Support grand jury resisters now !!!

Seventeen Days and Counting...

Posted by on Sun, Sep 30, 2012 at 10:16 AM

From one of the warrants, issued in Oregon.

  • From one of the warrants, issued in Oregon.
That's how long Olympia resident Matt Duran has been held at the SeaTac Federal Detention Center for refusing to testify before a federal grand jury, ostensibly about political or social acquaintances who may have had something to do with the political vandalism on May Day. At least three people have appeared before the grand jury after a series of raids and subpoenas issued in July. The warrants for the raids listed black clothes, sticks, paint, notebooks, and "anti-government or anarchist literature or material" among the items to search for.
Two of the three—Matt Duran and Katherine “KteeO” Olejnik—are currently imprisoned at the SeaTac FDC for refusing to cooperate. The third, Leah-Lynn Plante, who prosecutors admit was not in Seattle on May Day, remains free.
Duran had a hearing last week. Some eyewitness details from
... Matt’s lawyer took the floor to explain Matt’s current conditions and intentions. Here is an abridged and bullet-point list of issues and information brought up by Matt’s lawyer in court —
Matt is in Solitary Confinement (the Secure Housing Unit) which means …
+ he has very little access to phone
+ he has been denied the ability to initiate contact with attorney
+ he has been denied visitor request forms
+ he has been denied vegan food (has access to vegetarian options and commissary items)
+ he has no way of socializing within the prison
+ he has no access to sunlight, fresh air or an untinted window to the outdoors
Even under these conditions, Matt has no intention of changing his mind or strategy. Matt’s lawyer explained that Matt will be at peace no matter where he is within the prison. She said that he would like to socialize and play chess with other inmates, but is content where he is. He has a clock radio and a couple of romance novels the prison gave him upon arrival.
The local chapter of the National Lawyers Guild has urged the FBI and US Attorney Jenny Durkan to drop the subpoenas, arguing:
While grand juries are part of our federal criminal justice system, the grand jury was intended to serve as a protector of people’s rights and should not be used as a mechanism for intimidating those who speak out against social and economic injustice in our society. “Movements and individuals working for social change in the United States have historically been at the receiving end of grand juries being used to harass political activism,” said Neil Kelley, an officer of the Seattle NLG.
Throughout the process, Emily Langlie from the US Attorney's office has reiterated: "We do not prosecute people for their political beliefs."
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Comments (27) RSS

Cato the Younger Younger 1
He pissed off the 1% and as we know the Dems and the GOP partisan hacks are sworn to defend the 1% no matter what and destroy anyone and anything that threatens their control of the country.

Expect more of this in the future.
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on September 30, 2012 at 10:39 AM
Pope Peabrain 2
This is what they spend money on? They should be arresting bankers.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on September 30, 2012 at 10:48 AM
Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In 3
Entitled vegan quips start in 3.... 2.....
Posted by Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In on September 30, 2012 at 10:55 AM
giffy 4
Serves him right. There is not nor should be, a right to refuse to testify. The limited exception to this that is a person cannot be compelled to testify against themselves.

If people could not be compelled to provide testimony there is no way the court system could work.

Would people feel the same way if this were an officer at a bank refusing to turn over records or provide testimony?
Posted by giffy on September 30, 2012 at 11:00 AM
gloomy gus 5
Tinted windows only? What is this, Abu Ghraib?
Posted by gloomy gus on September 30, 2012 at 11:01 AM
A witness summoned to a Grand Jury can can refuse to answer any question on fifth amendment grounds.

That's kind of been left out of the posts on anarchist blogs that Brendan has been reblogging.

The witness may refuse to answer any question on the grounds that it might incriminate the defendant (or the witness), and the witness is told who the defendant is prior to testimony.

Refusing to testify before a grand jury isn't a principled refusal to answer "fishing expedition" questions; a witness can do that, perfectly legally, during his or her appearance before the grand jury.

Refusing to testify before a Grand Jury is instead an attempt to jam the legal system to protect the defendant, and it's a pretty smart propaganda play, if not a particularly effective legal maneuver.

