Minneapolis activists raided by FBI called again to testify

Will the feds send a great-grandmother peace activist to jail?

Will the feds send a great-grandmother peace activist to jail?

Three of the Minneapolis peace activists whose homes were raided by the FBI in September may end up spending the holidays in prison.

At the time of the raids, which targeted 14 activists in the Twin Cities, Illinois and Chicago, the subjects were given subpoenas for a grand jury investigating possible links with terrorism.


The activists dismiss the investigation as an effort to chill dissident speech. They say they have done nothing wrong, and refused to testify before the grand jury, invoking their fifth-amendment protection against testifying against themselves.

But now the Grand Jury has told three of the Minnesota activists -- Sarah Martin, Tracy Molm, and Anh Pham -- that they will have to testify after all. If the Grand Jury grants them immunity, they will have no choice but to testify or face jail-time for contempt.

Jess Sundin, one of those who received the first round of subpoenas, says she expects the rest of the group to be called to testify eventually as well, but that all of them would rather go to jail than testify against each other.

Sarah Martin, a 71-year-old great-grandmother, hopes it doesn't come to jail time. "I take care of my 94-year-old mother," she said. "I help take care of my great-grandson. I worry about what would happen if I couldn't be there during the holidays."

Still, Martin said, she's hopeful that it won't come to that.

"I don't think the FBI knew what they were getting into when they started this. We've been getting a lot of support, because this is basically about whether the government can use the law to prosecute people who do international solidarity work. The stakes are high for us. We're not going to back down."