'First they came for the anarchists...' : Melbourne rally in solidarity w US Grand Jury resisters, November 16

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Nov 5 2012 08:48
'First they came for the anarchists...' : Melbourne rally in solidarity w US Grand Jury resisters, November 16

3pm, Friday, November 16, 2012
US Consulate, 553 St Kilda Rd, Melbourne

Release Matt Duran and Katherine Olejnik!
Stop the criminalisation of anarchism!

Join us for a rally at the US Consulate in Melbourne to show solidarity with anarchists in the US who have been imprisoned for refusing to give information on anarchist political activities.

Theme for the rally: black clothing, flags and "anti-government or anarchist literature" - all items on the FBI search warrant that was used to raid Matt and Kteeo's house. So be sure to bring your favourite anarchist books, black clothes and flags!

Speakers and musicians including:

- A member of Anarchist Black Cross (Melbourne).
- A musical set from The Glitter Rats.

No more witch-hunts! An injury to one is an injury to all!
All welcome!

Background:

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On Wednesday July 25th, the FBI conducted a series of coordinated raids against activists in Portland, Olympia, and Seattle. FBI agents had search warrants for “black clothing,” “flag-making material” and “anti-government or anarchist literature.”

Soon after this, Matthew Kyle Duran and Katherine “Kteeo” Olejnik were subpoenaed to grand jury hearings, where they were asked questions regarding their political opinions and the political circles and individuals they associate with. They have refused to answer questions.

Duran and Olejnik have not been accused of any criminal wrongdoing. In the US, people brought before grand juries can lose the right to remain silent. Those who do not speak can be charged with contempt of court and imprisoned for the duration of the grand jury, which can be up to 18 months.

The FBI has justified the raids and the use of grand juries as being in response to May Day protests in Seattle. However, Freedom of Information requests have shown that the grand jury was convened on March 2nd - two months before the May Day protests took place.

Matt Duran was jailed on September 13th, after refusing to speak at a grand jury hearing. Duran was taken to Sea-Tac Federal Detention Center, where he spent 3 weeks in isolation and with little access to legal support or fresh air. He has now been moved into the general prison population.

Kteeo Olejnik refused to testify at a grand jury hearing on September 27th and was sent to prison.

In a statement, KteeO said: "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."

On October 25th, Maddy Pfeiffer received a subpoena to appear before a Grand Jury. Maddy has been called to appear at the grand jury chamber in Seattle on November 7th. They will most likely join Kteeo and Matt in being imprisoned for refusing to cooperate.

Leah Plante was sent to prison for refusing to testify on October 11th. She was released a week later.

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More information:

https://nopoliticalrepression.wordpress.com/
http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-anarchists-grand-j...
http://anarchistnews.org/content/nov-12th-nov-19th-international-solidar...
http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/52532
http://www.greenisthenewred.com/blog/fbi-raid-anarchist-literature-portl...
http://www.salon.com/2012/10/19/grand_jury_resistor_leah_released_from_p...
http://www.salon.com/2012/10/11/third_northwest_activist_jailed_for_stay...
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Free-Katherine-Kteeo-Olejnik/388141097921...
https://www.facebook.com/FreeMattDuran
http://www.vice.com/en_au/read/leah-lynn-plante-and-the-portland-anarchi...