It is 5:00am on May 17th, 2011. At a home in Los Angeles, California, FBI agents and police officers dressed in black and armed with automatic weapons knock down the front door and violently arrest Carlos Montes at his home. They raid and ransack his house, taking with them his computer, his cell phone and many documents and files. Now, one year later, Carlos is on trial in the US, targeted by the Los Angeles police, the FBI and the US government for his role as an antiwar and social justice organizer. His trial for bogus charges related to a Chicano student strike he led 42 years ago at an East L.A. College is really a thin veil for the attempt by the US government to silence voices in the US that are taking a stand against war and occupation, racism and economic injustice.
Carlos, a life-long fighter for Chicano and immigrant rights and an antiwar and social justice activist, knew that the raid was coming. His name had appeared on an search warrant carried out eight months earlier. In September of 2010, over 70 FBI agents led coordinated raids on the homes of activists in Minnesota, Illinois and Michigan and at the office of the Twin-Cities Antiwar Committee. During these raids, the FBI seized personal computers, cell phones and files. The agents also delivered subpoenas to 14 activists, ordering them to appear in front of a Federal Grand Jury, which is used by the US government to get information out of activists about their work for peace and justice. The raids were justified under the guise of investigating “material support for terrorism”, especially related to the work of these activists in solidarity with the people of Palestine and Colombia.
In total, 24 antiwar activists have been in included in this latest crackdown by the FBI and the US government against the basic human and democratic rights to protest and organize against war and occupation. But this is not the first time that these rights have come under attack in the US. For decades the US government has used whatever means possible to suppress and intimidate people and organizations fighting for change. During the 1950's, 60's and 70's, a US government counter-intelligence program known as Cointelpro targeted many people and organizations including US Civil rights organizer Martin Luther King, Jr., anti-Vietnam war groups and Indigenous people fighting for their self-determination. More recently it is the Muslim community that has come under the most attack as charitable organizations, mosques, community groups and individuals have faced US government persecution, infiltration by the FBI, framed-up arrests and prosecution.
Why should people in Canada support Carlos Montes and all people in the US under attack by the FBI and US government?
From the continued occupation of Afghanistan and the bombing Libya to the current threats against Iran and Syria, it is clear that in the world we live in today, imperialist war against oppressed people is expanding. These attacks abroad are not isolated from increasing austerity measures and attacks on democratic rights that are part of the war against people in the US, Canada, or Europe. It is this war against oppressed people at home that has led to the arrest of Carlos Montes and the targeting of antiwar activists in the US.
As peace-loving people in Canada we must stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the US who are under attack and speak up for human and democratic rights. When the right to protest and organize against war and occupation comes under attack in the US, we can be sure that as voices of dissent against war and occupation in Canada grow, these same attacks will increase against people here. We must let the governments of the US, Canada and other imperialist countries know that as their wars and occupations increase, so will resistance here at home. We will not be intimidated by government attacks on our basic human and democratic rights!
Drop all charges against Carlos Montes!
Stop FBI attacks now!
How Can You Defend Carlos Montes?
The trial of Carlos Montes is scheduled to begin in Los Angeles on June 20th. Action in his defence is becoming more and more urgent!
Go on-line and sign a petition in defence of Carlos Montes addressed to Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley: http://www.iacenter.org
Call the office of Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley and leave a message demanding that they drop all charges against Carlos Montes: 213-974-3512
Find out more about Carlos Montes and the antiwar activists under attack by the FBI and what you can do to help stop these attacks at
Carlos Montes and the Committee to Stop FBI Repression will also be marching in the May 20th demonstration against the NATO Summit in Chicago organized by CANG8. They will be meeting at 12 noon on the Northeast corner of Columbus Drive and Jackson Boulevard. Look for the “Opposing War is Not a Crime” banner.
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