FBI investigations on the rise

By Cristina Aguirre

A protest was held on Jan. 25 in front of the Dirksen Federal Building, 219 S. Dearborn St., in which an estimated 250 people demanded the FBI cease unsubstantiated investigations into the lives of the subpoenaed activists as well as the millions of U.S. residents of which it has demanded information.

“We fear the government may be seeking to use the recent Supreme Court decision Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project to attack activity protected by fundamental rights of freedom of association, speech and inquiry,” said Maureen Murphy, one of nine newly subpoenaed activists. “We will not allow our solidarity to be construed as ‘material support for terrorism.’”

More than 250 organizations have endorsed a petition in support of those targeted by the FBI raids and subpoenas, including the Chicago Teachers Union, as well as several labor, community and political groups around the country.

Though no charges regarding the activists have yet been filed by the FBI, the federal agency’s investigative persistence has raised questions of a broader increase in power that could be used to stifle political dissent.

FBI spokesman Randall Samborn declined to comment on any aspect of the pending subpoenas.