Monthly Archives: November 2012

Letter from KteeO: Menstruation and Incarceration

We received this letter from KteeO, and she asked us to share it publicly.

I have some thoughts I would like to share if you would like to read:

I must confess that until I was facing incarceration I hadn’t thought much about menstruation in prison; but once I realized that I was going into lockup it became a worry that was always nagging at the back of my mind.

Now that I have spent an entire menstrual cycle in prison (and am half way through another) I realize that my worries were not unfounded. I have found, as have so many others, that bleeding in prison is truly a messed up experience.
It is an experience that either intentionally works to degrade inmates, or degrades us as a result of cost-saving measures; either way, the results are the same. Prison makes us hate a part of our selves; it turns us against our own bodies.

Look, I really hate to overstate things, I don’t like being dramatic, so please understand that I’m not trying to do either of those things when I talk about the effects of prison in combination with menstruation, let me explain.

First, the pads we are given, when they are not out, are inadequate (before I got here there was a time when folks weren’t given pads for two weeks); they are small and don’t have wings and we are given a fixed amount. So what about tampons? There are no tampons at the FDC. If you had the money, one used to be able to purchase over-priced tampons on commissary, but not anymore. They have been out for the first five weeks I have been here, and now without warning, they have been taken off the commissary list.

Okay, so to add to that, we can’t do our laundry and most of the folks here aren’t super comfortable sending down bloody clothes or bedding.

So the result, regardless of the prisons intention, is that even if you embrace your period, it becomes a degrading and limiting experience (speaking of degrading, don’t even get me started on getting strip searches while menstruating, especially without a tampon…) Most people in here describe having your period in prison as one of the worst things about being locked up. It creates stress and uncertainty due to the conditions that we have to deal with.

There is so much more I could say on this topic, but I think I am going to stop for now. I just know it wasn’t something I thought much about before my incarceration, and I wish I would have, so I thought I would share.

I also hope that ya’ll don’t mind that these are a huge stream of consciousness and not my most eloquent thoughts. And a huge thank you to my friend who wades through my horrible spelling and handwriting…

I want to let ya’ll know that I’m still doing just fine. I’m getting to know my new friends better; it’s always exciting when friendships start to become more than just surface. I’m still not a very good card player, but I’m pretty good at volleyball.

I have also been working out and reading a fair amount. I want to thank ya’ll for your incredible support, and again, I am sorry to those I haven’t written back yet. Your words mean so much to me.

Well anyway, keep smiling, keep struggling; in solidarity,

Kteeo

PS: A huge shout out to the incredible humans that are taking care of my cat friend; I miss her every night and every day, but knowing how much love she is receiving makes everything feel somewhat better.

***After writing this, Kteeo has mentioned that pads have become better, and that tampons will return to commissary at some point in the near future***

Political Witchhunts: Then and Now. Nov 17, Seattle

WHAT: Political Witchhunts, Then and Now: A conference on the history of
state repression of dissent in the Pacific Northwest, and on the current
wave of post-Occupy repression.

WHEN: Saturday, November 17, 2012. 2pm – 6pm. (Benefit hip-hop show to
follow.)

WHERE: Black Coffee Co-op, 501 E Pine St, Seattle.

WHO: Kit Bakke (Former member SDS/Weather Underground; Author, “Dot to
Dot”); Mark Cook (former political prisoner and member, George Jackson
Brigade); Jenny Esquivel (Sacramento Prisoner Support); Kris Hermes (Grand
Jury Resistance Project); Mark Jenkins (Professor of Drama, UW Seattle;
Author, “All Powers Necessary and Convenient”); Ron Johnson (former Black
Panther Party, Seattle); Tabatha Millican (Committee Against Political
Repression, Portland); Lauren Regan (Civil Liberties Defense Center); Jeff
Siddiqui (American Muslims of Puget Sound)

WHY: One year ago, Occupy camps across the country were brutally raided in
an attempt to put an end to the latest challenge to the status quo. In the
year since, Seattle alone has witnessed militaristic raids on homes, police
surveillance and harassment of activists, and the incarceration of a number
of young activists simply for refusing to testify. Nationally, felony
conspiracy trials are underway in a number of cities for events the FBI
openly admits were its own making. While such waves of repression have
failed to put an end to dissent and resistance, younger activists are still
often at a loss how to respond.

