CHICAGO (WBBM) – Four more grand jury subpoenas have gone out to supporters of Palestinian independence, and supporters gathered Thursday to call it a political witch hunt.
As WBBM Newsradio 780’s John Cody reports, the activists gathered Thursday morning at the Dirksen Federal Building, 219 S. Dearborn St.
LISTEN: Newsradio 780′s John Cody reports
Maureen Murphy, of the Palestine Solidarity Group, said she received one of the four new subpoenas to probe what she pictures as her constitutionally- protected right to free speech.
“I am proud of the movement that we have built here in Chicago, and I believe that the FBI raids and subpoenas, and the ever-expanding grand-jury witch hunt, is best understood as a backlash aimed at silencing our successful movement,” Murphy said.
As of Thursday, a total of 23 subpoenas had been issued to compel grand jury testimony. The activists liken the action to McCarthy-era political witch hunts.
In September, the FBI executed several raids on the homes of anti-war activists in Chicago and Minneapolis. Among them were local activists Stephanie Weiner and Joe Iosbaker, who said the FBI even went through their music collection and their sons’ school notebooks. He said the agents also found more than 20 boxes containing family papers and mementos dating back decades.
Another target of the September raids was the home of Palestinian American anti-war activist Hatem Abudayyeh.
Federal officials do not comment on individual cases, but say generally, they’re trying to fight support for groups listed as terrorist organizations.