Since the Grand Jury can't release the name of the defendant, public attention can, at least for a while, be deflected away from the alleged crime, and and a savvy propagandist can drum up liberal outrage over the confinement of a witness who has opted to sit in a cell for a few weeks rather than simply plead the fifth to the Grand Jury's questions.
Posted by robotslave on September 30, 2012 at 11:01 AM
"We do not prosecute people for their political beliefs"\

We just imprison them.
Posted by xcowardx on September 30, 2012 at 11:06 AM

Er, I meant that the witness can refuse to answer any question solely on the grounds that it might incriminate the witness.

And of course in practical terms, that means the witness can refuse to answer any question at all, beyond name, rank, and serial number.
Posted by robotslave on September 30, 2012 at 11:10 AM
Unless the guy gives in he's gonna rot for a good long time so long as his attorney argues against established law and not the facts.
Posted by BLUE on September 30, 2012 at 11:12 AM

They can only hold the witnesses for civil contempt until the grand jury's term expires. That might be as much as two years, but it's usually less.
Posted by robotslave on September 30, 2012 at 11:19 AM
"Even under these conditions, Matt has no intention of changing his mind or strategy."

Okay, then I'll save my pity and concern for somebody else.
Posted by suddenlyorcas on September 30, 2012 at 11:20 AM
@4: You should probably save that question until we actually get around to prosecuting bankers.
Posted by suddenlyorcas on September 30, 2012 at 11:21 AM

I think your Google might be broken.

It sure would be satisfying if more bankers were put in the dock, and I'm panting as hard as the next person to see some really, really rich guys in leg irons and orange jumpsuits, but let's not pretend there aren't any district attorneys out there angling to boost their careers with some populist bankster-busting.
Posted by robotslave on September 30, 2012 at 11:40 AM
Someone needs to tell Matt Duran that you really and truly don't want to fuck with the federal government. It will end quite badly for you, Matt.
Posted by Mister G on September 30, 2012 at 12:23 PM

Fucking with the federal government is exactly what Matt Duran wants. Generally speaking, "fucking with government" is the means by which an anarchist tries to achieve the form of society that he or she believes in.
Posted by robotslave on September 30, 2012 at 12:37 PM
Fifty-Two-Eighty 16
Am I supposed to sympathize with this fuckwit? Because no, sorry. I don't.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on September 30, 2012 at 1:29 PM
The Seattle Police discovered some anti-American literature in Cowen Park the other day, next to a couple of contraptions made out of PVC tubing. They closed the adjacent bridge for two hours while the bomb squad dismantled the PVC tubing. The anti-Ă„merican literature reportedly turned out to be a paperback copy of The Plot Against America by Philip Roth. I'm not sure what the PVC tubing turned out to be. My uninformed guess is pipes or bongs, not pipe bombs.

On another note, I have some black clothing. Should I be worried? Should I get rid of it? What other colors should I wear from now on? What are goths doing? Are goths still a thing?
Posted by PCM on September 30, 2012 at 1:50 PM
@13 (robotslave): I think you know perfectly well that what suddenlyorcas (@12) meant was Wall Street bankers being prosecuted for their role in the mortgage-backed-securities debacle and its aftermath. And that simply hasn't happened.
Posted by PCM on September 30, 2012 at 1:57 PM
@Robotslave: 5th Amendment right to avoid self incrimination is just that, the right to avoid SELF incrimination. If the witnesses guilt is not in question, they do not have a right to take the fifth. That is what is happening here; the state is giving prosecutorial immunity to the witnesses so that they have no right to take the fifth.
Posted by ourkind on September 30, 2012 at 2:11 PM
seandr 20
@14, @15: Does refusing to testify result in a criminal record?

I'm sure Matt thinks he's doing the right thing, although wouldn't be surprised if his perspective on all this changes 20 years from now, when he's no longer young and dumb.
Posted by seandr on September 30, 2012 at 5:05 PM
@ 16 (and others). There's more to life than like/dislike, approve/disapprove, yay/boo.

