On October 25th, the day before my 23rd birthday, two FBI agents wearing ill-fitting khakis and too much gel in their hair, served me a subpoena for 9am on November 7th. I knew my fate right away: 18 months in SeaTac Federal Detention Center. Matt, Kteeo and Leah have all been imprisoned for their refusal and I will be the next. Despite the urgings of lawyers, agents and judges, I only have one option: non-cooperation. Any other option is unthinkable.
I am being asked to testify before a Grand Jury on November 7th and will likely be detained on that date for refusing to cooperate. The vultures of the state will try to imprison my comrades and me until we give in. We will never give in.
From so many different perspectives, for so many reasons, snitching is never an option. I will never betray the people I care about, the ideas which I hold dear, or the commitments I have made. I will never give any information about crimes, should I have any knowledge of them, nor will I give information about my personal relationships. I will never cooperate with this or any attempt to stop struggle. I will never cooperate with the systems of control which I loathe. If the federal government chooses to imprison me for my refusal, then so be it. I expect no less from them.
The official reason the state gives for imprisoning those who refuse to cooperate is to coerce testimony. If they know anything about me or my friends, they know that this will never work. Some have said that this Grand Jury is about trying to repress people's political opinions and free speech. No doubt this is true. My subpoena states that I am being asked to testify about events that took place on May 1st. The state is trying to use broken windows as a reason to ruin people's lives. This is absurd, and I will oppose it to the fullest. This life-ruining system which they call "justice" is organized to defend property and capitalism. This system is against everything I believe in.
My imminent imprisonment is an attempt to disrupt struggle against domination in all its forms. What the vultures cannot understand is that attempts to repress this struggle will only embolden it, whether we are inside the walls of the Federal Detention Center or in the streets. The growing list of solidarity actions, from St. Louis to France, demonstrate an inspiring continuity in this regard.
In silence, we roar!
Matthew "Maddy" Pfeiffer
For me choosing to resist a grand jury is about humanity - I cannot and will not say something that could greatly harm a person's life and providing information that could lead to long term incarceration would be doing that. For me choosing to resist a grand jury is about freedom of speech and association - I cannot and will not be a party to a McCarthyist policy that is asking individuals to condemn each other based on political beliefs.
The reasons above are why I am choosing to not comply. I apologize to those in my life who my being incarcerated is going to burden, and I thank you for understanding my decision. For those unaware the folks being subpoenaed are being incarcerated for refusing to answer questions about others' political beliefs.
In Solidarity With All Those Resisting the Grand Jury,
Friends and comrades, My name is Matt Duran and I will do everything I can to resist this Grand Jury. I'm releasing this as it's come to my attention that the strategy my lawyer and I have been working under will more than likely not work; the prosecution wants to grant me immunity before I even have a chance to testify. I want to make it clear that I am in no way ever cooperating with the state now or ever. Anyone who knows me well enough to be a close friend knows that I will fight with my political allies and for them with every fiber of my being. If I ever did cooperate, it would bring an immeasurable amount of shame upon myself, my community, and my family as they have risked more in resistance than I have in my life so far.
This is not the first time that the State has attempted to kidnap me, extort money from me, and take me away from my family, loved ones, and comrades. The last time, the State even went so far as to create lies in order to put me away. Bearing this in mind as well as the institutional racism I face every day, I have long ago accepted that I am going to go to prison at some point in my lifetime. This compounded with the fact that I have such an amazing amount of support, to the degree that I don't even know what to do with it, allows me to know that I am going to make it no matter what is thrown at me.
People should know that this is more than likely not the end of this, the State will continue this Grand Jury well after my comrades and I locked up. Whatever happens, I want you to know that you are not alone and are more than capable of handling whatever is thrown at you. They would not be doing this if we were not successful in any respect; if we kept to our ivory towers debating what is more revolutionary and not actively creating conflict, we would not be facing this repression. Do not stop the struggle, keep organizing and fighting or they will have won. When the Haymarket massacre took place all those years ago and the martyrs were hung for their desire for a better life, the State attempted to crush all radicals. Clearly, this did not work then and it won't work now. If this was their desire, they have failed in every aspect of it as I have not seen anything other than flagrant disregard for them across the globe. Keep the struggle in your hearts and minds and do not bend to their will. They will never be able to destroy us no matter how hard they try.
On the morning of July 25th, 2012, my life was turned upside down in a matter of hours. FBI agents from around Washington and Oregon and Joint Terrorism Task Force agents from Washington busted down the front door of my house with a battering ram, handcuffed my house mates and me at gunpoint, and held us hostage in our backyard while they read us a search warrant and ransacked our home. They said it was in connection to May Day vandalism that occurred in Seattle, Washington earlier this year.
