SAN deplores the government’s interrogation, investigation and harassment of social justice and anti-war community activists in Chicago, Michigan, Minneapolis, North Carolina and California. These actions confirm the ever-mounting enforcement regime of US’ national security policies, increased surveillance and interrogations within our communities, especially of those who are politically active, thereby further stifling dissent and silencing activist communities.
In times of such gross governmental abuses of human rights, it is imperative that we speak out against this blatant criminalization of the exercise of our basic social and political freedoms such as voicing dissent against ongoing unjust wars and supporting the rights of oppressed peoples around the world.
SAN stands in solidarity with all oppressed communities and communities of conscience to demand justice, fairness and an end to State violence in all it forms: detentions, deportations, raids, religious/racial/ethnic profiling, surveillance and all efforts to rid the United States of immigrant workers and their families. See below for details as to how you can do your part.
1. Be Aware of Your Rights
If approached by government agents:
- Do Not Open the Door. Without a court warrant, no one can enter your home unless you let them in.
- Talk to Them Outside. If you feel that you want to talk to the agents or if they say they have a warrant and you want to check it, step outside. Do not let them in the house to talk to them, because if you do this you are giving up your right to keep them out of your home.
- Ask if you are Free to Leave. Whenever you are approached by any government official, ask if you are free to leave and if the conversation is voluntary. If they say it is, or if they do not answer, then tell them that you want to talk to them later, with a lawyer. If you have a lawyer’s card, give it to them and tell them to contact your lawyer.
- Do Not Lie to the Officers. Lying to any officers is a serious crime, whereas remaining silent is not. You are better off not answering questions than giving false answers.
- Send a Citizen or Legal Resident to Talk. If you want someone to talk to the officers, send a citizen or legal resident to speak with them. Someone who is not documented should not speak to the agents if possible.
- Never sign anything without reading, understanding, and knowing the consequences of signing any document.
Citizens and non-citizens have certain constitutional rights. Remain calm and assert your rights.
You have the right to:
- Tell the law enforcement agent that you are asserting your right to remain silent
- Speak to a lawyer before answering questions
If you have recently been contacted or visited by the FBI, IMMIGRATION, or other LAW ENFORCEMENT agencies or want more information, please contact SAN immediately at (562) 403-0488.
– If An Agent Knocks On Your Door (developed by the Center for Constitutional Rights; tailored specifically with organizations in mind): http://ccrjustice.org/files/CCR_If_An_Agent_Knocks.pdf
– National Lawyers Guild hotline for advocate/activists who have been contacted by the FBI and are seeking legal referrals: 1-888-654-3265
2. Act NOW!
October 4th, 2010 — National call-in day to Eric Holder and President Obama
October 5th, 2010 — National day of coordinated local actions
Contact President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder to demand an end to the FBI raids and that the grand jury witch hunt be stopped immediately. Send messages as well to your Representative and Senators and let them know that their response will help determine how you vote in November.
Sample phone message:
My name is ______________ and I live in _____________. I want to protest the September 24, 2010, FBI raids on Minneapolis and Chicago peace and justice activists. People involved in peaceful, anti-war activism and humanitarian justice work should never be harassed in this way. Please return their belongings to the activists, drop grand jury hearings, and end surveillance of peace and justice activists. Thank you.
Make protests to:
Attorney General Eric Holder
Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington DC 20530-0001
202-514-1057 Main switchboard
202-353-1555 Comment line
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
202-456-1111 Comment line