WITCH HUNT FBI
January 14, 2011 by staff
WITCH HUNT FBI, During a press conference January 12 on the FBI’s infiltration of the movement Peace. Sundin is one of 14 activists of origin was issued a summons over the FBI raid of September 24, 2010. She was also a key organizer of the 30,000 strong anti-war March on the Republican National Convention in 2008.
The press conference outlined the role of an undercover cop, going by the name of “Karen Sullivan,” who entered the anti-war, shortly before the Republican National Convention 2008.
To date, 23 international solidarity and anti-war activists have been summoned to appear before a grand jury in Chicago. Events are planned in several cities of the United States for January 25, the date on which the Palestine solidarity activists have been summoned to appear before the Grand Jury.
Statement of Jess Sundin at the press conference on January 12
We are here today to express outrage that our democratic rights have been violated by a government operation of espionage, infiltration and disruption of our anti-war movement, which was conducted during the least two and a half years.
In April 2008, the law officer Karen Sullivan joined the Anti-War Committee. In 2008, we were involved in organizing antiwar marches on the first and last of the Republican National Convention in St. Paul. At that time there was a massive security operation here, which included the infiltration of the RNC Welcoming Committee. We now have it confirmed that in that same period we also made the subject of government investigation. The difference is that our spy became comfortable and decided to stay a while, posing as militant anti-war colleagues and pretend to befriend us.
For two and a half years, Officer Sullivan was involved, sometimes even as president, to weekly meetings where everyone AWC has a say in the decisions the committee makes. Sullivan was a key agent of this office, a key that was then used by the FBI on September 24, to come to our office and search, seizure of our computers, financial records and other materials. For the past year, she helped the bookkeeping, and had free access to our financial records. On several occasions, Officer Sullivan gave public speeches on behalf of the AWC, including Colombia and Palestine. Some of these speeches can be found on our website so far. My point here is that the agent Sullivan had full access to all the work of the anti-war – our membership lists, our finances, our decision making and anything else she wanted to know about us.
Even after two and a half years of this full access, there are no charges against anyone. Instead, nearly two dozen people are dragged through a daunting process grand jury, a fishing expedition. If there really were a criminal activity that goes on here, Agent Sullivan would have known that. The crimes committed here were our rights abuses carried out by Karen Sullivan herself.
Unfortunately, Officer Sullivan has taken particular interest in the work of coalition, the Anti-War Committee. She has represented our committee meetings of the Iraq Peace Action Coalition and the Coalition for Palestinian Rights. She also represented in the national scene – Latin America Solidarity Coalition, to protest the School of Americas Watch, and the Social Forum of the United States in Detroit last summer. A year ago, she also joined Freedom Road Socialist Organization, which is spoken by the government in this case, in a manner reminiscent of the McCarthy era witch hunt.
The government has no right to spy on the Anti-War, or the many organizations with which we work. Agent Sullivan shares reflects the latest example of the FBI surveillance of progressive movements in this country. These types of actions have been described in the October 2010 Inspector General report, documenting efforts to spy on groups of the peace movement as anti-war Committee.
These actions make fun of our democratic rights, as outlined in the Constitution – the rights to freedom of expression, freedom of dissent and freedom of association. Agent Sullivan beyond mere surveillance, to become an active participant in the work of the AWC, to the point of disruption.
When I say break, I’m referring to a solidarity delegation to Palestine in August 2009. That delegation was of a fact-finding mission, where participants were to attend the conditions for Palestinians living under U.S. occupation continued, and express our solidarity in a person as a person. Agent Sullivan released his plan to join the delegation, she has helped promote and raise funds for her here in our community. At the same time, she was secretly working to sabotage the trip entirely. Through its work, reports have been adopted on the Israeli authorities, which then denied entry to the two women traveling with Karen Sullivan Minneapolis. Its action on behalf of the Government of the United States, these women deprived of their rights to travel, association and dissent. The government was wrong to interrupt our work is important and cons legal U.S. aid to Israel.
It became obvious to us that this delegation, and some of the work of fundraising is to support it, is of great concern to the office of U.S. Attorney in Chicago. To help finance the travel of three women in Minneapolis – including Sullivan – a symbol and send a sign of solidarity to the Palestinian people, a series of fundraisers were held. We’ve been very open about our work in support of the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, an NGO accredited by the Palestinian Authority, which is not illegal under Israeli law or international.
The Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees working for women’s equality. Their activities include support for refugee women and women political prisoners, and basic social services for women, including several children care centers. These women have reason to work for justice in Palestine, and there is no reason we should be criminalized for their support. However, this is exactly what happened.
On 24 September, federal agents burst into homes and disrupted our lives down. Community, other activists, colleagues, friends and family have all rallied around us. In fact, we have never met people from across the country have stood by us, to defend our right to engage in anti-war activism and international solidarity.
But a person completely disappeared – someone we thought was a fellow activist who had claimed to be our friend: Karen Sullivan. This woman not only worked with us in the Committee antiwar and other groups, it has invested in our personal lives. Getting to know our children, to join the birthday celebrations, visits to our families when someone is sick.
In conversations with the office of U.S. Attorney in Chicago, it became clear that everything we thought we knew about Karen Sullivan was a lie. It has never been a friend, or a person of conscience to help us work for peace with justice.
Instead, she was a law enforcement officer, working to monitor friends, our organizations and us. She worked to disrupt our political organization. It is more a story of betrayal, but of political repression. It makes me sick that the word of the liar, the government came into our homes, seized property, and launched a witch hunt grand jury that has snared not only those who knew Karen Sullivan, but now many other good people here in Chicago. On the floor of the lying, the FBI asked our colleagues around the country – North Carolina, Wisconsin, Arizona and California.
Rather than crumble under that pressure, our movement is to respond with force and unity. We will stay united behind every woman and man that Patrick Fitzgerald is trying to drag her before a grand jury. On 25 January, when nine Palestinians and militant solidarity with Palestine are called before the grand jury in Chicago, people will protest against the FBI and FBI offices across the country.
We, the anti-war and international solidarity activists targeted by Fitzgerald, have the support of all progressive movements in this country – from trade unionists to the movement of immigrants rights, from students to people of faith, and all other. Opposing war is not a crime. International solidarity is not a crime. We are not alone, we did nothing wrong and we will not fear.
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