Urgent appeal to call off grand jury of anarchists
- Hi everyone,
Below is an urgent appeal to call off a witch hunt and persecution of anarchists in the Pacific Northwest. The U.S. government has been raiding homes of anarchists and seizing clothing and literature. There have also been subpoenas of anarchists to appear before the grand jury. The grand jury has been used against U.S. resistance groups from pre-Civil War abolitionists to the Black Panthers and more. My concern is that if the US government can use this method to target then scapegoat small isolated anarchists before the media the same method will be used against labor unions when we try to organize large strikes.
For those who are not familiar with a grand jury, these juries are firmly under the thumb of federal prosecutors. These prosecutors control every aspect of the grand jury process, from deciding which witnesses to call to what evidence to present. Using the grand jury, federal prosecutors are under no obligation to expose facts that may contradict the charges, unlike at trial. Arthur Burns, a Reagan administration deputy attorney general, acknowledged this power when he said that a grand jury "is 100 percent in the control of the prosecutor."
Handpicked by the prosecutor, grand juries can subpoena anyone and ask any question. Witnesses cannot have a lawyer present during the proceedings, nor can they present a defense. A witness can be jailed indefinitely for refusing to answer questions. And the whole process is closed to the press and public.
rank and file United Food and Commercial Workers local 555
Please show our solidarity and support for these anarchists
Stand with Portlanders Resisting Political Repression
Last week, Dennison Williams and Leah-Lynne Plante were subpoenaed to a federal grand jury investigating anarchists in the Pacific Northwest. The subpoenas were accompanied by a set of FBI raids, in which black clothing, flags, and anarchist literature was seized. They have been ordered to appear in closed-door hearings on August 2.
The Committee Against Political Repression urges everyone to support Dennison and Leah in their resistance.
Here are five ways you can show your solidarity
1) Attend our press conference.
Time: Wednesday, August 1st at 8 am
Place: Gazebo at Peninsula Park in North Portland
Dennison Williams and Leah-Lynn Plante will be issuing a statement about grand jury resistance. Come join us and show your support and solidarity with these two people as they face repression from the FBI for their political beliefs and work.
2) Call In Day- Wednesday, August 1st.
Also on Wednesday, we are asking people to call the US Attorney for Washington, Jenny A Durkan, and demand an end to the grand jury investigation. You can reach her toll free, at: (800) 797-6722. When you call the U.S Attorney's office, please let them know that you are speaking for yourself and not the individuals resisting the grand jury subpoenas. Be aware of how the things you say may affect the people you are trying to help. Also, remember that the US Attorney's office is law enforcement agency, and so be careful of being drawn into discussion or debate with them. Keep it short, polite, and to the point. For example:
"Hi. I am Doug Brown. I am calling about the grand jury being impaneled in Seattle, Washington this Thursday, August 2nd. I am disgusted that the FBI and government are persecuting political dissent in our country. This group of people is being harassed and intimated for their political beliefs. I demand that the grand jury and investigation be ended immediately and that the governments repression of social movements stop. Thank you for taking my comments."
After you call, please email us (nopoliticalrepression@...) and let us know how what kind of response you got from the Attorney's office.
3) Rally --Thursday, August 2.
Come to Seattle to stand against the Grand Jury witch hunt! There will be a demonstration in solidarity with those affected by the raids, starting at 7:30am and continuing throughout the day. The demonstration will be at the Federal Court house, 700 Stuart St., in Seattle.
If you can't make it to Seattle, organize a solidarity rally in your town!
4) Have your organization endorse the Committee Against Political Repression solidarity statement. In just one week, almost two hundred organizations, both locally and nationally, have signed on to a statement in opposition to political repression and in solidarity with its most recent targets. If your group would like to endorse the statement, write us at: nopoliticalrepression@....
5) Donate to the support and defense campaign. There is a "Donate" tab on our website http://nopoliticalrepression.wordpress.com/. We are trying to raise legal fees for all of those affected. We also are trying to provide material support for those who are resisting the grand jury.
Please keep checking our website for updates: http://nopoliticalrepression.wordpress.com/