Over three hundred people rallied yesterday in front of the Minneapolis FBI Headquarters Building in solidarity with the six citizens who were invaded by the FBI on Friday, Sept. 24, losing computers, phones, bank records etc. A seventh was served with a warrant to appear before a grand jury, but she escaped the shattered doors and lost property. All seven were ordered to report to a grand jury in Chicago in October. Yesterday’s crowd was loud and outraged, but disciplined. Over 30 peace groups were represented standing in solidarity with the accused. This was a non-violent rally. The 20 Minneapolis Police officers who waited across Washington Avenue were left without task.
People representing many organizations spoke in support of the peace activist victims. Two veterans of the American Indian Movement — Clyde Bellecourt and Russell Means — spoke about the similarities between this action and the FBI’s harassment against Indians for decades.National Lawyers Guild Attorney Peter Erlander compared the FBI’s attacks on the peace community with its modern-day repression of the local Somali population, and encouraged the two groups to stand together.
And veteran Minneapolis activist Mel Reeves fired up the crowd.
Building security initially told the protestors they could not stand on the plaza, they had to confine action to the sidewalk. The building manager wisely revoked this order. This simple act defused initial anger about being pushed into the street, and it left the police with nothing to do but watch.
Video reporting by Bill Sorem and Jacob Wheeler