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The Nation : FBI Loses Suit to Socialists

August 26, 1986

The Socialist Workers Party was awarded $264,000 in damages by a federal judge who found the FBI improperly investigated and harassed the group during a 36-year investigation that lasted until 1976. U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa wrote that the FBI violated the group's First Amendment rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of speech by embarking "on a series of actions with the express purpose of harming the SWP." The leftist group and its youth arm, the Young Socialist Alliance, filed the suit in federal court in Manhattan in July, 1973, for $40 million in damages. The judge found that despite a long investigation, "there was not one single prosecution of any member of the SWP or the YSA for any terrorist or revolutionary act of any kind."

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