Campus Terror Crackdown in Iowa
In one of the most dramatic efforts at intimidating campus protests, an FBI Anti-Terrorism Task Force served subpoenas Feb. 4 on Drake University and four activists who attended an anti-war forum on its campus. The subpoena demands all records held by the university about the National Lawyers Guild and the Nov. 15 forum, “Stop the Occupation! Bring the Iowa Guard Home!” The forum included nonviolence training for some individuals who participated in a Nov. 16 anti-war rally at Iowa National Guard headquarters, where 12 protesters were arrested. A Grinnell College librarian who says she went limp upon arrest was charged with misdemeanor assault on a peace officer.
Subpoenas were issued to the leader of the Catholic Peace Ministry, the former coordinator of the Iowa Peace Network, a member of the Catholic Worker House, and an anti-war activist who visited had Iraq.
The subpoena to Drake University sought “any observations made of the Nov. 15, 2003, meeting, including any records of persons in charge or control of the meeting, and any records of attendees of the meeting.” In addition, the Associated Press reported that a judge had issued a gag order preventing the university from discussing the case.
The uproar over this case caused the subpoenas to be withdrawn, but the fact that such an investigation of campus meetings took place, and a gag order was issued against university officials, should be very troubling to everyone.