Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Pacific Northwest Grand Jury Resisters (Seattle 3)
2013-01-08 "Updates from CAPR- GJ resisters back in solitary confinement"
message from [nopoliticalrepression (@gmail.com]:
Dear CAPR Supporters-
We wanted to let you know about some notable events that have taken place in the Pacific Northwest in the last couple of weeks. Below you will find two things. One is a press release we sent out today and the other is a letter from Kteeo about solitary confinement.
Of most importance for you to know is that all 3 grand jury resisters are being held in solitary confinement as I write this. We are urging supporters to call Sea-Tac (206-870-5700) and demand an end to the use of solitary confinement, and to call US Attorney Jenny Durkan (800-797-6722) demanding an end to the grand jury investigation.
2013-01-08 "Repression Against Anarchists Intensifies":
Portland, Oregon – Two recent developments indicate an intensification of the government's campaign against the anarchist movement in the Pacific Northwest.
In late December, the three grand jury resisters being held at the Sea-Tac Detention Center for their refusal to testify were moved into solitary confinement. No explanation has been given for why they were moved.
In a letter describing the situation, Kteeo wrote:
"Prison is incredibly fucked up even at the best of times, but that doesn’t mean people can’t create community within these circumstances. We do. When I was in my unit I was part of a community. I gave support and received support. I learned from people and I taught. My unit doesn’t have educational opportunities so we created our own. I taught math, reading, and lead a workout group. I was part of something, part of laughter and part of tears; part of a shared experience (not that any of us want to be part of a this). I was a part of growth, part of a community that comes together again and again as our units make up changes. But I am no longer in that unit, no longer in that community."
The Committee Against Political Repression is calling for the discontinuation of the use of solitary confinement for any purpose, and for the immediate release of Matt Duran, Kteeo Olejnik, and Maddy Pfeifer.
In an unrelated case, in Portland, a young man accused of firebombing an empty police car was released on bail, under the condition that he have no contact with any anarchist organizations. He was specifically ordered not to have contact with Resist the NW Grand Jury or the prisoner support group Anarchist Black Cross, clearly indicating that prosecutors want to prevent him from receiving legal, political, or personal support that would aid in his defense.
These developments come after a year which has seen, in addition to the grand jury hearings, SWAT raids against activists in Portland and Seattle, a grotesque inflation of charges in a Portland case involving small-scale vandalism, and indictments against five people accused of participating in a Seattle May Day demonstration where government and corporate property was attacked. Similar events have played out simultaneously in the Bay Area, and elsewhere in the country, forming what critics have called a Federal anti-anarchist witch hunt.
CAPR believes that the governments most recent actions confirm what we have said all along: The state is using the legal system to target the anarchist movement, in the process criminalizing a set of political beliefs and associations. We decry the use of inquisitorial tactics such as secret hearings, coerced testimony, guilt-by-association, and torture in the form of solitary confinement.
CAPR is asking its supporters to call Sea-Tac (206-870-5700) and demand an end to the use of solitary confinement, and to call US Attorney Jenny Durkan (800-797-6722) demanding an end to the grand jury investigation.
Kteeo's Letter from Solitary:
First off, I want to thank all of you so much for all of the incredible support being thrown my way. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
So here I am back in SHU (solitary) and I’m not sure why. It’s been four days and I haven’t been told yet, but I’m sure I’ll know soon enough…. So now, not only have I been taken away from my community, my loved ones on the outs, but now I have been taken away from the community on the inside, my unit….
I want to be very clear: Prison is incredibly fucked up even at the best of times, but that doesn’t mean people can’t create community within these circumstances. We do.
When I was in my unit I was part of a community. I gave support and received support. I learned from people and I taught. My unit doesn’t have educational opportunities so we created our own. I taught math, reading, and lead a workout group. I was part of something, part of laughter and part of tears; part of a shared experience (not that any of us want to be part of a this). I was a part of growth, part of a community that comes together again and again as our units make up changes.
But I am no longer in that unit, no longer in that community.
So here I am back in the SHU.… my rec yard time is now very limited (the yard isn’t actually outside, it’s fresh air and room to roam). I’ll be real, the lack of space and fresh air is hard. The very little freedoms (you know like, choosing when to take a shower…) are gone.
I think that the hardest part of this is that being in solitary (like all parts of prison) doesn’t just affect the person in solitary, this experience doesn’t just affect me. Being in the SHU you get one phone call a month. One. 1. o-n-e. That affects people. Friends, families… I know this is true for my own. It's a whole lot harder to ask my parents, family, and friends to trust that I am OK when I can only call them once a month. Prior to the SHU, I would call my parents once a day and a good friend or two once a week…. I could let my loved ones know in real time that I was ok.
