First amendment takes another hit in Portland and it is time to wear black, and carry anarchist literature, y'all. Copying a previous raid in Seattle, raids in Portland began with flash-bang grenades, followed by paramilitaries with assault rifles, when the officers of the US police state searched for anarchist literature and black clothing Wednesday.
Local police and JTTF paramilitaries raided homes in Portland looking for "anarchist literature" and black clothing such as hoodies. Written materials, clothing and computers were seized, apparently for use in a new federal grand jury process.
As my friend, history teacher Roger Wiggin says, "The heavy hand of the State, having failed to protect us from Bin Laden, now wants us to believe it is protecting us from squatters, mink-rescuers, tree-spikers, and late-19th Century pamphlets. How much did the Feebies spend trying to entrap that Somali kid from Beaverton? But we can't afford health care or teachers' salaries."
IWW members and allies are looking for groups to support a letter expressing solidarity. Here's the complete text of a solidarity letter posted on Facebook. Contact at bottom.
The following is a statement expressing solidarity with the current targets of FBI repression:
On Wednesday July 26th (sic), 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
3:28 PM PT: Kevin Gosztola gives this story an excellent, deep report over on FDL's The Dissenter: "Grand Juries & the FBI’s Targeting of Anarchists in the Occupy Movement"
Sat Jul 28, 2012 at 4:10 AM PT: Sarah Mirk interviews a resident of one of the raided houses who was surved a subpoena for Seattle on August 2. Lots of detail and useful links.