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Protesters Demand FBI Drop Charges Against Activist

Carlos Montes was arrested a year ago following an FBI raid on his L.A. home and charged with a weapons violation

By BJ Lutz and Charlie Wojciechowski
|  Thursday, May 17, 2012  |  Updated 1:11 AM CDT
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Supporters say the raid on Carlos Montes' home and charges brought against him are actions by a government seeking to silence an anti-war activist.

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A small group of protesters gathered outside Chicago's Dirksen Federal Building on Wednesday afternoon demanding the government drop its charges against a a prominent Los Angeles activist.

Carlos Montes was arrested a year ago following an FBI raid on his L.A. home and charged with a weapons violation. His supporters say the raid and charges are actions by a government seeking to silence an anti-war activist.

"I feel like part of building a movement to say no to war and poverty includes defending our leaders, so we're to stand with Carlos and demand they drop the charges against him," said one demonstrator.

Montes' home was searched months after similar raids on the homes of other activists in Chicago and Minneapolis.

He says the weapons charges are bogus, and stem from an incident more than 40 years ago when he was accused of assaulting a sheriff's deputy following a 1969 student strike for Black, Chicano, and Women’s studies at East L.A. College.

"The District Attorney wants to put Carlos Montes in prison for a decade for owning guns that he purchased legally, for which he passed a background check upon purchase," said Jess Sundin, whose Minneapolis home was among those search in September 2010.

Sundin and 22 other activists are all part of the same, ongoing investigation in connection with protests outside the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn.

Montes' trial, which was set to open on May 15, has been pushed back to June 20. He's scheduled to speak at a rally and march on Sunday in Grant Park.

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