Support those defying Federal Grand Jury Repression of Puerto Rican Independence Movement

Friday, February 1st, 9:30 AM Federal Court, Cadman Plaza, Brooklyn.

Meet at corner Tillary St & Cadman Plaza East for rally; hearing at Federal Courthouse, Cadman Plaza E & Tillary St, Brooklyn (A/C to HighSt, 2/3 to Clark St, M/R to Court St-Boro Hall, 4/5 to Boro Hall,F to Jay St-Boro Hall, G to Hoyt-Schermerhorn).

As those who read Juan Gonzales' Daily News column three weeks ago have learned, another "front" in the moves towards "police state America" are underway. Three young Puerto Rican activists have been subpoenaedto testify fore a grand jury. As is often the case, in these Federal Grand Jury probes, those subpoenaded are not be charged with any crimes, nor is even the general purpose of their investigation stated. But "off the record" it has been revealed that this is an investigation of the Puerto Rican movement and especially the Machetero movement in Puerto Rico. There are indications that more will be targetted. (The three were originally called to testify on January 11th, but this was postponed to February 1st.)

Like the "Thought Crimes" legislation now in Congress, HR1955 ("Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007") this kind of action is aimed at government surveilance and intimidation of any or all opposition political forces. As Bob Boyle of NYC National Lawyers' Guild said about this case: "Federal grand juries have long been used to gather information on legitimate political activities". There is a history of dragging activists in, demanding that they "name names" and information on other activists. Those who have righteously refused have faced long periods in prison, including some in the Federal government's new "super Max" sensory deprivation/isolation dungeons. It is important to rally in support of those resisting all this.

We will be posting more on this case and on the whole issue of the grand jury probes as a tool of political repression soon.

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