Its not ok how much this affects others and I truly believe that is an intentional part of punishment. The prison knows that it hurts us to hurt our loved ones.
But it is not all bad. I’m figuring out ways to stay fit in my cell. I’m learning so much about myself and getting really good at enjoying my own company, and I’m getting more study time.
Oh yeah, everything is bright orange, like, everything! So, that’s pretty rad; like the Destiny’s Child video for Say My Name….
Anywho, knowing this isn’t breaking me, knowing that I’m still laughing, still smiling, makes me feel stronger than ever before.
Keep smiling, keep struggling.
In solidarity and gratitude,
P.S. I can totally get letters, but please continue to be patient with me. Return time may be even longer. Postage has got to stretch a bit further these days.
2012-11-02 "Updates and letter from Kteeo"
message from Doug Brown [nopoliticalrepression (@gmail.com] [http://nopoliticalrepression.wordpress.com]:
Dear Capr supporter-
On October 25, 2012 a fifth subpoena was served to Matthew “Maddy” Pfeiffer to appear before the federal grand jury on November 7, 2012. Early this week, they declared their intent to resist the grand jury. You can read their statement at our website: [http://nopoliticalrepression.wordpress.com/2012/10/30/matthew-maddy-pfeiffer-subpoenaed-for-grand-jury/]. We are preparing to support Maddy as they go in front of the grand jury next week. Check our website for updates on what you can do.
Matt Duran and Kteeo Olejink are still being held in contempt of court at Seatac Federal Prison and continue to need your support. Please consider writing or sending them books, donating money so we can fill up their commissary or having a solidarity action in your community. We recently received a letter from Kteeo and wanted to pass it on to you. Thank you for your continued support.
"I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for the incredible and constant support that I have been receiving since being locked up at the FDC over a month ago.
I want to thank my family for their unwavering support, pride, and love—throughout this situation and throughout my life.
I want to thank my closest friends for supporting me out of love, regardless of political beliefs; for your constant letters, for keeping my life on the outs in order, for spreading the word of my incarceration, and for reminding me daily that I am never alone.
I want to thank all the incredible support team for getting the word out there; through the internet, through word of mouth, radical media, anarchist media, lefty media, and mainstream media. I want to thank you all for all the fundraising you have been doing; and for your constant reminder of solidarity and friendship.
I want to thank my wonderful attorney; you are such a badass!
I want to thank all of my old friends from across the States and the world who are spreading the word to their friends and networks both through the use of technology and face to face communication (which I have to say is pretty rad).
To all of the rad people organizing on our behalf, I thank you for dedicating your precious time, energy, and love to our release and well-being.
I want to thank all of my new friends who have heard about our case from mutual friends, the internet, political groups; any number of forms of media; ya’ll have been consistently writing letters and spreading the word since day one. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!
To a whole lot of anarchists who have written me every day, thank you!
To a whole lot of people who are not anarchists, who have written to me every day, thank you!
To those who have made it their life’s work to write prisoners, thank you!
To those who are writing me because they have experienced the red scare, and said never again, thank you!
To all of you who have inquired about donating (I hope I gave you the info), those who donated, and those who are planning benefits, thank you!
To my community of downtowners, thank you for having my back. Thank you for not forgetting me, thank you for loving me, thank you for proving that communities can be strong regardless of political beliefs, and for proving that all of this is about so much more than political affiliations.
So, to all of you; I know I did not do anyone any favors by staying out of the public eye until my incarceration, but every single one of you has done so much to bring light to what is going on.
Every single one of you has done so much to bring light to what is going on. Every single one of you helps me to grow stronger every day.
To all of those who have written me; I have received about 100 letters every week since I have been in here (over 400 letters so far), and I am so sorry to all of those I have not written back yet. All of your words, artwork, and photos have inspired me and I can not thank you enough. Again, I’m really very sorry if I have not written you back yet; postage is a bit of an issue. Also to all of you who have sent me books, most of them have not contained return addresses, but I still want to let ya’ll know that they are loved by myself and my new friends on the inside. To the friend that sent me Soledad Brother and the beautiful letter within days of being here, I do not have an address for you, but I love you and your words have helped to strengthen my resolve.
Anywho…to all of you again, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!
Keep smiling, keep struggling; in solidarity, gratitude, and love,
PS: ….to another old friend, I got your postcard. Live to eat."
