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Government Manipulation of the Legal System to Suppress Dissent

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From racist attacks targeting Lodi, California’s Muslim community, to attempts to silence and imprison political activists in San Francisco and San Diego, dissent and freedom of speech are under attack. As government repression in general increases, so does the use of the federal grand jury to intimidate, incarcerate and render impotent activists across social movements. In recent years, pressure on the animal rights, environmental justice, anti-war and anarchist movements has increased exponentially. Government officials seem anxious to pin the label “terrorist? on anyone that is effectively campaigning against injustice. At a recent hearing before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, John E. Lewis, Deputy Assistant Director of the Counterterrorism Division of the FBI, testified that, “Investigating and preventing animal rights extremism and eco-terrorism is one of the FBI’s highest domestic terrorism priorities.?

Activists and people of color are not the only people being persecuted, lawyers are feeling the heat as well. On Febuary 10, 2005, New York civil rights attorney Lynne Stewart was convicted of conspiracy, providing material support to terrorists and defrauding the US government. Yet, Stewart never provided any financial support, weaponry or any other concrete aid for any act of terrorism. No act of terrorism is alleged to have resulted from her actions. Lynne and her supporters argue that all she did was represent her client effectively as a good attorney should.

audio: New York Human Rights attorney Lynne Stewart interview

updates:
San Diego: Judge to Hear First Amendment Objections
San Francisco: Reprieve for Activists

resources: FBIwitchHunt.com || Just Cause Law Collective || National Lawyers Guild || No Compromise
 

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