However, we suspected that this was not really about broken windows. As if they had taken pointers from Orwell's 1984, they took books, artwork and other various literature as "evidence" as well as many other personal belongings even though they seemed to know that nobody there was even in Seattle on May Day. While we know that knowledge is powerful, we suspected that nobody used rolled up copies of the Stumptown Wobbly to commit property damage. We saw this for what it was. They are trying to investigate anarchists and persecute them for their beliefs. This is a fishing expedition. This is a witch hunt. Since then, thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request, we have learned that this Grand jury was convened on March 2nd, 2012, two months before the May Day vandalism even took place.
I was served a subpoena to testify before a Grand Jury on August 2nd, a week later. I hastily packed my life up into boxes, got rid of almost all of my personal belongings in preparation of incarceration. I was dismissed that day after refusing to testify and re-subpoenaed for August 30th, which was pushed back to September 13th. In that time I did a lot of self care, got my affairs in order and got advice from other people who have either resisted Grand Juries, gone to prison or both. I returned to the Grand Jury on September 13th where I was granted immunity. When you are granted immunity, you lose your right to remain silent and can be thrown into prison for civil contempt. Between consulting with my attorney and an hour long recess, I narrowly avoided a contempt hearing simply because they ran out of time. I was dismissed and was told I would receive my 4th subpoena. I walked out of the courthouse just in time to witness Matthew Kyle Duran, my fellow resister, being taken away to prison in a police van. It broke my heart to watch them kidnap an amazing and strong person and take him away from his friends and loved ones. Katherine "Kteeo" Olejnik has met a similar fate for refusing to testify on September 27th. Right now, Matt and Kteeo are both sitting in prison cells for doing nothing but remaining silent. I have nothing but love and admiration for them both and I know that thousands of others feel the same. On the drive home that night my brain felt like it was short circuiting. A few days later, I received notice that my next subpoena was for October 10th. They also notified my lawyer that they were preparing for a contempt hearing.
Court dates aside, my life has been a roller coaster. Thanks to unrelated events, I have suffered with severe depression and PTSD for many years. These are now much worse and new things trigger me. For a while after the raid, I was in a constant state of panic and I could barely eat. Every time someone knocked on the door, every time I heard any sort of loud sound in my house, my heart sank and I thought "they've come for me." To the day of this writing, I haven't slept a full night since that cold July morning thanks to nausea inducing anxiety that wakes me up between 4:00 and 7:00 every single morning. After a couple months, the initial panic has faded into grim acceptance. Despite my mental health issues, I never once considered co-operation and never would. It is against everything I believe in. On my right arm I have a tattoo reading "strive to survive causing least suffering possible." This is something I live by every single day and will continue to live by whether I am in a cage or not.
I cannot express in words how grateful I am to all those who have shown us support and solidarity, especially our friends, partners and loved ones. We will all get through this together. I know I am a broken record with the following sentiment, but I feel like it's worth repeating. They want us to feel isolated, alone and scared. I know that even though Kteeo has been held in what is essentially solitary confinement, she does not feel alone. I know that Matt does not feel alone. I know that I will not feel alone. When they try to mercilessly gut communities, we do not scatter, we grow stronger, we thrive. I view this State repression like this: The State thinks it is a black hole that can destroy whatever it wants. In reality, it is much more like a stellar nursery, wherein it unintentionally creates new, strong anarchist stars.
I do not look forward to what inevitably awaits me today, but I accept it. I ask that people continue to support us throughout this process by writing us letters, sending us books, donating and spreading awareness.
My convictions are unwavering and will not be shaken by their harassment. Today is October 10th, 2012 and I am ready to go to prison.
Love and solidarity to all those who resist,
Forever in silence.
My name is Leah-Lynn Plante, and I am one of the people who has been subpoenaed to a secret grand jury, meeting in Seattle on September 13th, 2012.
This will be the second time I have appeared before the grand jury, and the second time I have refused to testify. The first time was on August 2nd. I appeared as ordered and identified myself. I was asked if I would be willing to answer any questions. I said, "No," and was dismissed after being served a second subpoena. Over a month later, my answer is still the same. No, I will not answer their questions. I believe that these hearings are politically motivated. The government wants to use them to collect information that it can use in a campaign of repression. I refuse to have any part of it, I will never answer their questions, I will never speak. It is likely that the government will put me in jail for that refusal.
While I hate the very idea of prison, I am ready to face it in order to stay true to my personal beliefs. I know that they want to kidnap me and isolate me from my friends and my loved ones in an effort to coerce me to speak. It will not work. I know that if I am taken away, I will not be alone. We have friends and comrades all around the world standing behind us, and even though this has been one of the most traumatizing experiences of my life, I have never felt so supported or loved. I can only speak for myself, but I have every faith that the others subpoenaed to these hearings will likewise refuse. And I know that hundreds of people have called the US Attorney demanding that they end this tribunal. Hundreds of organizations, representing thousands of people, signed onto a statement expressing solidarity with those of us under attack and demanding an end to this sort of repression.
I know that those people will continue to support me, the others subpoenaed, and the targets of the investigation. That spirit of solidarity is exactly what the state fears. It is the source of our strength, yours and mine. And that strength shows itself in every act of resistance.
Forever in silence,