For Immediate Release
Mike Ferner, 419-729-7273
Dennis Lane, 314-306-0024
VFP Appalled at Recent FBI Raids
WASHINGTON - Like
other peace advocates, Veterans For Peace is appalled by the
heavy-handed actions of the FBI in raiding the homes of anti-war
activists. We would also be astonished by those actions were it not
for the FBI's long history of harassing peaceful dissent. From the
disgraced leadership of J. Edgar Hoover down to these 2010 raids in
Minneapolis and Chicago, the Bureau has allowed itself to become the
dark agent of stifling democratic opposition to America's embarrassing
military adventures abroad and its resistance to equality at home.
The idea that the victims of these home invasions are providing
"material support of terrorism" by opposing brutal U.S. foreign
occupations is ludicrous. It strikes at the very heart of the freedoms
that VFP members thought they were donning the uniform to defend. For
those of us who sought to protect democracy from alien forces it is
particularly disheartening to watch that democracy now being eroded
from within by our own government. Are we truly to believe that the
FBI is all that stands between us and the terrorism of the Quakers, the
Catholic Worker, Greenpeace, and People for the Ethical Treatment of
It is further more than a little ironic that these raids of harassment
should occur only a week after the Justice Department Inspector General
himself concluded that the FBI does indeed have a long sorry history of
baseless intimidation of dissenters to American policy. Veterans For
Peace members themselves were victims of these actions surrounding the
infamous police violation of dissenter rights at the Minneapolis/St.
Paul Republican Convention in 2008.
As veterans and as seekers of peace we stand in solidarity with our
comrades in sister organizations who are victims of this sinister FBI
action. Who knows who its next targets will be? Pressing our
government to withdraw from aggressive and mindless wars should be
viewed as heroic activity, not a hostile act subject to persecution.
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Veterans For Peace is a national organization founded in 1985. It is structured around a national office in Saint Louis, MO and comprised of members across the country organized in chapters or as at-large members. The organization includes men and women veterans of all eras and duty stations including from the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), World War II, the Korean, Vietnam, Gulf and current Iraq wars as well as other conflicts. Our collective experience tells us wars are easy to start and hard to stop and that those hurt are often the innocent. Thus, other means of problem solving are necessary.