You are allowed to think critically about Matt Duran and the federal government at the same time.

Just FYI.
Posted by Brendan Kiley on September 30, 2012 at 5:22 PM
Nothing would make me happier than to see the entire black bloc contingent and every last Wall Street bankster join together for a very long stay in federal prison.
Posted by dansan on September 30, 2012 at 6:49 PM
I kind of respect a guy with an unpopular opinion, punished by the state, who's sticking to his guns. I'm too ignorant in matters of law to have an informed opinion about the Fifth.

@17 Phillip Roth, huh? Well, the title does say it all. I always had my doubts about him.
Posted by floater on September 30, 2012 at 6:53 PM

Immunity to prosecution for specific crimes does not strip away a the fifth amendment rights of a witness. The witness can very reasonably claim fear of self-incrimination in matters unrelated to the target of the grand jury.

Blanket immunity would be another matter, but that's not something a grand jury can bestow.


Actually, no, refusing to testify does not result in a criminal record. Refusal to testify in a grand jury is civil contempt, not criminal contempt.


If you're allowed to think critically about both, then why aren't you thinking critically about the uncooperative witnesses? I suppose that's allowed as well, but it seems a little odd to practice one thing and preach another.
Posted by robotslave on September 30, 2012 at 8:00 PM
"Immunity to prosecution for specific crimes does not strip away a the fifth amendment rights of a witness."

Dude, you're just wrong. None of these people who has been granted immunity has a fifth amendment right to refuse to testify. That's why they are thrown in prison: to compel testimony. That they aren't cowards (like you) is why they haven't testified.

Grand juries don't bestow immunity. Prosecutors do.

They might be charged with criminal contempt. Just because they haven't yet, doesn't mean they won't.
Posted by fa69ot on September 30, 2012 at 8:28 PM
pdonahue 27
I wish this were a battle between steely eyed G-men and implacable anarchist partisans, but its not. In fact this grand jury conviened march 2… well before mayday. This prosecutor has no idea what he's looking for, these witnesses have no strategy to gather supporters. Sorry RS, just some bumbling lawmen trying to collect overtime and a few young people wondering what the fuck is happening to them.

we did not try to take over CM we joined in solidarity !!!

This Was Taped to the Door

Posted by on Tue, Sep 18, 2012 at 3:11 PM

And we don't know what it means...
So I'm giving 'em what they want and putting it on the blog.
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Comments (28) RSS

MacCrocodile 1
It means you're going to die mysteriously in seven days.
Posted by MacCrocodile on September 18, 2012 at 3:26 PM
YES ! 
"So I'm giving 'em what they want and putting it on the blog."

That strikes me as the most genuinely nice thing said by a Slog writer. Very cool Dom.
Posted by dnt trust me on September 18, 2012 at 3:29 PM
Cascadian Bacon 3
Bicycles + Last Friday of the month + Westlake Park = Critical Mass

Just Seattle's brand of uppity little wannabe anarchist latching on to an event that has been happening for years.
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on September 18, 2012 at 3:31 PM
sprflycat 4
'And IIIIII, wanna' beeeeee, anarchy!'
Posted by sprflycat on September 18, 2012 at 3:34 PM
gloomy gus 5
Cooperate or get woodcut.
Posted by gloomy gus on September 18, 2012 at 3:44 PM
More, I Say! 6
Kind of a cute poster. It looks like a woodblock print.
Posted by More, I Say! on September 18, 2012 at 3:44 PM
This is an actual hand cut and hand pulled poster~ do not know how it got upon the door of the stranger~ we made about fifty and gave them away~
There's this thing, called "teh Google", you should try it sometime...
Posted by COMTE on September 18, 2012 at 3:44 PM
Will in Seattle 9
I'd tell you but you'd blab.
Posted by Will in Seattle on September 18, 2012 at 3:49 PM
gloomy gus 10
@7, thank you! It has verve:
Come join in solidarity as Seattle joins Bike Swarm International for a night of bicycle riding / wheelies / brakies / cop blocking and urban blockade~ starting at the heart of capital~ the peak of oil ~ the arteries of commerce and exploding in the bedroom communities of the wealthy ! who deliberately ride on our backs wont peddle or let us steer ! NE!L~
Posted by gloomy gus on September 18, 2012 at 3:54 PM

