A group of anti-war activists opposed to recent FBI searches at homes in Chicago and Minneapolis took part in the first of a two-day demonstration outside Chicago FBI headquarters on Monday.
"Everyone here today knows that the people who were targeted last Friday are committed to non-violence and have always worked within the law to change our government's unjust foreign policy, both here and abroad," said said Maureen Murphy of the Palestine Solidarity Group in Chicago.
Last Friday the FBI searched eight addresses in Chicago and Minneapolis. Warrants suggest the agents were searching for links between the anti-war activists and terrorist groups in Colombia and the Middle East.
Joe Iosbaker and his wife, Stephanie Weiner, both of Chicago, said the government targeted them because of their outspoken voice against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They both denied any wrongdoing.
"What is going on here is an attempt to intimidate people in the city of Chicago from standing up and protesting the ongoing wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan," said one protestor Monday.
An attorney for Iosbaker and Weiner believes a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision rejecting a free-speech challenge from humanitarian aid groups opened the door to the recent raids.
The FBI says it is not a free speech issue but predicated on “criminal violations.” The agency says it collected 30 boxes of evidence in its raid at the Logan Square couple’s home.
The protests are planned for Monday and Tuesday.