The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Arrests of over 1,000 on Trumped-up Charges

Nov 5, 2001

The U.S. Justice Department says 1,147 people were arrested between September 11 and November 2. Almost all of them are Arabs or Muslims. The Attorney General John Ashcroft bragged about the number arrested, saying he was, “taking suspected terrorists in violation of the law off the streets.

The names of those arrested have not been publicly posted, nor have charges been brought against them. But the government is using a lot of petty charges to hold people, like warrants for unpaid traffic tickets and the small immigration violations common in every immigrant community. But there is no move to bring these people to trial so they can have a chance to clear themselves. In fact, many of those arrested have still not been able to contact lawyers, and even when family members of those arrested have retained a lawyer, the lawyer can’t get in touch with the person arrested.

The Justice Department says that two dozen of those arrested had important information about the terrorists. Even if that is true–and we would be foolish to believe what this government says–that leaves over 1,100 who are NOT in this situation. But up to November 2, not one person has been charged with a crime related to September 11.

Some of those arrested lived in the same building as the terrorists or worked at the same place. But that is not at all a proof that they were involved in the attacks, because obviously the terrorists didn’t talk openly about their activity and tried to keep a low profile. But that hasn’t stopped the Justice Department from keeping people under arrest.

These arrests are nothing but a means for the government to cover up after having been caught with its pants down: the attack of September 11 revealed the government’s long-standing ties with and funding of Osama bin Laden–a man who organized terrorist activities for the U.S. when he was the CIA’s man.

The state apparatus is doing today what it always does when it wants to make a crack down. Civil liberties are thrown away and all kinds of innocent people are detained and even deported.

The biggest crime is that of the government that harasses and detains so many people who have no connection to the real terrorist attacks.