Monthly Archives: September 2012

Reportback from KteeO’s grand jury appearance

Katherine “KteeO” Olejnik had a grand jury subpoena for this afternoon (September 27th). She and her lawyer tried a number of different legal strategies to quash the subpoena. Unfortunately they were unsuccessful. Although KteeO chose not to release any public information about her subpoena until today, she committed from the beginning to refuse to cooperate. Here’s what went down today:

10 AM Hearing for the Motion to Quash the Subpena

  • Judge Richard Jones started by explaining that there was a “miscommunication” between him and the US Marshalls on September 13th – Matt’s day in court. He explained that there were parts of the Hearing for the Motion to Quash and the Contempt Hearing that were supposed to be open to the public. He annoyingly recited various legal citations to validate that some parts are open and portions of either hearing that reference information from the Grand Jury are supposed to be closed. Essentially, “Oooops!” but in legal garbage.
  • After that he closed the hearing and excused people that were there to support KteeO. We waited outside.
  • Eventually we were invited back in. KteeO’s attorney made these points:

* Violates 1st, 4th, and 5th Amendment Rights!

* Separation of Powers (grand juries are not open to the public, there’s no judicial oversight, etc.)

* Individuals have the right to not talk to law enforcement simply because they don’t want to. It is a legal right everyone has in almost any situation except grand juries.

* You say this shit is about the courthouse, but this grand jury was convened in March!

  • After Jennifer Kaplan made her points the prosecutors whined about how this grand jury is only about the vandalism that occurred and is not investigating anarchists (Don’t remember if “anarchists” was the word used).
  • Prosecutors asked the Judge to explain how Civil Contempt works.
  • We finished around 11 and had a recess until 2 PM.

Grand Jury

  • Supporters of KteeO waited outside the courthouse.
  • When the Grand Jury was finished KteeO ran out to smoke a final cigarette.
  • She said they did not let her take notes.
  • She refused to answer questions. She reported the jurors almost seemed annoyed. She speculated that maybe they were annoyed because they kept asking her questions and she kept adamantly refusing.

Contempt Hearing

  • Judge Richard Jones explained for the umpteenth time that day that some parts are open and some parts are closed. Once he was done he excused us “guests” (yes, we were called guests at one point!) for the closed part.
  • During the closed portion they went over the transcript from the Grand Jury. They asked KteeO if the transcript was accurate. She said it was. (They explained this is what happened when we, the guests, were invited back in.)
  • The court was then open for civil contempt.
  • Established that the end date for this grand jury is March 2014.
  • Kteeo was taken into custody.

Free KteeO Olejnik: another grand jury resister jailed today

Katherine “KteeO” Olejnik was taken into federal custody today for refusing to cooperate with the grand jury. She is the second subpeanut to be jailed for refusing to testify.

Please write to KteeO!! She is specifically interested in news and information about the Basque region, and reading material related to linguistics and social anthropology.

Katherine Olejnik #42592-086
FDC SeaTac,
P.O. Box 13900
Seattle, WA 98198

This is the statement she wrote explaining why she is refusing to cooperate:

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 on whom my incarceration is going to be a 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,
Kteeo Olejnik

Matt Duran still in jail – update from yesterday’s hearing

Matt Duran had a hearing on the 26th. He is still being held at SeaTac FDC on contempt of court for an undetermined amount of time. He could potentially be held until March of 2014.

Here’s a summary of what happened on the 26th:
Friends and Supporters arrived and went through security at the Federal Courthouse about 10 minutes before court began. Court proceedings were held on the 13th floor with Judge Richard Jones.

Judge Jones began the morning with an explanation of the policies around open v. closed contempt hearings. He explained that the beginning of Matt’s hearing is not technically a contempt hearing, but a chance for Matt to state his intentions around whether or not he will be providing the court with information or if he will continue to resist their coercion. This means that the first portion of the hearing was specifically addressing the Grand Jury proceedings and could not be accessible to the public. He continued to explain that, once Matt stated his intentions, and if he continued to resist the court’s wishes, the hearing then turned into a contempt hearing and would become public.

Judge Jones went on to explain and apologize for the “miscommunication” during Matt’s initial Grand Jury appearance. During his initial appearance on September 13th, those who were attempting to get through security and up to the contempt hearing were repeatedly told that the hearing was closed and that no one would be any further than the lobby of the courthouse. He admitted that the original contempt hearing on September 13th should have functioned identically to the way that day would go.

At that time, Judge Jones notified Matt’s friends and supporters that the first portion of the hearing would be specifically discuss the Grand Jury and proceeded to excused the public, closing the hearing.

Friends and Supporters hung out just beyond the doors and the hearing was open again approximately 3 minutes later. Matt, once again, kept true to his word, to his principles and to his loved ones, and did not answer any questions.

Once allowed back in, 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. She went on to describe the kinds of support Matt has been getting while in prison. Matt has received an overwhelming number of letters from all over the world, some from friends and most from strangers, who support and respect him for his convictions. Recently, a few publishers have written him offering to send him books for free and he has begun to receive reading material from many sources. She also cited that, during the transport to the Prison, an inmate in the vehicle with Matt complimented him and respected him because “…most people are in here because they were informed on by other people…”. Matt’s lawyer demonstrated how resilient, driven, focused and principled Matt is and will continue to be. She also argued that, because of Matt’s steadfast commitment to silence, his detainment was punitive.

