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Boston Activists Protest FBI Raids

Boston FBI protest Sep 27 2010Sept. 27- Boston rallied in solidarity with Minneapolis and Chicago antiwar activists targeted by FBI raids. Between 30 and 40 protesters walked a lively picket line organized by the Boston May Day Committee, the International Action Center and United for Justice with Peace. They also leafleted supportive and curious passersby and exchanged information about the raids: the affected antiwar activists had their homes searched, their computers and mobile phones confiscated, together with personal letters, photos and files.

The demonstrators likened the FBI strike with the Palmer Raids of the early 20th Century and suggested connections with the persecution of Muslims and immigrants. They also suggested that the raids are aimed at weakening the right to organize. Placards featured slogans like: "When DID We Become a Police State?";  "FBI Raids the Constitution"; "An Injury to One is An Injury to All!"; "FBI: Stop the Repression of Activists." Attendees were also heartened by the turnout and the fact that the action was among more than 27 taking place around the country, all within 2-3 days for FBI action.

More than one demonstrator speculated that the raid was a propagandistic act to build support for the Obama administration's initiative to broaden state surveillance powers. They are seeking to expand their ability to snoop on secure internet and telephone communications. Open Media Boston featured an editorial by this writer drawing attention to the diminished civil liberties protections of the Obama era.

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