The National Lawyers Guild stands in solidarity with the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP) and the Uhuru Movement and strongly condemns the recent indictments by the US government of four of their members for “conspiring to covertly sow discord in U.S. society and spread Russian propaganda.” In clear violation of the First Amendment, the Department of Justice is prosecuting US citizens for domestic speech and political activities because they do not align with the policies of the US government. It is meant to discourage all who oppose US imperialist foreign policy from expressing their views, particularly on the war in Ukraine.
Many NLG delegations abroad have documented how the US funds counter-revolutionaries all over the world, especially through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), so it is ironic to charge Russia with interference in US politics. The allegations are fundamentally racist by asserting that Black organizers are incapable of developing an analysis of US imperialism without the support of external forces, but they are just the latest in a history of hundreds of years of continuing violence, repression and genocide perpetrated against Indigenous and Black and Brown people in the US. This is also an attack on Black organizers trying to create autonomous, self-sufficient communities.
Coinciding with the arrest of over 40 activists in Atlanta for resisting the construction of “Cop City”, these political indictments are reminiscent of McCarthyite and COINTELPRO-like tactics employed to crush especially Black and Brown led organizations and individuals fighting for the liberation of oppressed people. The NLG was deeply involved with defending targets of both McCarthy and COINTELPRO and is very concerned with this new face of repression.
The National Lawyers Guild demands that these outrageous charges be dropped and urges all freedom-loving organizations to unequivocally condemn this latest US state repression and intimidation of dissenting voices by threatening a decade in prison for those who oppose its policies. At a time when racist police killings, the war against poor people at home and militarization abroad are accelerating, the most powerful country in the world today needs more political dissent at home, not less.