FBI and Memphis Police harass peace activists

I’ve been hearing from friends in Memphis about a series of events carried out by the FBI, the Memphis Police Department tactical squad, and Shelby County Sheriff’s deputies on Tuesday, Jan. 25. In short, the day of a gathering at the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center for people to file Freedom of Information Act requests about FBI surveillance–after reports of FBI spying on groups like MSPJC–the FBI came to the church where MSPJC is housed and started warning people that anti-war activists were going to do something around the church. Unfortunately for them, the first people they warned were the MSPJC. Then, the police tactical squad sent 2 squad cars and 6 SUVs to patrol around the church. On the same day, at least two residences, including the DeCleyre Co-op, were raided by sheriff’s deputies–meaning they pushed their way in without showing a warrant, and in at least one case went room to room with guns drawn, according to the reports. This also happened to be a day designated for national actions protesting FBI raids and subpoenas aimed at anti-war and international solidarity activists.

It was covered in the daily paper, the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

Also on local TV: http://www.abc24.com/news/local/story/FBI-Agents-Memphis-Police-at-the-Peace-Center-a/Yzd7O92TVUiDaSOCgP-qxg.cspx and http://www.wreg.com/news/wreg-police-fbi-at-peace-center,0,909664.story.

Brad Watkins of MSPJC wrote a first-person report about it on his blog, making clear that the FBI and police were lying about why they did it.

T. Sheldon, a participant in the meeting, gave another first-person account.  It is important to read both of these accounts from Sheldon and Watkins.

Here’s video from the church parking lot.

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2 Responses to FBI and Memphis Police harass peace activists

  1. D.E. says:

    This is nothing less than an OUTRAGE. As a former member of the Board of the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center as well as former resident at the deCleyre Cooperative these *illegal* state actions hit close to home. The eerie and ironic similarities to the FBI raids on anti-war activists of September 2010 confirm that these are not random acts, but a pattern of repression of social justice movements.

  2. Even the Commercial Appeal’s editorial concludes that the police and FBI excuses were not credible: http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2011/jan/28/editorials-intimidation-or-big-mistake/

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