AAAN Board Statement on FBI Raids

Last Friday, September 24th, the FBI raided the homes of, and served Grand Jury subpoenas to, Hatem Abudayyeh, Executive Director of the Arab American Action Network (AAAN), and several other anti-war activists in Chicago, Michigan, and Minneapolis, and questioned others in North Carolina and California—essentially attempting to criminalize their strong and tireless advocacy against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and support for the rights of the peoples of Palestine and Colombia.

For many years, Hatem Abudayyeh has led the social services, cultural outreach, adult education, and youth development programming of the AAAN; and has advocated for the civil and human rights of Arabs and other immigrants in the U.S., as well as Palestinians and oppressed peoples across the world.  The Arab American Action Network denounces the raids on the homes of, and the serving of Grand Jury subpoenas to, these anti war activists in Chicago and across the country.  The FBI has overstepped its boundaries and targeted individuals based on their commitment to peacefully challenge U.S. policies in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, and Colombia.

The raids are unfounded and have violated these activists’ constitutional rights of free speech and freedom of assembly, rights that are supposed to be guaranteed without intimidation in the United States.  Furthermore, the raids are a waste of taxpayer dollars and are direct attempts to intimidate, as well as silence, these activists, their communities, and any voice of dissent.

We, as members of the Board of Directors of the Arab American Action Network, condemn this attack on our Executive Director, which is another in a long list of attacks on our community.  We stand in support of him and the other activists fighting for peace, justice, and an end to unjust U.S. policies across the world.

And we encourage participation in the national day of action on Monday, October 4th—call Eric Holder, U.S. Attorney General (202-353-1555), and demand that the Department of Justice end its harassment of anti-war and international solidarity activists, return all materials seized in the raids, and stop the Grand Jury subpoenas.


2 responses to “AAAN Board Statement on FBI Raids

  1. Dear AAAN,
    I first became aware of the Arab American Action Network some years ago, when I saw on WTTW Channel 11’s Chicago Tonight a forceful and effective presentation of the Palestinian position in the continuing Israeli-Palestinian, and Israeli-Arab, conflict and war, by Ali Abunimeh, who was at that time (and still my be) Vice President of AAAN, and founder of the Electronic Intafada.
    In the wake of the Sept. 29 FBI attack on the AAAN that must be aggressively opposed by all Americans who value their rights and are informed about the Middle East, it occurs to me that in addition to forcefully rebutting Zionist dogma point by point, as Mr. Abunimeh did,
    the AAAN and other pro-Palestinian groups may use the Zionist’s own words as a mission statement:
    “We shall try to spirit the penniless population across the border by procuring employment for it in the transit countries, while denying it any employment in our own country…Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly. Let the owners of immovable property believe that they are cheating us, selling us things for more than they are worth. But we are not going to sell them anything back.”
    —Founder of modern Zionism Theodor Herzl, writing about the Palestinians, 1895.
    This Zionist objective continues to this day. It is what all Americans of conscience must stand against.
    Paul Thomas

  2. My comment of Dec. 19, 2010, corrected for spelling and content:
    Correct spelling: Ali Abunimah
    Content: Mr.Abunimah is no longer Vice President of AAAN.

    Paul Thomas

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