September 28th, 2012: I'll be 65 and still a slog reader. But thanks for doing something special for my birthday, whatever it might turn out to be....
Posted by imbecile on September 18, 2012 at 3:55 PM
Pope Peabrain 12
If this person wants to be effective he'll drop "cop blocking" from the agenda. Otherwise, he'll gather just another bunch of unruly brats.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on September 18, 2012 at 3:56 PM
No cops showed up  ACAB ! FTP!
Sean Kinney 13
Fixed gear nazi's can GGF'ed. Can't a sister freewheel once in a while?
Posted by Sean Kinney on September 18, 2012 at 3:57 PM
Dominic Holden 14
@7) Good work, I searched to no avail. The Force is very strong with you.
Posted by Dominic Holden on September 18, 2012 at 4:12 PM
Is that like a linocut or something? It's kinda pretty. 
Wood block print !
Posted by Joe Glibmoron on September 18, 2012 at 4:21 PM
Fnarf 16
Critical Mass -- setting back the rights of cyclists since 1992.
Posted by Fnarf on September 18, 2012 at 4:49 PM
The only rights we have are~ taken on the streets !!! Unpave the streets !
this is going to be a clusterfuck of a commute. Others will be protesting ryder end of the ride ride free area same time, same place.
Posted by pussnboots on September 18, 2012 at 5:09 PM
the protesters never touched your precious commute~ they stayed on the sidewalks and we took the sidewalks with them  
 Sorry. Swyping on the bus.
Posted by pussnboots on September 18, 2012 at 6:23 PM

The search parameters were "Super Swarm Seattle September 28 2012". That was the first item on the results page.
Posted by COMTE on September 18, 2012 at 6:42 PM
Gonna be a group of people made up of the kind of folks who swooped out of nowhere in front of my car on 2nd ave ext on a tandem bike while I had a green light, west bound on Jackson last month. I narrowly avoided them & slammed on my brakes. Thankfully, the car behind me was able to stop before hitting me. But, yeah moral superiority and all on your bike. Congrats.
Posted by UberAlles on September 18, 2012 at 7:02 PM
emor 21

My personal anecdote cancels yours out:

A couple weeks ago, I was cruising down Cayuse Pass on my touring bike, going about 35 or 40, when a giant pickup hauling a twenty-five foot trailer passed me by crossing the double yellow and coming about three seconds from either a head-on collision with a line of cars or crushing me. Of course he honked and gave me the finger while he single-handedly risked the lives of at least 10 people in an effort to save a minute or two of total trip time.

That sad, the kind of people who ride around pissing people off as a political statement really annoy me. Critical Mass is fun, though.
Posted by emor on September 18, 2012 at 7:08 PM
derrickito 22
I just ate an entire plate of bruschetta pomodoro
Posted by derrickito on September 18, 2012 at 7:43 PM
Just Jeff 23
Its the last day if the Ride Free Area.
Posted by Just Jeff on September 18, 2012 at 8:47 PM
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 24
Looks like Critical Mass wants to be extra annoying this month. 
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings on September 18, 2012 at 9:37 PM

Oh heck yes, your story about an interaction on a rural highway serving a Mt. Rainier recreation area (and nothing much else) totally cancels out a story about an interaction on city streets with active, present pedestrians and buildings with people in them at street level and traffic density way (way!) above a rural highway and stuff like that.

But yeah, the only bad cyclists are the ones making those disagreeable "political statments," right?

