FBI raids on antiwar activists:
A frontal assault on democratic rights
HOW NOT TO GET CAUGHT WITH YOUR PANTS DOWN!
Workers, youth and students who oppose the war policies of the Obama administration and all those who uphold democratic rights must defend the antiwar and pro-Palestinian activists whose homes were raided one morning in September, 2010, by the FBI. These raids are an ominous warning that the US government, unable to convince the American people to support the imperialist wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and a predatory foreign policy around the world, is moving to criminalize open political opposition.
At a press conference Saturday in Chicago, two of those targeted, Joe Iosbaker and Stephanie Weiner, gave details of the raid. Twenty FBI agents ransacked their home, taking away more than 30 boxes of papers, correspondence and personal items dating back over four decades. RIGHT NOW, All of us should GOOGLE the terms "HOW TO STORE INFO SAFELY OFF SITE" or variations.
-------------------------finding info like this:--------------------------
"Information on your computer is vulnerable: hard disks can fail, computer systems can fail, viruses can wipe a disk, careless operators can delete files, and very careless operators can delete whole areas of the hard disks by mistake. Computers can also be damaged or stolen. For these reasons backing-up your data is essential. This involves making copies of essential files on your system and keeping them on another computer, or on some form of storage media.At several of the homes raided, FBI agents seized computers and cell phones. While no one was arrested---a fact that in itself demonstrates there was no 'terrorist' threat---many of those targeted were given subpoenas to appear before federal grand juries next month. They will apparently be questioned particularly about their personal travel to foreign countries where they met openly with political and labor groups. NOTE: for sensitive phone calls to vulnerable persons who might wish to remain private, unknown, purchase untrackable cell phones, google untraceable, disposable cell phone and other terms & see:
To ensure that you can back up easily it is important to organise the information on your computer. The aim is to make different users, and/or different areas of an individual user's work, easily identifiable and easy to find on the disk. This is achieved by setting up a series of directories on the disk that contain different types or areas of a user's work. This is generally called a 'workspace' - the area of a disk that contains a user's work. This also helps segregate a user's unique work from files or information that are held by a number of people, or that are loaded onto the computer from other sources, such as CDs, so you don't back-up files unnecessarily.
When to back up - Backing up data can be a difficult task where there are lots of files to copy. The first rule of backing up is therefore to minimise the amount of data you have to back up by regularly removing useless or out-of-date files from your system. It's also important to get into the habit of backing up in different ways for different reasons to increase the reliability of your backed-up data.
You should consider backing-up:0 When you've done a large amount of work over a short period - in which case you should back up all the contents of your 'workspace';How to back up
0 When you've completed a major body of work - you should clean up the directory containing the files (to get rid in files that are not needed) and just back up that directory;
0 On a regular basis, back up your whole 'workspace' and the essential system files.
How you back up depends upon the type of equipment you have and the amount of data you have to back up and the system you use for OFF SITE STORAGE!0 Backing up your immediate work is very simple. It is unlikely to be a huge volume, and so some sort of disk storage is easy to organise. Within an organisation, where you are more likely to have a network of computers, it also possible to back up users’ work to a single computer somewhere on the network.Storage
0 On a regular basis it is a good idea to back up not just the current work, but also copies of the word processor's user dictionaries, email or Internet download directories, and other important system files, as well as all the users’ data.
0 Make arrangements to hold copies of backed-up information at other locations. These back-ups are not going to be as up-to-date as your regular office-based back-ups. But in the event of a catastrophe, such as the theft of computers, a fire, or a deliberate raid by the state or some other organisation, you can at least put a large part of your computer-based work back together. Some advise ENCRYPTING it before you store it elsewhere.Another issue with regard to backing-up is how data is stored. Many people use programs that compress large amounts of data into a smaller space, and which stitch together many small files as one big file in the process. Whilst this is a useful way of backing up data in the short term, in the longer term this has security and reliability implications.SecurityBacking up data has other security implications. Whilst the information on the computer can be protected behind different type of security barriers, data on back-up disks is more vulnerable because it is 'open' - simply stored on some form of storage media without any barriers to access other than the box or room the storage media is stored in.
In circumstances where you have particularly sensitive data to back up, it is often safer to have one set of back-ups containing your ordinary data, and a smaller set of back-ups containing more sensitive data for which you make separate storage arrangements.
Organising information - Effective backing-up depends upon how well you organise your information.
If your computer has lots of unimportant data mixed in with your most important files you risk damaging files by deleting or editing the wrong ones. You will also waste time and money backing up far larger quantities of information than you need to. Organising information in this way will also mean that you use your computer system more effectively and efficiently.
To ensure good practice in organising your information you should:
0 Use directories within the hard drive(s) of your computer to hold data for each user, and different areas of that user's work. In this way you can back up single files, directories that contain an entire project, a user's entire workspace, or the data for all users who use that particular computer.
0 Make sure that files shared between many users are kept separate from a user's individual files.
In more detail, this means:
0 Always have a directory for each user who uses the computer, and perhaps a 'guest' directory for occasional users;
0 Try to keep finished work and work in progress apart - finished work should be backed up for long-term storage, where work in progress should be backed up regularly, and keeping older/completed files out of current work area saves space; especially sensitive material.
