January 6, 2008

...And The Bad

[This announcement of a Grand Jury investigation comes from ProLibertad, a group organized around the defense of Puerto Rican political prisoners (whose website seems to be down at the moment). It reports on a new stage in the repressive attacks on the Puerto Rican national liberation struggle ongoing since the murder of Filiberto Ojeda Rios over two years ago, a crime which has created an upsurge of national feeling in Puerto Rico and the diaspora. Is this a fishing expedition or a more concerted bid to quiet rebel voices? At the moment there's no way to tell, but in either case it requires a decisive response from all who stand with the Puerto Rican people and want to stop the growth of the repressive machinery of the US government.]

FBI/NYPD Grand Jury Subpoenas Target Boricuas

The FBI/NYPD Anti-Terrorism Task Force (Joint Terrorist Task Force) has been visiting Puerto Ricans and serving them with Grand Jury subpoenas. In one case they claimed to be investigating the “extremist group: The Welfare Poets”. Two others have been served with Grand Jury subpoenas to appear at the Federal Court at 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn on Friday, January 11, 2007 at 9:30 a.m. and, as of this communication, one is being sought to be served.

As was the case with the assassination of Machetero Leader Filiberto Ojeda Rios on September 23, 2005, a key historical date for the Puerto Rican Independence Movement, the FBI/U.S. Justice Department has chosen the date of January 11 for the Grand Jury hearing in New York, a date when independence forces celebrate the birth and contributions of Eugenio Maria de Hostos to the independence struggle against Spain.

To date, subpoenas to appear before the Grand Jury have been issued to: Tania Frontera, a graphic designer, pro-independence activist and participant in the Vieques struggle, activist and social worker Christopher Torres and filmmaker Julio Pab√≥n, Jr. In addition, there are indications that Hector Rivera, one of the founders of the political/cultural group the New York based “Welfare Poets,” was visited to be served with a subpoena but was not home in NY at the time.

In Puerto Rico the group La Nueva Escuela convened a meeting with a broad range of pro-independence political forces to plan the response and mobilize legal and political resources. They also appealed to those active in the FBI Out of Puerto Rico campaign. A demonstration in front of the Federal Court House in San Juan has been called for January 10th.

In New York City on Saturday, December 29, 2007, Puerto Rican
pro-Independence activists, organizations and allies met with some of the subpoenaed activists, family members, legal advisors, friends and allies, to update themselves on the activities of the FBI/NYPD anti-terrorism agents leading to the Grand Jury hearings on January 11th. A call for a mass protest on January 11th at the Federal Court House in Cadman Plaza, Brooklyn was made, work committees were formed, a list of legal resources was presented and a general call outlined for support for these latest targets of Federal Grand Jury repression. A flyer is being drafted, and everyone is urged to mobilize.

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