assault rifles and kept them aimed at him while they handcuffed him. They put him in a chair for about 30 minutes while they searched his house. Williams says there were about 15 FBI officers in the house, plus one Portland police officer on the street outside. According to the property receipt Williams received from the officers, the feds seized several items, including his computer, phone, hard-drive, two thumb drives, and various clothes (including black jeans, black t-shirt, and a black bandana). They then served him a subpoena to appear at a grand jury in Seattle next Thursday, August 2nd.
Williams is not sure exactly what the grand jury is meeting about, but that likely they want to ask him about other people. The FBI has said only that the raids are part of an ongoing "violent crime" investigation.
"It's related to political opposition, it's related to political dissent," says Williams. "They're trying to create a wedge within people who are resistors... They're specifically pursuing anarchists."
The FBI search warrant states that they are looking to seize items which may be evidence regarding the crimes of conspiracy to destroy government property, interstate travel with intent to riot, and conspiracy to travel interstate with intent to riot. Those items include: Clothing and related items work during commission of offenses; paint; sticks and flags similar to those used or carried during the commission of the offenses, and material for making flags; anti-government or anarchist literature, documentation or communications related to the offenses, flares, computers or electronic storage media of any kind.
On July 10th, Seattle police officers staged a similar raid on the house of some Occupy Mayday protesters in Seattle [http://mynorthwest.com/11/704637/Police-conduct-raid-in-May-Day-investigation]. On the day Williams' house and two other houses in Portland were searched, the FBI served grand jury subpoenas to people in Olympia and Seattle, as well. Williams was not sure how many people were served subpoenas, but thinks it is somewhere around seven people, and says he "will not cooperate" with the grand jury. Anyone who refuses to testify when subpoenaed can potentially face jail time.
Political supporters calling themselves the "Committee Against Political Repression" have already set up a website to post information about the case and take donations to the legal fund: NoPoliticalRepression.wordpress.com. There, they've posted a "solidarity statement" from numerous activist groups condemning the "series of coordinated raids."
Comment: A warrant for sign making materials? Also flags, literature, computers? No bombs? No Molotov cocktails? This sounds like the criminalization of protest. Perhaps we should all go down to the nearest federal building with flags, paint brushes, & books to protest this & we'll see if they're dumb enough to arrest us. I've got my Gadsden flag ready!
So hopefully people are finally starting to SEE now just what's really going on here, and i hope the rest of you are posting this on your facebooks and letting as many folks as you can know about this shit! All these raids that have taken place since last year - not ONE SINGLE arrest. Not a single charge filed. Not ONE actual weapon found. No bomb-making materials. No drugs. Nothing! These pigs stole from our home art, scrap books, photo albums, and burnt music cd-r's!
Posted by DamosA on 07/28/2012 at 11:44 AM
Serious question for Sarah Mirk: where are the actual documents? To my knowledge the search warrants are sealed, but in paragraph seven you state as fact a bunch of stuff apparently in the warrant, but you don't cite a source. Is the arrested dude your source? Did you get a copy of the warrant before it was sealed?
Posted by sgtgrumbles on 07/28/2012 at 12:26 PM
@sgtgrumbles - Williams shared a redacted copy of the documents he received from the FBI with me, including a receipt for property, the warrant, and his subpoena.
Posted by s.mirk on 07/28/2012 at 9:09 PM via mobile
"Activists accuse FBI of targeting anarchists"
2012-06-25 by Jim Redden from "Portland Tribune" newspaper [http://portlandtribune.com/pt-rss/9-news/112815-activists-accuse-fbi-of-targeting-anarchists]:
More than 40 left-wing political organizations are accusing the FBI of targeting activists because of their political beliefs in a coordinated raid on three homes in Portland on July 25.
The FBI says it raided three houses in North and Northeast Portland as part of an ongoing violent crime investigation. But a press release issued Friday by the Committee Against Political Repression accuses the FBI of “conducting a political witch-hunt against anarchists and others working toward a more just, free, and equal society.”
No one was arrested during the raids.
According to the press release, the search warrants specified “computers, black clothing and anarchist literature” as evidence to be seized. The FBI declined to comment on that claim, saying the search warrants are sealed.
The press release also says that several people in Portland, Olympia and Seattle have also been subpoenaed before a special federal grand jury.
“Pure and simple, these raids and the grand jury hearings are being used to intimidate people whose politics oppose the state's agenda,” the press release says.
The press release lists dozens of organizations as signers, including many that are active in Portland’s radical political scene. They include Portland Jobs With Justice, Rose City Copwatch, the Portland Central American Solidarity Committee, Portland Anarchist Black Cross, the Radical Anti-Capitalist Caucus of Occupy Portland, the Portland Animal Defense League, PDX Bike Swarm and the Portland International Socialist Organization.
Also included is the Right to Dream 2 homeless camp.