This latest wave of political repression is not the first of its kind in
living memory; whether the Red Scare of the 1950s, the COINTELPRO attack on
Black Power and antiwar movements of the 60s and 70s, or the ongoing racist
internment policies for Arabs and Muslims, movements and groups have been
responding to state repression of political expression and identity for a
very long time. Yet veteran activists have sometimes found themselves
disconnected from current movements, unable to share the lessons of the
past.

Come hear scholars and activists discuss what they learned from their
experiences with repression and response. Come hear from those involved in
defense campaigns for those currently targeted and find out how you can
help. Open space discussion and workshops to follow.

Endorsed by the Committee Against Political Repression, the Civil Liberties
Defense Center, and the Rosenberg Fund for Children.

CONTACT: Seattle Anti-Repression Network, seattleantirepression (at) gmail
(dot) com. 206.327.8773

Transcript from Maddy’s Grand Jury Appearance

Maddy Pfeiffer’s Grand Jury Appearance
11/07/12

Here are the notes from the Grand Jury hearings. Personal information has been redacted including the names of people asked about by the Prosecutor.

Prosecutor Michael Dion: What is your Name?
Maddy: Matthew Pfeiffer

Prosecutor Michael Dion: What is your Birth Date?
Maddy: (gave birth date)

Prosecutor Michael Dion: What do you do for work?
Maddy: I am exercising my state and federal constitutional rights including the 1st, 4th and 5th amendments.

P: What is your Address?
M: I am exercising my state and federal constitutional rights including the 1st, 4th and 5th amendments.

P: Do you intend to answer that for every question?
M: I am exercising my state and federal constitutional rights including the 1st, 4th and 5th amendments.

P: Did you live at (address redacted for privacy)?
M: I am exercising my state and federal constitutional rights including the 1st, 4th and 5th amendments.

P: Did your lawyer advice you about Immunity?
M: Yes.

at this point in time, the prosecution showed the room a statement posted to the committee against political repression’s website, attributed to Maddy

P: Are you familiar with the committee against political repression?
M: I am exercising my state and federal constitutional rights including the 1st, 4th and 5th amendments.

P: Are you aware that the Federal courthouse was vandalized on May 1st?
M: I am exercising my state and federal constitutional rights including the 1st, 4th and 5th amendments.

P: Were you present at the courthouse on May 1st?
M: I am exercising my state and federal constitutional rights including the 1st, 4th and 5th amendments.

P: Do you know Person 1 (name redacted)?
M: I am exercising my state and federal constitutional rights including the 1st, 4th and 5th amendments.

P: Was Person 1 in Seattle on May 1st?
M:I am exercising my state and federal constitutional rights including the 1st, 4th and 5th amendments.

P: Do you know Person 2 (name redacted)?
M: I am exercising my state and federal constitutional rights including the 1st, 4th and 5th amendments.

P: Was Person 2 in Seattle on May 1st?
M:I am exercising my state and federal constitutional rights including the 1st, 4th and 5th amendments.

P: Do you know Person 3 (name redacted)?
M: I am exercising my state and federal constitutional rights including the 1st, 4th and 5th amendments.

P: Was Person 3 in Seattle on May 1st?
M: I am exercising my state and federal constitutional rights including the 1st, 4th and 5th amendments.

P: Did anyone tell you about vandalizing the courthouse?
M: I am exercising my state and federal constitutional rights including the 1st, 4th and 5th amendments.

P: Do you know what a black bloc is?
M:I am exercising my state and federal constitutional rights including the 1st, 4th and 5th amendments.

P: Have you ever been in a black bloc?
M:I am exercising my state and federal constitutional rights including the 1st, 4th and 5th amendments.

P: Have you ever possessed a road flare?
M: I am exercising my state and federal constitutional rights including the 1st, 4th and 5th amendments.

