An open letter from the Coalition for Civil Freedoms in support of activist Joe Lombardo
The Coalition for Civil Freedoms, its Board, staff, member organizations, and concerned individuals stand in solidarity with activist and organizer Joe Lombardo after an incident of FBI harassment. Joe has been an organizer in the anti-war movement for decades and is presently a co-leader of the country’s largest and most active anti-war coalition, the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC), a CCF member organization.
Recently, out of the blue, FBI agents contacted Joe’s ex-wife in Albany, N.Y., for questioning. They first visited her house, saying they wanted to talk to her about Joe’s visits to Venezuela and Russia. She wasn’t home. They then called and pressed her to meet with them in person to discuss Joe’s past activities and travels, specifically his 2019 trip to Venezuela, which he took in connection with a U.S. Peace Delegation. Joe’s ex-wife, sensibly, never spoke to the agents.
Joe has been doing a lot of work against U.S. sanctions in a coalition he helped found, called the Sanctions Kill Coalition. He and others from the group met with the Venezuelan delegation that was in New York for the UN General Assembly a couple of weeks ago. (Venezuela has initiated meetings with others of the 39 countries that have had U.S. unilateral sanctions placed against them. These sanctions are illegal under the UN Charter.) These meetings have been very successful and have included Russia and China. Joe’s group just came out with a major report on the effect of sanctions [sanctionskill.org/wp-content/ uploads/2021/08/SanctionsReportPreview_v18.pdf] that has also gotten some play. Maybe this is why they are interested in him now.
We must lend as much support as possible to those individuals whose work on behalf of oppressed people worldwide leads them to become targets of the FBI. We know all too well the consequences of speaking with the FBI and what such contact can lead to. We stand in solidarity with Joe Lombardo and other anti-war activists ready to take any action necessary to support them.
The Aafia Foundation
Amith Gupta Ashley Young, The Committee to Stop FBI Repression DRUM (Desis Rising Up and Moving), Fahd Ahmed
Friends of Human Rights
ICNA Council for Social Justice (ICNA CSJ)
International Action Center
Stephen F. Downs
United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC)
Contact: COALITION FOR CIVIL FREEDOMS, P.O. Box 55713. Washington, D.C. 20040; [email protected]; @civilfreedoms; (202) 627-0887; civilfreedoms.org