0 When starting a new project, always create a directory for it and store all information related to the project in that directory - in this way you can keep a regular back-up of the project by copying the whole directory in one go;
0 Where a project contains a large volume of files try subdividing them into more sub-directories to allow backing-up on different disks - this is dependent upon the capacity of the storage media you are using; and
0 If using a network for access and backing up, always try to keep the files that everyone shares separate from user's. Get your users into the habit of accessing and updating shared files in one location - this prevents confusion arising over different versions of the same file stored in different areas of the network system.
Organise your backed-up data so that it mirrors the organisation of the work on the computer.
DIRECTORIES should be named exactly the same. FILES should be named the same. This means that in the case of a file or a whole disk being damaged or corrupted, the work can be restored easily; it also means data can be simply copied in a way which re-creates the working environment that your users find familiar."
Those person targeted in the September 2010 raids were not terrorists stockpiling bombs, but political activists whose 'weapons' were leaflets, placards, newsletters and Internet postings. Most are members or supporters of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO), which publishes the newsletter Fight Back.
The Socialist Equality Party has a very different political perspective
from the FRSO, which has its roots in the Maoist student
groups of the 1960s and 1970s, and supports a variety of bourgeois nationalist leaderships in the oppressed countries of Latin
America, Africa and the Middle East. But the SEP is unreserved in our defense of the democratic rights of the FRSO and its
members against state repression.
We also defend the supporters and members of the Arab-American Action
Network, whose web site describes it as a
grassroots organization that 'strives to strengthen the Arab community in the Chicago area by building its capacity to be an
active agent for positive social change.' The Bush administration witch-hunted and destroyed many Arab-American and Islamic
charities and community groups after the 9/11 attacks, and the Obama administration is continuing in this reactionary tradition.
The SEP condemns as well the complicity of the corporate-controlled
media with this blatant assault on political dissent.
Outside of Minneapolis and Chicago, there has been little press coverage of the raids. The New York Times, for example,
published a small article buried in its inside pages. The television networks have devoted zero time to the most flagrantly
antidemocratic action taken by the US government since Obama entered the White House.
An FBI spokesman claimed that the raids were aimed at people 'providing,
attempting and conspiring to provide material
support' to terrorist organizations, including Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and the
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). But there is no evidence tying any of those targeted in the raids to
The FBI is apparently attempting to use the precedent set by the recent
US Supreme Court ruling in the case of The
Humanitarian Law Project v. Holder. In this reactionary decision, handed down in June, the high court upheld the charge of
'material support' to terrorism against people who were working with the PKK, a Kurdish nationalist guerrilla group fighting in
Turkey, and the LTTE, the Tamil nationalist organization fighting a civil war in Sri Lanka.
The individuals charged in that case were not providing military or
technical assistance to guerrilla warfare. Some were seeking
to persuade the PKK to make the transition from guerrilla warfare to electoral politics in Turkey (as the Irish Republican Army
did in Northern Ireland, under the auspices of the Clinton administration). Others were advising the LTTE, during a period of
ceasefire in the Sri Lankan civil war, on how to obtain disaster aid for the Tamil population after the 2004 Asian tsunami.
Both the PKK and LTTE had been designated as 'terrorist' organizations
by the US State Department because they were
fighting governments allied to Washington. Similar organizations fighting governments at odds with US foreign policy were not
so designated, although their tactics were identical.
If the Holder precedent had been in effect during the 1980s, antiapartheid
campaigners in the United States could have been
arrested and prosecuted for 'material support,' because the Reagan administration had designated the African National
Congress and Nelson Mandela as 'terrorists.'
As the World Socialist Web Site wrote at the time of the Holder decision:
'This week's ruling marks a new stage in the
ongoing attack on democratic rights in the United States. At the behest of the Obama administration, the Supreme Court---for
the first time ever---has given its imprimatur to the prosecution and imprisonment of US citizens for advocating support of
organizations opposing the policies of the US government or its allies anywhere on the planet.' (See 'Supreme Court backs use
of terrorism law against free speech').
The Bush Justice Department brought the 'material support' charges and
the Obama Justice Department carried the case to a
successful conclusion at the Supreme Court, a fact which underscores the continuity between the Republicans and the
Democrats when it comes to attacking the democratic rights of the American people.
The September 24 raids came only four days after publication of an internal
report by the Justice Department's inspector
general admitting that the FBI improperly opened 'terrorism' investigations into peace and social justice groups including
Quakers, Catholic Worker, the Thomas Merton Center, Greenpeace, and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
The decade since the 9/11 terrorist attacks has seen the systematic
buildup of police-state powers, beginning with the
overwhelming bipartisan support for the passage of the USA PATRIOT Act, the creation of the Department of Homeland
Security and the Northern Command, the establishment of the Guantanamo Bay concentration camp and secret CIA torture
prisons, and the assumption of greater and greater authority by the military/intelligence agencies and the White House.
The SEP has consistently warned that while these measures were declared
to be directed against Al Qaeda and its alleged
sympathizers, the real target was the American people. The financial aristocracy in the United States is well aware that the real
threat to its privileges and wealth is not a handful of Islamic fundamentalist terrorists, but the American working class. Under
conditions of deepening economic and social crisis, the ruling elite anticipates the growth of social opposition from below. It is
preparing the state machinery of repression accordingly.
The role of the Obama administration and the Democratic Party in intensifying
the buildup of police-state powers underscores
the necessity for the independent mobilization of the working class against the entire political establishment and the capitalist
system that it defends. This is the only basis for putting an end to war and defending democratic rights. by Patrick Martin
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