P: Do you know a man named ____________ (name redacted)?
M: I am exercising my state and federal constitutional rights including the 1st, 4th and 5th amendments.

P: Do you intend to answer “ I am exercising my state and federal constitutional rights including the 1st, 4th and 5th amendments.” to all questions?
M: I am exercising my state and federal constitutional rights including the 1st, 4th and 5th amendments.

P: You are due upstairs in 10 minutes and have another subpoena on the 20th of November.

Maddy went before the judge then was sent back down to the grand jury for a second appearance

P: Has your position changed since talking to Judge Jones?
M: I am exercising my state and federal constitutional rights including the 1st, 4th and 5th amendments.

P: Are you going to continue to answer “ I am exercising my state and federal constitutional rights including the 1st, 4th and 5th amendments.” to every question?
M: I am exercising my state and federal constitutional rights including the 1st, 4th and 5th amendments.

P: Have you ever met Person 1?
M: I am exercising my state and federal constitutional rights including the 1st, 4th and 5th amendments.

P: Have you ever been in a black bloc?
M: I am exercising my state and federal constitutional rights including the 1st, 4th and 5th amendments.

P: Were you there on May 1st?
M: I am exercising my state and federal constitutional rights including the 1st, 4th and 5th amendments.

P: Did anyone say anything to you about the damage to the courthouse?
M: I am exercising my state and federal constitutional rights including the 1st, 4th and 5th amendments

P: Okay, we’re done here.

Grand jury resister Maddy Pfeiffer released on continuance, new date set for December 14

Maddy Pfeiffer was released from the grand jury today on a continuance, after refusing to cooperate – their lawyer argued that the two weeks between subpoena and grand jury date were not enough to prepare. Maddy’s next grand jury appearance will be December 14th.

Thanks to everyone who came out to the solidarity rally today. Remember to keep writing letters to Matt and KteeO, who have been sitting in prison since September 10 and September 28, respectively!

Matthew “Maddy” Pfeiffer Will Resist the Grand Jury Today!

Matthew “Maddy” Pfeiffer will appear before the grand jury that is investigating anarchists today and says that they will not cooperate with the investigation. In a previously released statement Maddy said, “despite the urgings of lawyers, agents and judges, I only have one option: non-cooperation. Any other option is unthinkable.” Maddy’s statement is below.

Thousands of people called the US Attorney’s office yesterday demanding that the grand jury investigation be terminated. There will also be a rally in solidarity with Maddy on the steps of the federal courthouse in Seattle this morning.

Pfeiffer is the third person in Olympia to receive a subpoena to testify before this grand jury. The investigation is allegedly about actions that took place on May 1 in Seattle but court documents were briefly unsealed revealing that the FBI was already surveilling anarchists in Portland, Oregon previous to May 1.

Matt Duran and Katherine “Kteeo” Olejnik, both from Olympia, were also subpoenaed and have subsequently been imprisoned for refusing to cooperate with the grand jury investigation. They are still currently in custody.

Pfeiffer’s statement appears below:

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

National Fax/ Call in Day TUESDAY

In the latest development from the Seattle grand jury investigation of the anarchist movement, Matthew “Maddy” Pfeiffer, of Olympia, has been subpoenaed to appear before the grand jury on November 7. Following the example of Kteeo Olejnik and Matt Duran, Maddy has boldly announced their refusal to testify. They may be imprisoned for contempt of court. Olejink and Duran remain in prison for their refusal.

We are asking all supports to fax and call the US attorney, Jenny A Durkan, on Tuesday, November 6 to demand an end to the grand jury and the release of all those subpoenaed. Below you will find a Fax Petition demanding that she end this witch-hunt. To join the petition effort, please follow these simple steps:

