Posted 7 months ago on Oct. 12, 2012, 8:38 p.m. EST by ZenDog
from South Burlington, VT
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
To: The Honorable Eric H. Holder, Jr
Office of the Attorney General
October 12, 2012
It has come to my attention that three young people in Seattle, Washington have just been sent to federal prison for refusing to testify before a Grand Jury. Press reports indicate that the Grand Jury was convened on March 2, 2012, to investigate vandalism that . . . was expected?
In the interest of full disclosure sir, I would acknowledge at the outset, that I have participated in Occupy Protests in Burlington, Vermont. This does not make me an anarchist. On the contrary. In keeping with the principle and spirit of full disclosure, I would also acknowledge that I make phone calls on behalf of the President's reelection campaign on Saturday afternoons. I support the President, and by extension, I support you, sir.
It is not my intention to tell you how to do your job. The prosecution of crime, the pursuit of terrorists, all lie outside of my field of expertise.
Leah Plante, Matthew Kyle Duran, and Katherine Olejnik are not criminals. This is something I believe to be true, and I base this belief on the fact that they have not been charged with any crime. Please see to their immediate release from prison.
Most sincerely and respectfully yours,
David Winter http://zendogblog.net
cc: The Honorable Senator Patrick Leahy
And Then There Were Three: Third Grand Jury Refuser Goes to Prison
Posted by Brendan Kiley on Thu, Oct 11, 2012 at 3:55 PM
Last night, Portland resident Leah-Lynn Plante spent the first of what could be a year and half's worth of nights in prison for refusing to testify before a federal grand jury about people she might know who might have been involved with the political vandalism on May Day. That's a lot of nights for a few mights.
Plante has not been charged with a crime—in fact, the court granted her immunity from prosecution, meaning she could not invoke her Fifth Amendment right to remain silent—but she could serve time until the expiration of this grand jury. During the open portion of yesterday's hearings, Judge Richard A. Jones told Plante that might last until March of 2014.
Plante is the third person to be sent to the SeaTac Federal Detention Facility for refusing to testify in this matter. At her sentencing yesterday, around 40 supporters and activists—mostly dressed in black—sat in the federal courtroom while extra security, from the US Marshals and the Department of Homeland Security, stood by. As she was sentenced, and federal marshals prepared to take her away, Judge Jones reminded her that "you hold the keys to your freedom" and that she could be released at any time if she chose to "exercise your right to provide testimony."
It was an odd turn of phrase—the same judge who, that morning, legally blocked her from exercising her Fifth Amendment right was sending her to federal detention for not exercising a "right." The 40 or so supporters in the courtroom stood solemnly as she was led away. "I love you," Plante said to the crowd, as marshals escorted her through a back door. "We love you!" some people in the crowd said. The security men looked tense for a moment, their eyes bright and their jaws clenched, ready for action. Then everyone walked out quietly, without incident.
Three People Now in Jail for Refusing to Talk About Other Anarchists
Friday, 12 October 2012 10:29 By Will Potter, Green Is the New Red | Press Release
Leah Plante appeared before a federal grand jury for the third time yesterday, and for the third time she refused to talk about her politics and other anarchists. She was taken into custody on civil contempt, and is now imprisoned at SEA-TAC in Seattle, Washington.
Plante joins two other anarchists, Matt Duran and Katherine "KteeO" Olejnik, who have chosen to make the same principled stand.
The three were subpoenaed to this grand jury following FBI and Joint Terrorism Task Force raids in multiple cities in the Northwest. The search warrants identified "anti-government or anarchist literature." At the time, because of statements from police and because the warrants listed that the items were connected to "conspiracy to destroy government property" and "interstate travel with intent to riot," it appeared that the raids and grand jury were connected to broken windows and other vandalism at a Seattle May Day protest.
Grand jury proceedings are secret, but Lauren Regan, an attorney with the Civil Liberties Defense Center, learned that the grand jury was empaneled March 2, 2012 — before the May Day protests even took place. It's possible that prosecutors spent months anticipating and investigating May Day protests, but a more likely explanation is that this grand jury is not about broken windows.
It's a fishing expedition targeting those who identify as anarchists or associate with anarchists. Grand juries have historically been used against radical social movements as a tool to intimidate and to gather information. When activists enter a grand jury proceeding, they check their rights at the door. They are asked about what they believe, what their friends believe, who they associate with, what kinds of activism they support. If they choose to assert their First Amendment and Fifth Amendment rights by refusing to speak about their political beliefs and political associations, they can be imprisoned.
“Today is October 10th, 2012 and I am ready to go to prison.”
by Will Potter on October 10, 2012 in Terrorism Court Cases
feel free to copy, personalize, and sent this email to the Attorney General.
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