Interfaith Statement Condemning FBI Actions Against Peace Activists
We are people of faith and conscience who condemn the recent FBI raids in Chicago as a violation of the constitutional rights of the people and organizations raided. They are a dangerous step to further criminalize dissent. The FBI raids chisel away and bypass fundamental constitutional rights by hauling activists before grand juries under the guise of national security. An overly broad definition of "material support for terrorism" in the June 2010 US Supreme Courtruling concerns us as people of faith who continue to be actively engaged in humanitarian work and peacemaking.
The real illegitimate activities are U.S. foreign policies that support war and occupation. We believe that peacemaking is a sacred commandment. We feel compelled to work to end military solutions that kill and maim innocent people, destroy civil society institutions, create massive poverty and dislocation of people from their homelands, militarize our own nation and continue to create more animosity against the United States, thus undermining our security.
We are committed to a just peace in Israel and Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and Colombia. Some of us have visited these conflicted areas and accompanied those most affected by the violence. Some of us have permanent staff and volunteers working nonviolently for a peaceful resolution to these conflicts. We all stand opposed to the United States' and all nations' support of military aid and military intervention in these countries. The infusion of military aid has exacerbated violence rather than resolved it.
We believe in a divine spirit of justice and hope that promotes understanding and equality of all humanity. We refuse to remain silent in the face of the latest efforts of the FBI to chill dissent against war by invading homes of peace activists and calling a grand jury with sweeping powers to manufacture fear. We denounce the use of fear and the far-reaching labeling of critical dissent as "terrorism" that tramples on not only our right, but our duty to dissent as people called to a moral standard of justice for all.Jennifer Bing, American Friends Service CommitteeJoyce CasselKen Crowley, Witness for Peace-Great Lakes RegionRev. Dan Dale,pastor, Wellington Ave. UCCMary Dean, Voices for Creative NonviolenceRev. Denise Griebler, Pastor, St. Michael's UCCRev. Ann-Louise Haak, Lake Street Church ofEvanstonKathy Kelly, Voices for Creative NonviolenceMichael McConnell, American Friends ServiceCommitteeImam Abdul Malik Mujahid, Chair Parliament ofWorld ReligionsTim Nafziger, Christian Peacemaker TeamsMiryam Rashid, American Friends Service CommitteeGerald Paoli, Voices for Creative NonviolenceRabbi Brant Rosen, Jewish ReconstructionistCongregation, Evanston, ILAkhter SadiqNewland SmithRev. Robert V. Thompson, Lake Street Church ofEvanstonJamesVondracek, Chicago Religious Leadership Networkon Latin America