1) Go to http://faxzero.com/ .
2) Fill out the form with your name and email address under Sender information.
3) Fill out Jenny A Durkan under Receiver Name and (206) 553-0882 for the Receiver Fax Line.
4) Copy the text at the bottom of this email into the box that says “Type text to appear on the cover page”. Personalize the text in the box to include your name and also anything else you would like to say.
5) Enter the confirmation code
6) Click the Send Free Fax Now button at the bottom of the box.
7) Check your email and click on the confirmation link. Clicking on this link will actually send your fax.
8) Wait for the email that confirms that your fax has been sent.
9) Once you have sent the fax, please CALL the U.S. Attorney’s office at (800) 797-6722 to confirm that they received it. We suggest something like the following script:

“Hello my name is Miguel Gomez, and I just sent your office a fax to ask that Jenny Durkan call off tomorrow’s grand jury hearings, end the investigation, and release those people who have refused to testify. I’m calling now to confirm that you received it. Would you check for me please?”

The person answering the phone may offer some general assurance that they are receiving faxes. If they do, please be insistent: “It is very important to me that Ms. Durkin receive my message, and that my voice be added to the opposition to this grand jury. Would you double-check to verify that you’ve received my message. My name, again, is Miguel Gomez.”

10) Please send CAPR a message at nopoliticalrepression@gmail.com, to let us know that you sent the message, and what response you received when you called.

Fax message:

End the Grand Jury Investigation of the Anarchist Movement
(Fax Petition)

To: Jenny Durkan
United States Attorney for Western Washington
Seattle, Washington

Fax Line : (206) 553-0882

Ms. Durkan:
I am writing to add my voice to the hundreds of organizations and thousands of individuals who have telephoned you, written and signed declarations, and demonstrated in cities around the country demanding an end to the grand jury witch-hunt of anarchists and aligned activists in the Pacific Northwest and for all those subpoenaed to be released from contempt.

This case clearly shows that your office is persecuting political dissent. It is despicable that the US Attorney and the FBI are harassing and intimating this group of people for their political beliefs. I demand that the grand jury investigation be ended immediately, that the governments repression of social movements stop, that those jailed for their refusal to testify be released, and that any items seized in the raids be returned to their rightful owners.

signed,

Free Sergey!

As far as we know this is unrelated to the NW grand jury, but it’s super important so we’re sharing it here.

Sergey is a friend of ours who was arrested early this morning on suspicion of firebombing a cop car in NE Portland. Their family says Sergey was beat up by the police while in custody and is in the medical unit. They are being held on three felony and three misdemeanor charges, including attempted arson.

Please come to Sergey’s arraignment tomorrow (Tuesday): 2pm in Courtroom 3 of the Justice Center in downtown Portland.

Please donate to Sergey’s legal support fund! This money is going toward their $3000+ bail and to pay for a lawyer. The sooner Sergey’s family can raise bail, the sooner Sergey will be out.

Letter From Kteeo: Mothers in Prison

Hello Everyone!

I want to start as always by saying thank you for your support. What I want to talk about today is something that I have touched on before in previous statements, but wish to expand on. That is the problem many of my new friends face as mothers in prison. So many of these women work incredibly hard to keep custody of their children, and to be good mothers regardless of their situation. This is not an easy task.

At the Federal Detention Center, in my unit, inmates can make sixteen dollars a month for their labor. That means that while incarcerated these mothers are unable to contribute to many issues of motherhood from prison. The financial side of aiding a child with incarcerated parent(s) falls [...] on other family members. Add to this the incredible cost of visits and phone calls ($16 a month only buys so much phone time…). Many women have told me they have had to choose between giving money to their children and hiring a lawyer, and this is only when money is not an issue[?] How many people do we all know for whom money is not an issue? The financial aspect of this all is huge.

In addition to the cost of visits, many inmates have trouble getting family members approved to bring children, which can mean months before children can come to visit. Even if everything is in order and money is not an issue, there are still only 300minutes of telephone time a month, and several hours of face to face time each week to connect with one’s children, aid in emotional growth and help with physical/emotional problems. Is that enough?

I don’t know, there are just some thoughts that I have been wanting to share on the topic of “prison doesn’t just effect those incarcerated, but the whole family”.

