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Forum Post: Free the Seattle Three

Posted 1 year ago on Oct. 12, 2012, 8:38 p.m. EST by ZenDog (20552) from South Burlington, VT
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

To: The Honorable Eric H. Holder, Jr

Attorney General

Office of the Attorney General

askdoj@usdoj.gov

October 12, 2012

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Dear Sir,

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

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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.

more --> http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2012/10/11/and-then-there-were-three-third-grand-jury-refuser-goes-to-prison

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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.

more --> http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/12082-three-people-now-in-jail-for-refusing-to-talk-about-other-anarchists

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“Today is October 10th, 2012 and I am ready to go to prison.”

by Will Potter on October 10, 2012 in Terrorism Court Cases

full article: http://www.greenisthenewred.com/blog/leah-plante-grand-jury-seattle-anarchist/6448/

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feel free to copy, personalize, and sent this email to the Attorney General.

askdoj@usdoj.gov

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EDIT

New Link from a comment that has disappeared? Whatever -

Statement by Leah-Lynn Plante - 5 Minute Video, October 10, 2012

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Other forum posts on this matter:

Support or Fellow Americans Who have risked their Freedom for the Right to political expression, & Protest

US and Israel Recognize Iran Not Near a Bomb

39 Comments

39 Comments


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[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Perhaps they should co-operate with the investigation and start coughing up names of domestic terrorists - Like:

J Dimon

Bernanke

Whats that guy - last name starts with an R - fed bank fuk-up.....My bad - Timothy Geithner...gotta admit he is pretty forgettable......

Mittens

Ayn Ryan

Boehner

Bitch McConnel

Harry Reid

Eric Cantor

Scott Walker

Bloomberg

C & D Koch

AIG

Goldman Sux

Shell

Bp

Halliburton

Drone Pilots and chain of command.

Monsanto/frankenfood

Why the list is pretty damn long....perhaps they should also ask why the court is not already up to speed on these terrorists.

Please feel free to add to the list - we can forward it - release the pressure.

ALEC members......

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Honestly - these three and their legal defense should provide the court with an area phone book - then provide a list of questions/topics - and say here ya go - make some calls - I can't tell you what others are thinking - when you get done with the local phone books expand to national - finish there? - start dialing international.

Sorry your honor - you say you need background information - hmmm - reference removal of Glass-Stegal continue on to the economic meltdown and the crimes of wallstreet. Dig into fossil fuel and alternatives look at the environmental destruction/poisoning in the field of fossil fuel............................lookat................and then there is............oh and not to forget........

[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

Please lets not call Holder "honorable"...

[Deleted]

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (20552) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

That link is up top -

http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/12082-three-people-now-in-jail-for-refusing-to-talk-about-other-anarchists

umm - it looks like I got some of my links confused, doesn't it. I'll see if I can straighten that out. I don't know how I did that . . . .

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ahh - I see. Will Potter has the website Green is the new Red, and he was writing for Truthout with that article above.

so.

never mind.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Hmmm subversive literature was found - Hmmmm - when do the raids on public library's begin - new age of book burning to begin? Will Librarians be jailed next(?) - will people with a library card go onto a watch list?

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (20552) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

One of the links above I think lists some literature that was left behind during the search and seizure - and it includes pamphlets that detail federal investigative measures regarding OWS.

I'm sure that was deliberate. This whole thing is political, and has nothing to do with investigating criminal behavior.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

Agree

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (20552) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

For what it is worth, I won't be phone banking on behalf of the reelection campaign while these three kids are in

Federal Prison.

this is an abuse of power. I do believe it is the result of regional politics, but I just can't make phone calls with this as a back drop.

It's not happenin.

I do hope this issue is resolved soon. I kinda like making phone calls on behalf of the President . . .

[-] 1 points by gsw (2727) 1 year ago

Animal rights / environmental extremism

In the training presentation on these so-called “eco-terrorists,” the FBI lists lawful, First Amendment activity and low-level criminal activity (such as civil disobedience) as examples of domestic terrorism.

http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/12082-three-people-now-in-jail-for-refusing-to-talk-about-other-anarchists

http://www.greenisthenewred.com/blog/fbi-domestic-terrorism-training-anarchists-eco/6199/

The FBI is particularly focused in these presentations on information gathering and what it calls a “public relations war” by activist groups. “Media is sometimes slanted in favor of activists,” the FBI says. “Activists spin the truth.”

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33128) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 year ago

What media? Really? It is to laugh and cry - media coverage(?) - occupier slant(?) - OH the absurdity.

"The FBI is particularly focused in these presentations on information gathering and what it calls a “public relations war” by activist groups. “Media is sometimes slanted in favor of activists,” the FBI says. “Activists spin the truth.”

