Kit Bonson introduced the evening’s speakers Saqib Ali, Max Obuszewski, and Sue Udry, and then introduced the forum by noting that the issue of “defending dissent” is what sparked the formation of our group:
The Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition (MCCRC) started because in the fall of 2010, 7 activists in Minneapolis and Chicago awoke one morning to find that their houses were being raided by the FBI. Boxes and boxes of their possessions were confiscated, including computers, papers, and family photos. Although they were never charged with any crime, they were called to testify in front of a Grand Jury.
In response, activists here in our area, as well as in cities around the country, came together to protest the use of the FBI and the Grand Jury process to harass and intimidate movement organizers. Basically, we wanted to stand in solidarity with activists who had not committed crimes or advocated anything other than nonviolence action. It was from these events that MCCRC was founded.
Kit also provided a short history of Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition efforts since then, mentioning our work against Metro bag searches and the NDAA among others. The full text of her remarks is now part of our “About” pages.
Selected relevant links:
- Committee to Stop FBI Repression: a national coalition organizing to stop FBI repression of anti-war and international solidarity activists
- November 10, 2010 teach-in: videos and resources about the September 24 2010 FBI raids, the threat of grand juries, and the Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project ruling broadening the definition of “material support.”
Kit Bonson is a founding member of the Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition.
For more about the forum and links to videos of other speakers, visit Activists survey challenges to dissent at Wheaton forum, propose Rapid Response Network.