The Prosecution (the government) took the floor after Matt’s lawyer’s statements. They explained that Matt’s conditions and treatment were normal and the same as all prisoners at the Federal Detention Center at SeaTac. They also asserted that because Matt’s lawyer did not have representation from FDC SeaTac, Matt’s detainment conditions could not be corroborated. He also argued that, because Matt is getting worldwide support “…he must be doing fine…” The Prosecution made clear that, even though statements of non-compliance were made by Matt and on behalf of Matt, a statement of non-compliance would not be enough to prove that incarceration had moved from coercive to punitive. He also made it known that congress passed the law ruling that someone can be held for no more than 18 months in civil contempt as a coercive strategy for a reason. The Prosecution explained that the full coercive affects of imprisonment had not be felt by Matt due to the short term of detainment and that a second hearing date for 6-8 months out to reasses his incarceration was reasonable. The Prosecution made that suggestion then rested.

Matt’s lawyer took the floor and suggested that the court not set another hearing date, while reserving herself and her client the privilege of coming forward to request a date.

The Prosecution agreed with this suggestion.

Judge Jones ruled to not set another hearing date and to keep Matt Duran detained.
Please keep writing to Matt!

Support Matt at His Detention Hearing

Tomorrow, Wednesday September 26th, Matt will have a hearing about his detention for refusing to cooperate with the grand jury in Seattle. If you are going to be in Seattle tomorrow, join us at the Federal Court House (700 Stewart) at 9 am to pack the hearing. More info here.

There are two solidarity marches. One at noon and one at 6 pm. Find out more info about them here.

Also, check out the new support website for the resisters. It has info on how to write letters, send books, and contribute funds.

Trevor Griffey: “Courageous Stands”

Matthew Duran and Leah-Lynne Plant deserve your support for taking courageous stands against a political fishing expedition. We need to express our solidarity with their principled refusal to cooperate with an open-ended Grand Jury investigation into their personal friendships, political networks, and belief systems. By supporting them, we are also resisting the use of the War on Terror to repress social movements that use direct action and civil disobedience to achieve social change.

Trevor Griffey was the Co-Editor of “Black Power at Work: Community Control, Affirmative Action, and the Construction Industry”, was the Co-Founder of the Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project, and is currently a visiting Faculty for U.S. History at The Evergreen State College.

Anoymous in Solidarity with Grand Jury Resisters

We cannot confirm this but we received this last email:

“Grand Jury Resisters,

Anonymous’ very own telecommunications division shut down the phone network
at the Seattle US District attorney’s office. We will run this attack
until later this afternoon.

Yours in the lulz,
Anon-ops Telecommunications”
Here’s the picture they sent us:

Correction to Matt’s mailing address

We apologize for the mistake. The zip code is 98198, not 98191.

Matthew Kyle Duran #42565-086
FDC SeaTac,
P.O. Box 13900
Seattle, WA 98198

Update on Matt Duran

Update on Matt’s situation: Matt is being held in the Secure Housing Unit (isolation) at SeaTac. His lawyer guesses this is because he’s never been to prison before. He says he’s doing fine; reading trashy romance novels because that’s all he has access to. He may be moved to general population soon, where he’ll be able to play chess and have greater access to a phone.

The prison is so far not giving Matt access to all-vegan food, though he is applying for vegetarian food. We suspect he’d have much better access to vegan food if people resumed calling in and urging that he receive the food he needs!! (206-870-5700).

Matt’s next hearing is September 26th at 9am. We believe this will be at the federal courthouse (700 Stewart St. in Seattle), but we’ll update this when we confirm the location. Let’s pack the courtroom! His lawyer says this should be an open hearing.

Remember to keep writing to Matt! Here’s his address again:
Matthew Kyle Duran #42565-086
FDC SeaTac,
P.O. Box 13900
Seattle, WA 98198
How about a weekly get-together with your friends to write to Matt and other prisoners? 10 minutes out of your day could make a world of difference for someone locked in a cage!

GJ resister benefit: Dogjaw, Margy Pepper, Dick Binge, Disparate, Soil.

This is a show that you for sure don’t want to miss. Every single one of these bands rips hard, and it’s a benefit for grand jury resisters. Facebook event page here: http://www.facebook.com/events/442426959141831/

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Big thanks also to everyone who came out to the Radical Rumble martial arts showcase in Portland. With your help we raised over $1400 for Pax and grand jury resisters!!

Write to Matt in Jail!!!

Writing to prisoners is an easy and important way to help ease the isolation of imprisonment. Please write letters to Matt!

Matthew Kyle Duran #42565-086
FDC SeaTac
P.O. Box 13900
Seattle, WA 98198

Make sure that your name and return address, as well as Matt’s full name and inmate number, are included on the envelope and all pages of the letter. There is no limit on how many letters Matt is allowed to have in his cell at any one time. He is allowed to have up to 20 photographs in his cell at once, so send him pictures too! No Polaroids though. Letters should be written in pen on clean and plain lined paper. Letters have been turned away in the past due to small stains from coffee spills, etc., so make sure the paper is immaculate.

Please don’t write about anything potentially incriminating. For more tips on how to write to a prisoner for the first time, see this article: How to Write Your First Letter to Someone in Prison.