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (20552) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

And I thought events like Waco and Kent State had taught them better than this.

[Removed]

[-] 1 points by conservatroll (117) 1 year ago

Holder needs to go. Can you say Fast and Furious (just for starters). He has also defined a hate crime as being perpetrated by whites only.

If I had a son he would look like Brian Terry.

[-] 1 points by gsw (2727) 1 year ago

This sucks.

http://dissenter.firedoglake.com/2012/07/10/swat-team-raids-occupy-organizers-apartment-in-seattle/

The police seized property. They took a “zip-up hoodie,” which belonged to Neel’s girlfriend. They took one glove from an upstairs closet. They took a pair of sunglasses that can be worn over another pair of glasses. Fliers and a pamphlet that anyone could’ve picked up at any Occupy action were seized. The police also took a notepad that had his girlfriend’s handwritten notes, which she wrote when she was a Chase 5 defendant. (The Chase 5, who were accused of trespassing during a bank protest, won their case in March.)

One flier was taken, Neel said, because it had the word “anarchist” on it. Someone Neel said works with forensics also verbally noted the organizers in the apartment had pamphlets or materials on anarchists being targeted in FBI entrapment schemes but they were not seized by police. (Slog posted an even more detailed account from Neel on what happened.)

http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/political-convictions/Content?oid=14397498

In a follow-up interview with The Stranger, Plante said she wasn't even in Seattle on May 1 and is neither a witness to nor a perpetrator of any related crimes. She is, however, a self-declared anarchist and thinks the FBI singled her out because of her political beliefs and social affiliations.

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (20552) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

It's obviously an attempt at intimidation - it may also have impacts on the negotiation of any one or more of several local issues -

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

where's the video evidence ?

that swat team should have shoulder cams

[-] 1 points by gsw (2727) 1 year ago

Here Leah has video on grand jury witch hunters

http://tidesofflame.wordpress.com/

This link has info on the three who are accused of ???

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (21771) 1 year ago

Oh, FFS.

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this an example of trampling on our natural rights?

The people of America are now at war with the oligarchy and their servants.

Do what you can to let everyone you know aware of this injustice.

And ZenDog, love your work.

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (20552) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

Thanks man. It's not a great letter - it doesn't press home the point:

  • that if we have the right to assemble, it is then an abuse of power to use the Grand Jury to seize information without evidence of criminal behavior - much less imprison someone in a Federal Prison for failure to comply.
[-] 2 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

From the video, it would appear that the "perp" was targeted before doing anything supposedly wrong. It was her political stance that was their issue.

As for the letter, you did well. It needs to be formal and without passion.

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (20552) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

Well I know - but I could have mentioned the Constitutional issues. Politely of course.

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

Has the movement still got a funding source, and a legal team?

I got the drift that Jart has given up on this forum, but there's still an active movement happening. It would be nice to know they are taking steps to get these people back into the fold.

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (20552) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

There are at least three face book pages up, recruiting for protests that are planned. I don't like FB.

Haven't been to a GA in a while, can't say about funding or legal assistance. It looks like the Seattle 3 do have legal representation - not certain about that, but

Lauren Regan, an attorney with the Civil Liberties Defense Center learned that the grand jury was empaneled March 2, 2012

I guess she could have filed a FOI request without actually representing any of them.

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

Thanks. This will be one to watch.

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (20552) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

they could be in prison until the Grand Jury expires. WTF

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

Draw comparisons.

Banksters don't even get a sniff of the inside of a cell for lying their asses off and ripping off American citizens. They get a bailout.

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (20552) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

One of them, perhaps all three, had been charged with trespassing earlier in the year at a bank protest, the charges were later thrown out.

I meant to see if I could find out the criteria for empaneling a Grand Jury, create a timeline for the earlier protests and the Grand Jury empanelment, to see if it could be argued the banks were using the Grand Jury as a response to the protests themselves.

I was wondering if the U.S. States Attorney in that area was repelican or not, and if they have any input into forming a Grand Jury.

This whole thing is a result of politics in that area, the question is who, how, and why. If we can identify these factors it might begin to generate a kind of embarrassment that results in an end of this kind of Bullshit.

No matter how you slice it this has every appearance of being an abuse of power.

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

I couldn't imagine a better man for the job. One thing I'm curious about, is the timing. The third occupier to be "processed" stated that her warrant was issued before the date of the offence, indicating that she was a "person of interest" prior to anything actually occurring.

Hope that helps, ZD. But I'm sure you're already onto the details. It's good to have something to sink the teeth into, apart from dealing with trolls. Wish I could be there for you. I am there in spirit.