The rest of them are blameless, clearly.
Posted by robotslave on September 19, 2012 at 1:30 AM
Didn't your mother ever tell you not to play in traffic? Seriously. From one cyclist to another(or many), be creative. Traffic is so close to destroying itself as it is. It should be quite simple to destroy the system and open the country's pathetic infrastructure to your superior mode of transport without anyone even noticing your input. Your output can speak so much louder. Destroy quietly, build proudly. 
you mean do nothing ever forever !
Posted by Curtis Interruptus on September 19, 2012 at 1:53 AM
At first look I thought this might be yet another pointless zombie convergence.

On second thought, I guess it is yet another pointless zombie convergence, in its own sorry way.
Posted by RonK, Seattle on September 19, 2012 at 12:22 PM
right ! and your not watching a movie or eating in a restaurant or texting your friends ~ you are celebrating total freedom !  creative enlightenment and spiritual cleansing  ~ thank you !

critical mass @0th anniversary and Bike Swarm

Critical Mass 20th Anniversary

28 Sep Tonight’s Critical Mass ride saw about 75 riders, over twice as many as last time we came. I think this was partially due to the 20th anniversary of the ride and partially due to the Bike Swarm that joined up with the ride (more details about both on Seattle Bike Blog).

We took one block of one-way 8th Avenue the wrong direction, but for the most part we worked very well with traffic. There was corking at turns and through lights that turned red while the mass moved through, and most motorists and pedestrians seemed fine to let us pass.

Davey Oil was there with the whole family (which is why we went–family biking is contagious), but that was it for other kids. Davey was on his Xtracycle and other bikes of note were two tandems, a tall bike, and a couple cycle trucks…and all the other bikes, too–they’re all awesome and of note!

Much to my dismay, the ride charged up Capitol Hill, quickly, and several of us got left in the dust. The tall bike, the guy doing wheelies, and the cycle trucks packed heavy with beer all raced on ahead. But after some yelling and bell ringing we massed back up at a gas station, of all places.

We cut through Seattle University (all flat, thank goodness!), back downtown, and into the Seattle Center where we very politely wove through tourists and just as I’d hoped we would, we hit the International Fountain…though ever since Bike Snob visited a couple Bike Expos ago, I think of it as our velodrome:
There was a lot of fountain circling (doh, I wish I’d thought to record the ride on Strava!) and then a lot of loitering during which several people started shouting “Gas Works!” which sounded wonderful to me as I love any ride that ends near home. I probably would have left the mass if we headed in the opposite direction and that seems to be what several riders did, but eventually everyone got back on their bikes and headed out.

We rode along the Kreilsheimer Promenade next to McCaw Hall and I thought, “This is so beautiful, why have I never been here?” and then we encountered a flight of stairs to Mercer Street and I realized why I’d never been there. The people will little bikes carried or rode down the stairs, but I joined the wimpy and wise narrow ramp takers.
I was particularly excited that we were on Mercer Street because I’ve never taken the Mercer Street underpass–Broad Street is bad enough, I figure, why subject myself to Mercer, too? But I think there will soon be a cycle track there (here’s the Mercer Corridor Project page, specifically the bottom picture). I say “think” because I’m not sure this project page means it’s a done deal or if this is just the ideal outcome and things will still change for the worse. Broad Street is miserable on the sidewalk, but taking a lane on Mercer was awesome–fast down and fast up. I thought we might take an extra exciting route to Gas Works, like over the Aurora Bridge or at least taking a lane of Westlake, but we sedately cruised through the Westlake parking lots–my usual route. Oh well. Then everyone got held up taking pictures of the full moon from the Fremont Bridge so the kids and I said our goodbyes and continued on home. I hope they’re still whooping it up at Gas Works.

Puyallup fair

the lesser of two evils is not a way to vote for a killer~ a deporter~ a traitor
i made this for my buddies band~ as black arts tour poster~ from a world where i love hairy women with knives and blood
who live on perfect tree lined streets ~ fall with leaves charming green hands
the machine begs us to consume and bathe within it's hideous twirling wonderment
the military nationalizes dairy products
a swirling mulching death of waiting in lines and being with other people as they eat

i make frantic phone calls
and watch people lay upon each other in grunts
the end of a walk. . . a ride. . . a day . . . toward ~ you

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