Katherine Olejnik #42592-086
P.O. Box 13900
Seattle, WA 9819
2012-10-22 "FBI releases documents that confirm they spy on anarchists- Leah-Lynn Plante freed but not her friends!" from "RT news"
Two anarchists remain locked up as prosecutors attempt to coerce the testimonies they’ve been subpoenaed to give about acts of vandalism in the Pacific Northwest. In the meantime, though, the FBI has accidentally blown the cover off its own case.
Ever since Leah Plante, Katherine “KteeO” Olejnik and Matt Duran were asked to testify before a federal grand jury earlier this year, all three self-identified anarchists have been adamant about remaining silent. For refusing to speak, federal prosecutors have since put the trio of twenty-something activists behind bars over contempt of court charges, with Plante being awarded her freedom only in recent days. As her colleagues continue their imprisonment, though — where they could remain for the entirety of the 18-month investigation — the FBI has failed to provide to the press or public alike any information as to why they’ve targeted the known activists or what role they could play in unraveling a greater conspiracy.
On Thursday, legal documents intended to be cloaked indefinitely were accidently unsealed in US District Court in Seattle for a moment, finally offering a small bit of insight as to why the FBI has been targeting adherents to a specific ideology and intensifying what some have equated to a politically-motivated witch-hunt aimed at anarchists.
The Seattle Times reports that an affidavit dated October 3 was momentarily made available during last week’s court proceedings, revealing to those in attendance that the investigation into Plante and her peers dates back to earlier this year when the FBI first began spying on a group of suspected anarchists they believed were conspiring to commit acts of violence and destruction.
Beginning as early as April 9, the FBI was conducted surveillance on alleged anarchists from Portland whom soon after planned to travel to Seattle to participate in the city’s May 1, 2012 day of action activities held in coordination with other locales across the country. The feds followed a group of six suspects across state lines from Portland, Oregon into Olympia, Washington in the days before the May Day activities and drafted an indictment that could eventually lead them to charge the group with conspiracy, destruction of government property and interstate travel with intent to riot, according to the 34-page document viewed by the Times. So far, though, none of the six suspects have been formally charged with any crimes.
“Although many anarchists are law abiding, there is a history in the Pacific Northwest of some anarchists participating in property destruction and other criminal activity in support of their philosophy,” the affidavit reads, according to the newspaper.
That’s where the Pacific Northwest Three fit in: investigators had hoped that by subpoenaing Plante, Olejnik and Duran to testify, they’d learn more about anarchists in the region who may have been vocal about any attempts to wreak havoc during the May Day protests.
According to the search warrant unsealed this week, the government claims that tens of thousands of dollars in damages resulted from the May 1 actions in Seattle, largely due to attacks on the William Kenzo Nakamura U.S. Courthouse and a few private businesses in the vicinity. Video footage obtained from the scene has been endlessly analyzed by FBI detectives who have in the weeks and months since tried to build a case to file charges against the suspects, none of whom are reported to include the three persons asked to testify. That investigation has led to filing not just subpoenas against the Pacific Northwest Three, but executing no fewer than five search warrants in July that aimed to recover cell phones, computers, clothing and literature from Plante, her peers and others believed to be in cahoots with any local anarchists.
In addition to being met with silence from the Northwest Three, the trove of “evidence” uncovered by the authorities has so far left them unable to release an indictment targeting their suspects. Instead, they have been left with cell phones that, according to the unsealed affidavit, contain text messages describing the May Day protest as “awesome” but nothing more remotely noteworthy, or at least not enough to file charges.
While Plante has since been freed from prison where she was held in solitary confinement for refusing to comply with the grand jury, both Olejnik and Duran remain behind bars as investigators wait to see if they’ll be willing to speak.
“What (prosecutors) decided to do is choose people and punish them for their association,” Jenn Kaplan, an attorney for Olejnik, tells the Seattle Times. To the paper, a counsel for Olejnik adds that the grand jury investigation specifically sought answers from the anarchist about someone she knows.
Before being imprisoned and released, Plante said that a Freedom of Information Act request she filed revealed that the grand jury was first convened in March, two months before the vandalism she is being questioned about even occurred. Before being held in contempt of court, Plante wrote, “The government wants to use [grand juries] 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.”
An attorney for Duran adds that while their client isn’t being suspected or accused of the May 1 vandalism in Seattle, the associations that exist within the community are enough to keep him under the FBI’s radar. The intended result, many fear, is a chilling effect on a community of likeminded individuals that could soon enshroud other groups of activists and outspoken youths.
“One of our concerns was they were really targeting him because they perceived him to be associated with the anarchist community,” Gordon says. “It’s kind of a fishing expedition.”
And from previous article.. Leahs plea for justice for her and her friends Heartbreaking that young people starting out in life should have to deal with this..
Posted by Northbay Uprising Radio at 10:26 PM