[-] 2 points by ZenDog (20552) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

The Grand Jury was convened before the incident on which the investigation is supposedly based. I'll have to look again at the information.

I won't have time today - things to do.

[-] 0 points by yobstreet (-575) 1 year ago

Why do I not see the words "contempt of court" anywhere in the above?

I would just like to take a moment to remind people that such laws are vital to the prosecution of corrupt officials, for example, in the the case of the civil service employee who is shaken down or coerced into providing campaign contributions to his or her boss, who is an elected official. They cannot refuse to testify unless such testimony incriminates self.

[-] -1 points by WeThePeop (-259) 1 year ago

Holder should be spending the rest of his life in a prison cell for fast and furious. A few citizens were murdered because of his actions

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (20552) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

Fast and Furious started under Bush. You have to look at the entire bureaucratic structure to even begin to grasp what happened and how political considerations shaped the course of that program.

[-] -1 points by WeThePeop (-259) 1 year ago

Personally I do not care who was the Pres, Holder was in charge of it

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

Holder did nothing wrong! And the right wing wacko politically motivated witch hun that Issa engaged in found that Holder has nothing wrong.

The real problem is all the illegal guns that the gun nuts are selling to the mexican drug gangs.

Let's hear your outrage about that.

[-] -1 points by WeThePeop (-259) 1 year ago

The "gun nuts" have about been put out of business since holder and company is providing "free weapons" to the Mexican drug gangs.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

Except that Holder ain't doin that! Never has! That's just you lyin like a good right wing wacko?

[-] 0 points by WeThePeop (-259) 1 year ago

Fast & Furious the whistle blower has been fired from his job. Wonder why???? hmmm

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

The republican tea party right wing wacko partisan extremists in the House (Issa etc) wasted years, and millions of dollars on a political witch hunt investigation and came up with nothing!!

Nothing!!

Because Holder has done nothing wrong. He is one of the greatest AGs the US has had. He has done great work fighting against repub/ALEC efforts to suppress dem voters.

That is the reason the right wing wackos hate him.

[-] 1 points by ZenDog (20552) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

Holder was a Presidential Appointee

duh

and he wasn't appointed by Bushite

  • Alberto R. Gonzales (born August 4, 1955) was the 80th, and the first Hispanic United States Attorney General, appointed in February 2005 by President George W. Bush, becoming the highest-ranking Hispanic in executive government to date.[1] Prior to his elevation, he was the first Hispanic White House General Counsel, and earlier he had been Bush's General Counsel during his governorship of Texas. In Texas Gonzales had also served as Secretary of State of Texas and then as a Texas Supreme Court Justice.


Statement before the Senate Judiciary Committee - June, 2012:

Holder: With all due respect, senator, there is so much that is factually wrong with the premises that you started your statement with, it's almost breathtaking in its inaccuracy, but, I'll simply leave it at that.

You know, we want to talk about Fast and Furious, this is, I guess, what, the ninth time?— [turning to an aide who nods "yes"]—this is now the ninth time that I have answered questions before a congressional committee about "Fast and Furious."

If you want to talk about Fast and Furious, I'm the attorney general that put an end to the misguided tactics that were used in Fast and Furious. An attorney general whom I suppose you would hold in higher regard was briefed on these kinds of tactics in an operation called "Wide Receiver" and did nothing to stop them. Nothing. Three hundred guns, at least, "walked" in that instance.

I'm also the attorney general who called on an inspector general to look into this matter, to investigate this matter. I'm also the attorney general who made personnel changes at ATF and in the U.S. Attorneys office that was involved, have overseen the changes of processes and procedures within ATF to make sure that this doesn't happen ever again.

So I don't have any intention of resigning. I heard the White House press officer say yesterday that the president has absolute confidence in me. I don't have any reason to believe that in fact is not the case.

And in terms of, you know, what is it that we have turned over to Congress in this regard, let's put something on the record here. ... We have collected data from 240 custodians, we have processed millions of electronic records, looked at over 140,000 documents, turned over 7,600 pages. Over the course of 46 separate productions, we have made available people from the department at the highest levels to be interviewed.

And I've also said, indicated, I guess, earlier in my testimony, to the extent that all of that is not enough to satisfy the concerns that have been raised in the House committee, I am willing to sit down and talk about the provision of more materials. I have sent letters in that regard, the deputy attorney general has sent letters in that regard, and have not had responses. Which leads me to believe that the desire here is not for an accommodation but for a political point-making. And that is the kind of thing that, you know, you and and your side, I guess, have the ability to do if that's what you want to do. It is the kind of thing that I think turns people off about Washington. While we have very serious problems, we still have this political gamesmanship.

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