Related Action Alerts
CAIR, ALC, and ACLU Documenting FBI Surveillance Practices
Call for Stories & Know Your Rights
(San Francisco, CA, 07/15/10) - The San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento offices of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Asian Law Caucus (ALC) and the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California (ACLU) are working together todocument surveillance practices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) with respect to South Asian, Arab, and Muslim communities in Northern California, and the impacts of these practices.
In recent months, there has been a notable increase in complaints by community members of FBI visits. The community members who have reported visits by the FBI have been of diverse backgrounds, both ethnically and geographically, and varying levels of religious practice. We have seen a special emphasis on individuals who have ties to, or have visited Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. Through this project, the ACLU, ALC, and CAIR seek to identify patterns of overly intrusive conduct and empower community members with information about their rights and the resources available to them. We are also interested in learning about positive interactions with the FBI to be sure our investigation is balanced.
The project plan is two-fold:
1) Identify and document instances of FBI visits to community members and organizations. To that end, if you have been visited by the FBI or know of someone else who has please contact us.
2) Empower community members with access to attorneys, information and resources so that they are prepared in case of an FBI visit. As part of this effort, we have already given presentations at a number of mosques including Masjid Al-Tawheed in San Francisco and the Shia Association of the Bay Area in San Jose. If you are able to host a “Know Your Rights” presentation at your location or for your group, please contact us.
We are doing outreach through visits to mosques, businesses and restaurants, and by gathering stories and contacts by word of mouth. Please share this information with your membership and forward to your lists to help spread the word. Interviews are confidential and we believe the information we are gathering will be crucial for raising the awareness of lawmakers to overly intrusive FBI practices and their impact on the civil rights and civil liberties of South Asian, Arab, and Muslim communities. As this project progresses, we hope to benefit from your feedback and advice on any number of matters, and likewise, we would be happy to share relevant findings and updates with you. The constant surveillance and intimidation of our communities are issues that we must be aware of and help challenge.
Council on American Islamic Relations San Francisco Bay Area,
Council on American Islamic Relations Sacramento Valley,
Asian Law Caucus,
Asian Law Caucus,
Julia Harumi Mass
American Civil Liberties Union,
T 415.621.2493 OR ext. 339