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Feds Win Right to War Protesters' Records

February 7, 2004

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Filed at 12:58 p.m. ET
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- In what may be the first subpoena of its kind since the Communist-hunting days of the 1950s, a federal judge has ordered a university to turn over records about a gathering of anti-war activists.

In addition to the subpoena of Drake University, subpoenas were served this past week on four of the activists who attended a Nov. 15 forum at the school, ordering them to appear before a grand jury Tuesday, the protesters said.

Federal prosecutors refuse to comment on the subpoenas, served by a local sheriff's deputy who works on the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force.

In addition to records about who attended the forum, the subpoena orders the university to divulge all records relating to the local chapter of the National Lawyer's Guild, a New York-based legal activist organization that sponsored the forum.

The group, once targeted for alleged ties to communism in the 1950s, announced Friday it will ask a federal court to quash the subpoena on Monday.

``The law is clear that the use of the grand jury to investigate protected political activities or to intimidate protesters exceeds its authority,'' guild President Michael Ayers said in a statement.

Representatives of the Lawyer's Guild and the American Civil Liberties Union said they had not heard of such a subpoena being served on any U.S. university in decades.

Those served subpoenas include the leader of the Catholic Peace Ministry, the former coordinator of the Iowa Peace Network, a member of the Catholic Worker House, and an anti-war activist who visited Iraq in 2002.

They say the subpoenas are intended to stifle dissent.

``This is exactly what people feared would happen,'' said Brian Terrell of the peace ministry, one of those subpoenaed. ``The civil liberties of everyone in this country are in danger. How we handle that here in Iowa is very important on how things are going to happen in this country from now on.''

The forum, titled ``Stop the Occupation! Bring the Iowa Guard Home!'' came the day before 12 protesters were arrested at an anti-war rally at Iowa National Guard headquarters in Johnston. Organizers say the forum included nonviolence training for people planning to demonstrate.

The targets of the subpoenas believe investigators are trying to link them to an incident that occurred during the rally. A Grinnell College librarian was charged with misdemeanor assault on a peace officer; she has pleaded innocent, saying she simply went limp and resisted arrest.

``The best approach is not to speculate and see what we learn on Tuesday'' when the four testify, said Ben Stone, executive director of the Iowa Civil Liberties Union, which is representing one of the protesters. Supporters plan to demonstrate outside the courthouse.

Mark Smith, a lobbyist for the Washington-based American Association of University Professors, said he had not heard of any similar case of a U.S. university being subpoenaed for such records.

He said the case brings back fears of the ``red squads'' of the 1950s and campus clampdowns on Vietnam War protesters.

According to a copy obtained by The Associated Press, the Drake subpoena asks for records of the request for a meeting room, ``all documents indicating the purpose and intended participants in the meeting, and all documents or recordings which would identify persons that actually attended the meeting.''

It also asks for campus security records ``reflecting any observations made of the Nov. 15, 2003, meeting, including any records of persons in charge or control of the meeting, and any records of attendees of the meeting.''

Several officials of Drake, a private university with about 5,000 students, refused to comment. A source with knowledge of the investigation said a judge had issued a gag order forbidding them from discussing the subpoena.

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On the Net:

Drake University:  http://www.drake.edu/

National Lawyers Guild:  http://www.nlg.org/
Show Them the Door 08.Feb.2004 16:29

Spooky

Constitution of Oregon - 2002 Edition

From: ARTICLE I
BILL OF RIGHTS


Constitution of Oregon - 2002 Edition

From: ARTICLE I

BILL OF RIGHTS

Section 1. Natural rights inherent in people. We declare that all men, when they form a social compact are equal in right: that all power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their peace, safety, and happiness; and they have at all times a right to alter, reform, or abolish the government in such manner as they may think proper.

Suggested revision for the next edition 08.Feb.2004 22:16

Bill

to alter, reform, or abolish the government -- and its works --

For example, treaties like FTAA,
negotiated, signed and legislated,
in secret,
against the expressed will of the people.