The Freedom Socialist Party, Radical Women and the Durham-López 2012 Presidential Campaign Committee condemn the July 10 Seattle Police Department (SPD) raid on the home of radical activists affiliated with the Red Spark Collective and the Occupy Seattle movement.
We demand that Mayor McGinn issue an immediate apology and call an inquiry as to why a SWAT team, throwing flash-bang grenades, broke down a door to serve a search warrant at 5:45am. There were no arrest warrants for the apartment’s residents, nor have any charges been filed against them.
The police stated they were looking for “anarchist materials” and evidence that might identify individuals who broke windows downtown during a May Day demonstration. The sum total of this military-style assault was the confiscation of a hoodie sweatshirt, sunglasses, a glove and political flyers and personal papers. This was clearly a political fishing expedition and an attempt to chill dissent in Seattle.
Police have announced that “there may be more search warrants in the future.” Does this mean that any community organizer or free speech advocate who owns a hoodie sweatshirt or picked up an Occupy Seattle flyer can expect an SPD home invasion? Enough!
We call on Mayor McGinn to issue an immediate cease-and-desist order to the SPD – a department already under court order by the U.S. Justice Department to stop its pattern of civil rights violations and brutality.
Assault on dissent widens
There is every reason to believe that the FBI was involved in planning this assault, since similar harassment has expanded across the country, beginning with raids on the homes of 23 anti-war and international solidarity activists in Minneapolis in September 2010. Since then, the FBI and local police have collaborated on actions against Chicano activist Carlos Montes in Los Angeles, anti-NATO protesters in Chicago, May Day march participants in Cleveland, and Occupy encampments nationwide.
It is clear from these attacks that the Obama administration is enlisting local governments in a campaign to weaken the movements for human rights and international workingclass solidarity and to intimidate leaders of the anti-war and anti-corporate movements.
An injury to one is an injury to all
Here in Seattle, as in other cities, the police use divide-and-conquer tactics in an attempt to subvert coalition efforts among progressives and radicals. They label anarchists as “rioters,” union picketers as “thugs,” and youth of color as “gang members” in order to sow divisions.
Solidarity is urgently needed to defend those targeted by raids, illegal searches and political repression. Regardless of political differences, we must use our collective strength to end the witch hunts and defend free speech in Seattle and around the country. We must unite to stand up against growing economic inequality, austerity measures, high unemployment, police brutality, and endless wars and occupations.
After the initial shock of the 2008 economic crisis, workingclass people across the country have begun to question the status quo and the entire dysfunctional capitalist system. In response, corporate rulers are trying to preempt widespread rebellion.
But repression breeds resistance. There are many inspiring examples of movements coming together to defend those under attack. In Minneapolis, those whose homes were raided refused to cooperate with grand jury summons, and instead built a broad national defense network, the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, which includes a chapter here in Seattle. (Visit www.stopfbi.net for more info.)
Now is the time to unite and fight back
More and more people are coming to understand that police raids, the phony “war on drugs,” the “war on terror,” and anti-immigrant ICE raids and detention centers are means to control and silence everyone. They are all part of a class war.
Let’s mobilize to show Mayor McGinn and the Seattle Police Department that politically motivated raids and harassment will not be tolerated!
- No more Seattle Police Department raids on political activists!
- End police and FBI attacks on radicals, unionists and the Occupy movement!
- For a community-controlled, elected civilian review board over the police!
- Stop the war on working people!
Issued by Freedom Socialist Party, Radical Women and the Durham-López 2012 Presidential Campaign