FBI raids peace activists’ homes, issues subpoenas for grand jury


FBI agents raided six homes in Minneapolis and two in Chicago today, apparently looking for links to terrorist activity. The Minneapolis raids targeted peace activists who were active in protesting the 2008 Republican National Convention (RNC) in St. Paul — among them Jessica Sundin and Mick Kelly, organizers of the massive march on the first day of the RNC. Travel and phone records were reportedly taken from their homes.

At a home on Park Avenue in Minneapolis, FBI agents arrived early this morning with a warrant.  The person who answered the door says that the FBI pushed past her and began searching every room of the home, from attic to basement, looking at CDs, DVDs, books, photos and papers. Before leaving, the FBI issued subpoenas for the peace activists to appear before a Grand Jury in Chicago on Oct. 12. This is one of the subpoenas that was served today. It commands the activists to bring along documents and photos of any trip to Columbia, Jordan, Syria, the Palestinian Territories or Israel and any records of payments to “Hatem Abudayyeh, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) or the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC).

Above the Hard Times Cafe in Minneapolis’ Cedar-Riverside neighborhood, the FBI allegedly kicked in doors and entered Mick Kelly’s second-floor apartment this morning with guns drawn. Hours later, as many as half a dozen agents began carrying boxes down to their vehicles: a grey Chevy Impala on the street and two black SUVs parked behind the cafe. This is the search warrant the FBI had for Kelly’s apartment.

The search warrant indicates the FBI was seeking evidence that Kelly was “providing, attempting and conspiring to provide material support to …foreign terrorist organizations” (FTOs). Specifically the FBI is interested in Kelly’s work with the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) and travel he may or may not have made to Palestine and Columbia.  A subpeon

Women against Military Madness have scheduled a 4pm news conference today to talk about the raids.

Members of the peace community are gathering at Walker Church today at 5:30pm to give advice and comfort to those who had their homes raided.

Jacob Wheeler, Ciriem Saadeh and Marty Owings contributed information and video to this report.

Click to see FBI’s Chevy Impala parked outside Hard Times Cafe in Cedar-Riverside neighborhood: