Eric Laursen: “A New Star Chamber”

The grand jury system in the U.S. has become a new Star Chamber, a way to intimidate and force politically committed people to testify and name names against the causes they’ve devoted their lives to.

The FBI, in collaboration with the Criminal Injustice System, is clearly attempting
to intimidate activists and tamp down protest in advance of the establishment-sanctioned Democratic and Republican national conventions. It won’t work. The protests will go on anyway. But the larger issue is freedom of speech, and the outrageous infringement of people’s human rights.

During World War I, activists were arrested merely because they were anarchists, and subsequently deported from this country and otherwise disappeared. Today, the FBI raids people’s homes in search of “anti-government or anarchist literature or material.” Back then, these actions were called a “Red Scare.” Now, they’re business as usual.

Please support the Committee Against Political Repression and the National Lawyers Guild in defending the victims of these attacks. Next time, it could be you.

Eric Laursen is an independent journalist, activist, and author of The People’s Pension: The Struggle to Defend Social Security Since Reagan (AK Press, 2012).

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