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Bay Area activists rally to oppose FBI and Grand Jury political attacks
Oakland, CA (June 16, 2011) – Dozens for Bay Area activists rallied this evening in front of the Federal Building in downtown Oakland to “resist government attacks against activists”. On May 17, 2011 the SWAT Team of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and members of the FBI raided the home of Carlos Montes, a long time Chicano activist and active member of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression. Carlos was scheduled to appear in court today. “Defend Carlos Montes! Drop the Charges Now!” Courage to Resist activists join the rally to also support Bradley Manning Support Network organizer David House who refused to answer questions from a Grand Jury in Virginia seeking information about WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, and Bradley Manning yesterday.
June 15, 2011. Bradley Manning Support Network
David House is a founding member of the Bradley Manning Support Network. He was subpoenaed to appear before a federal grand jury today in Alexandria, VA. House is among several Boston area residents who have been ordered to testify before the grand jury, which is investigating WikiLeaks.
House and his lawyer entered the courthouse this morning at approximately 10:00am ET, amidst a gathering of supporters who held signs with messages of support for House. The rally also called for government transparency and protection for whistleblowers — and for freedom for accused WikiLeaks source PFC Bradley Manning.
The prosecution initially attempted to prevent David House from taking notes. This was the reason for the recess and reconvening at 4:00pm ET. There was no legal basis for this order, and House was ultimately permitted to take notes.
House was questioned for approximately one hour, beginning at 4:00pm ET. He invoked his Fifth Amendment rights to remain silent. He read from the below statement at 5:00pm ET in the plaza outside of the United States District Court at 401 Courthouse Square in Alexandria, VA.
Statement from David House of the Bradley Manning Support Network:
The Department of Justice (DoJ) is attempting to codify a task it started over 40 years ago: the political regulation of journalism. The same climate of intimidation that surrounded the Pentagon Papers trial persists to this day as the DoJ seeks to limit the freedoms of the Fourth Estate, using the pretense of alleged violations of the Espionage Act.
The show trial that is now underway in Alexandria VA has the potential to set a dangerous precedent for regulating the media. Using Nixonian fear tactics that were honed during the Pentagon Papers investigation, the DoJ is attempting to dismantle a major media organization—WikiLeaks—and indict its editor, Julian Assange. The DoJ’s ever-widening net has now come to encompass academics, students, and journalists in the Cambridge area. The Administration’s goal is to force these individuals to testify against this media organization in an attempt to cast its publications and those of its media partners — the New York Times, the Guardian, Der Spiegel, Le Monde, and El Pais — as acts of espionage. The government has also violated my Fourth Amendment rights by executing a warrantless seizure on my laptop in an attempt to identify, target and ensnare Cambridge-based supporters of WikiLeaks.
It is my conviction that the American people must call for a cessation of the Department of Justice’s politically motivated harassment.