Then They Came for Me: Meet with Victims of Civil Liberty Violations

WHAT: Meet with those directly affected by the FBI raids on anti-war activists homes, and from the Chicago civil liberties community

WHEN: Tuesday, May 31 at 7:00 p.m.

WHERE: DePaul University, McGowan South Room 104, 1110 W. Belden Avenue

On September 24, 2010 the FBI carried out a series of raids of homes and anti-war offices of public activists in Chicago and Minneapolis. Following the raids the Justice Department subpoenaed 23 Palestine and Colombia solidarity activists to appear before a Chicago grand jury headed by US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. A grand jury is a secret court proceeding where the jury members are not screened for bias, where a prosecutor questions witnesses without a defense attorney present, and where there is no judge.

Many believe that the government is testing a June, 2010 US Supreme Court ruling, Holder v. the Humanitarian Law Project, which goes a long way in criminalizing political dissent. What do these FBI raids and the calling of a grand jury mean for the right of freedom of speech, public debate and peace and justice organizing in the US? How can this chill debate over this nation’s war policies, security doctrine and role in the world?

Come hear from those who have been directly affected and from the Chicago civil liberties community, which has been mobilizing to bring to light the realities of grand jury proceedings and the right to freedom of speech.

Speaker Panel:

Moderated by MICHAEL MCCONNELL, Great Lakes Regional Director of the AFSC and ordained minister in the United Church of Christ.

MICHAEL DEUTSCH is an attorney with the People’s Law Office in Chicago. For over 40 years he has represented political activists and other victims of police and government civil rights violations.

LEAH FRIED has been an organizer with the UE (United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America) for 12 years.

SARAH SMITH is a young Chicago student who participated in a delegation to Palestine and Israel, and shortly thereafter was subpoenaed by the FBI to appear before a grand jury.

REEMA AHMAD is the Executive Director of Project Mobilize, a political action non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of politically marginalized communities at the local, state and national level.

STEPHANIE WEINER teaches English in Chicago City Colleges, is a founder of AFSCME Local 3506, and is one of the activists raided and subpoenaed.

HATEM ABUDAYYEH is Executive Director of the Arab American Action Network and one of the activists raided and subpoenaed.

Free and open to the public. For more information, contact Miryam Rashid at (312) 427-2533 x 18 or

Sponsored by American Friends Service Committee, Amnesty International – Chicago, Coalition to Protect People’s Rights, Chicago Faith Coalition on Middle East Policy, Students for Justice in Palestine (DePaul), Chicago Committee Against Political Repression, Arab Jewish Partnership for Peace and Justice in the Middle East, American Muslims for Palestine, Jewish Voice for Peace-Chicago, National Lawyers Guild, Chicago Coalition Against War and Racism, Council on American-Islamic Relations – Chicago, Committee for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine, North Shore Coalition for Peace, Justice and the Environment, Chicago Area Peace Action, US Palestinian Community Network