Local activists will speak out in support of a prominent immigrant rights leader in Los Angeles who was arrested last week as part of an FBI investigation of anti-war groups which first came to light in raids in Chicago and Minneapolis last September .
A press conference at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, May 25 at the Dirksen Federal Building, 219 S. Dearborn, will include statements by local leaders of the Moratorium on Deportations Campaign, the Boricua Human Rights Campaign, and the Comite Anti-Militarizacion.
Carlos Montes, well-known in activist circles as a founder of the Brown Berets in the 1960s, was arrested on a weapons code violation May 17 in a raid in which FBI agents broke down his door and took computers, cell phones and political documents, according to the Committee to Stop FBI Repression .
The group has posted on its website FBI documents left behind in a raid  on the home of two Minneapolis activists last year, including a detailed plan for the raid and a long list of questions to ask subjects of the investigation.
The plan shows that the investigation grew out of public statements by Minneapolis activists criticizing U.S. support for the Colombian government’s counterinsurgency war, based on their personal observations after visiting the country.
The questions are “McCarthyite to a bizarre degree,” said Joe Iosbaker, a local labor and solidarity activist whose home was among those raided. “It boils down to this: the government wants to know who you know and what are your ideas.
“They’re not looking for guns, they’re not looking for large amounts of money. They’re looking for names of people in the movement.”
Iosbaker is one of 23 Midwest activists who were subpoenaed by a grand jury. He said his lawyers expect indictments based on an expanded definition of “material support for terrorism” — that now can include speech advocating legal activity — resulting from a controversial U.S. Supreme Court ruling  last year in Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project.
In January activists revealed the role of a police infiltrator  who targetted groups which organized a massive anti-war demonstration at the Republican National Convention in 2008, linking it to a long history of infiltration and disruption of political dissenters by the FBI.