So, I hope you all are well. I’m doing ok, all things considered, I’m gonna go play volleyball now.
Keep Smiling, Keep Struggling,

In solidarity and love,
Kteeo

Stand with Maddy Pfeiffer! – A Statement of Solidarity from Students for a Democratic Society

Just a few days ago on October 25th, an Olympia activist named Maddy Pfeiffer received a subpoena to appear before the special federal grand jury impaneled currently in Seattle. Maddy, who goes by they/them pronouns, is an Evergreen student, a brilliant and skilled organizer, and a good friend to many of us. They are also a former coordinator of Students for a Democratic Society here at Evergreen. —- Maddy has been called to appear at the grand jury chamber in Seattle at 9:00am on November 7th–a date that is rapidly approaching. They have bravely declared their absolute refusal to cooperate with the federal grand jury witch hunt against anarchists—even though it is very likely they will be imprisoned after they refuse to testify on November 7th, despite being charged with no crime.

Maddy is not the first in our community to be subpoenaed by this grand jury. If Maddy is imprisoned, they will also not be the first. Two other Olympia activists, Matt Duran and KteeO Olejnik—a former Evergreen student and SDS member—are already sitting in the federal detention center at SeaTac for staying silent. But the FBI’s subpoena of Maddy, a current student and very recent SDS coordinator who is still an important presence in the Evergreen radical community, has struck SDS and the Evergreen campus very close to its heart.

We will follow Maddy’s brave example and stand strong.

For Maddy, silence is a roar of defiance; for us, silence is resignation and defeat. We will never cooperate with federal investigations of our communities and we will use our energy, our voices, and our actions to support those who refuse to snitch on their friends. The government has turned its most terrifying weapons on the radical community in Olympia and is zeroing in on Evergreen. It is an attack on every value that Evergreen students hold dear: community, solidarity, and free political thought. The Students for a Democratic Society will meet this attack on our community with a wall of defiance and solidarity.

We call on all students and community members to join us in our refusal to cooperate with the FBI’s attempts to disrupt our communities, force us to betray our friends, and lock us in prisons. We urge all not to underestimate the significance of these recent events; we are under attack, and to ignore this fact is to surrender to the forces attacking us. We would like to remind all that everyone at Evergreen knows radicals, activists, and anarchists, and so anyone could be chosen for the next subpoena, even if they do not consider themselves of interest to the FBI. We would also like to stress this point: the grand jury, the FBI repression, the witch-hunt are not going away—they will not pass like a bad dream. We cannot lie low, keep quiet, be good, and hope to be overlooked. Resistance is the only option.

For more information about this grand jury, to read Maddy’s statement, and for information about a bus or carpool to Seattle to support Maddy on November 7th, visit nopoliticalrepression.wordpress.com. For ideas about how to act in solidarity with Maddy and resist the grand jury witch-hunt, visit pugetsoundanarchists.org, or come to SDS meetings at 4pm every Wednesday in A2105.

We will not sit quietly while the state kidnaps our comrades and close friends and locks them in cages. Now is not the time for silence and isolation. Solidarity means Attack!

In solidarity,
The Students for a Democratic Society at The Evergreen State College

Solidarity with grand jury resister Maddy Pfeiffer: rally at the courthouse Nov. 7, Seattle

 

November 7th, 8:30am

Seattle Federal Courthouse, 700 Steward St.

 

Maddy Pfeiffer was served a subpoena in Olympia, WA last week. They will be resisting the grand jury and will not be testifying. Please come out and support them on Wednesday November 7th at 830AM! Their hearing is at 9AM. Please be there BEFORE 9AM so you can be there to support them BEFORE they go into the courthouse.

REMEMBER: It is likely they’ll be taken into “custody” after their hearing.

Grand juries are secret and closed, but Maddy’s contempt hearing will be open to the public. If you would like to go inside the contempt hearing to support them, you will need to bring ID to get into the courthouse. If you have a warrant out or otherwise need to avoid contact with law enforcement, it’s not a good idea to try to come into the courthouse.
Please bring anything you can to contribute: food, coffee, umbrellas, BANNERS, FLIERS, SIGNS, megaphones, etc.

SOLIDARITY WITH ALL THOSE WHO RESIST THE GRAND JURY.