File spoon-archives/marxism-international.archive/marxism-international_1997/marxism-international.9710, message 332

Date: Wed, 15 Oct 1997 22:07:31 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: M-I: Committee of Correspondence on the Arrests of 10/4/97 (fwd from moderator)

To marxism-international:

The following message from Kevin Cabral bounced to the moderators
(non-member submission).

Louis Godena,


-----Original Message-----
From: Alex Chis & Claudette Begin <achis-AT-IGC.APC.ORG>
Date: Wednesday, October 15, 1997 1:21 PM
Subject: Metro DC CofC Statement on FBI arrests of 10/4/97

>Date:   Tue, 14 Oct 1997 23:00:16 -0700
>From: Walter Teague <wteague-AT-IGC.APC.ORG>
>Subject:        Statement from Metro DC CofC on the Arrests
>To: Multiple recipients of list COC-L <COC-L-AT-CMSA.BERKELEY.EDU>

(Please feel free to circulate the following document if you do so in its


Dated 10/14/97

The arrests by the FBI on 10/4/97 of three local activists for alleged
espionage included a member of the Metro DC Chapter of the Committees of
Correspondence, Theresa Squillacote. Also, several other members of the
chapter have received subpoenas to appear before a Grand Jury in
Alexandria, VA.

In the last year, we have gotten to know Terry as a sincere, deeply
motivated, and intelligent activist. She is well-liked and respected as a
person and for her contributions to the work of the chapter. We have gotten
to know her as a concerned, active member of her community, and as a loving
mother and friend.

In a vital principle that we hope would apply to us all, she and the others
arrested are innocent until proven guilty.

We believe that supporting justice requires that we do not individually,
nor organizationally pre-judge Terry and the others based on alleged acts,
however much these charges offend us.

Friends, please keep in mind, all we have so far are FBI and government
accusations. Remember that these institutions have not always told the
truth nor only charged the guilty.

You may have watched FBI agents state as part of the "facts" against them,
that they tried to "overthrow the US government!" and the press added to
this propaganda claiming "they simply hated the USA!" We know Terry no more
hates the USA than any of you who love what is good and feels committed to
work against what is harmful in our country.

What if you too were accused of trying "to overthrow the government" and of
"hating the USA" because you actively disliked the policies and practices
that promote racism, poverty, and oppression in our country?

It is reported that a senior member of the SACP, Ronnie Kasrils (also
Deputy Minister of Defense), asserted "that there was no 'involvement' of
the SACP or any of its membership in this covert and misguided attempt by
the FBI to set up a 'sting' operation." Deputy Kasrils was sent a letter by
[Terry] after she had read his book, in which she congratulated him. He
subsequently sent a Christmas card thanking her for her message. This was
intercepted by the FBI [which] hatched its plot to entrap the 'spies'. The
FBI then forged a letter using Deputy Kasrils name etc., and sent it to
[Terry] informing her that South African intelligence was interested in
obtaining secret documents. The report concluded that a meeting was set up
with the false 'South African' (an FBI agent) to access the documents and
the FBI pounced.

It is ironic that these people were accused of conspiring to help the new,
post apartheid South African government. What is it that the US government
fears could be revealed?.

Regardless of the accusations, it is vital to all our efforts for a better
and more just America that we stand up for our rights, legal and political.
For our right to be activists, for our friends and comrades. Most of all,
we must not cave in to intimidation and fears by association, especially
those delivered as part of an obvious political agenda. We have sadly
watched the growth of the right in this country and the growing dominance
of global corporations.

There is great danger to all of us if the general public and even
progressives react to the 1950's McCarthyist tone of these accusations,
especially if this time round, we are too fragmented and afraid to respond.

Therefore, we call on all progressive individuals and organizations to
actively support justice for Terry and the other accused. We call all those
who believe the USA can be a better place, all those who understand
democracy and justice are not secured if citizens are cowed into silence,
all supporters of social justice, real democracy and a socialism that can
work, to join in this defense of our common rights.

We specifically call on the national Committees of Correspondence actively
to support these peoples' right to be considered innocent and treated as
innocent until proven guilty and to the right to real justice.

With others, we will seek to establish a defense committee and will pass on
much needed contributions.

While as usual, the members of our chapter have very different opinions and
reactions to these events, we do agree that if we don't defend their
rights, we are all in greater jeopardy.

Statement prepared by members of the

The Metro DC Committee of Correspondence
P.O. Box 11109, Washington, DC 20008-0309

(Please feel free to circulate this document if you do so in its entirety.)

* Alex Chis & Claudette Begin *
* P.O. Box 2944               *
* Fremont, CA 94536           *
* 510-489-8554                *
*           *

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