Monthly Archives: August 2012

National Call In Day on Wednesday August 29th

We are asking for people to call the US Attorney again this Wednesday, August 29th. Call Jenny Durkan at (800) 797-6722 and leave a message with the person who answers the phone. Last call in day, they tried to send people to a voicemail box. If they attempt to do that, tell whoever you are talking to that you would like to leave a message with them and not a voicemail.

An example of what you might say:
“Hi. I am Jolene Seaside. I am calling about the grand jury being impaneled in Seattle tomorrow, August 30th. This case clearly shows that the FBI and government are persecuting political dissent in our country. It is despicable that US attorney and the government are harassing and intimating this group of people for their political beliefs. I demand that the grand jury and investigation be ended immediately, that the governments repression of social movements stop, and that any items seized in the raids be returned. Thank you for taking my comments.”

When you call the U.S Attorney’s office, please let them know that you are speaking for yourself and not the individuals resisting the grand jury subpoenas. Be aware of how the things you say will impact the people you are trying to help. If you make a call, please email us (nopoliticalrepression@gmail.com) and let us know how what kind of response you got from the Attorney’s office.

On August 2nd, we overwhelmed the US attorney’s office in Washington with phone calls demanding an end to the grand jury. We want to keep up the pressure and make sure the US attorney knows we are still standing firmly in solidarity with those resisting the grand jury.

If you are on facebook, you can find the event here.

Other things to do this week in support of the grand jury resisters:

Come to Seattle to stand against the Grand Jury witch hunt! There will be a demonstration in solidarity with those affected by the raids and subpoenas on Thursday, August 30thstarting at 12:00 pm The demonstration will be at the federal court house, 700 Stewart St., in Seattle.

Can’t make it to Seattle? Plan another event or demonstration in solidarity! Please email us at nopoliticalrepression@gmail.com to tell us about your event

Or attend one of these solidarity events:

Portland, Oregon: Come show resistance to state repression and solidarity with those whose backs are against the way. 12:30 to 3:30 pm at the Federal Court House (1000 SW 3rd Ave). https://www.facebook.com/events/401156179937499/

Minneapolis, MN: A rally in solidarity with Northwest/Midwest grand jury resistors and
local Occupy Homes organizers. 12-1pm at City Hall (350 S 5th St). http://twincitiesantirepression.tumblr.com/post/30111358127/a30-solidarity-against-state-repression

Please donate! We are trying to raise legal fees for all of those affected. We also are trying to provide material support for those that are resisting the grand jury

Advertisements

Claude Marks: “Resist at Every Turn”

The US government is busy eliminating the right to dissent, surveiling and criminalizing those of us who dare to object to illegal US wars, racism and oppression. It is not only our right but a responsibility to resist at every turn — whether it be the agent at the door or the grand juries that threaten to imprison the unyielding.

Claude Marks
Director of the Freedom Archives and prison justice activist

Jenna Peters-Golden: “Stare Down the State”

The recent FBI raids in the Pacific Northwest are thinly veiled tactics to enact state repression on left and radical thinkers and do-ers. These clear violations of civil rights follow in a long tradition of the state using fear and brute threats to keep us too afraid to vision, to dream, and to resist.

My courage is soaring as I see projects like No Papers, No Fears and the PNW Grand Jury Resisters stare down the state and flex the much stronger muscles of community, bravery, and creative resistance.

Jenna Peters-Golden is an organizer, facilitator and artist residing in Philadelphia. Jenna is a core member of AORTA [the Anti Oppression Resource and Training Alliance] and Philly Stands Up!, a transformative justice collective.

Michael Parenti: “Yet Another Instrument of Repression”

Once more the instruments of state force and violence are being used to suppress legitimate protests. The protestors are exercising their rights to assemble and resist, voicing their opposition to the criminal wars and other exploitative policies perpetrated by the state. The protestors’ actions have a name: “democracy.” The grand jury should act as an instrument of that democracy rather than serving the police and courts as yet another instrument of repression.

Michael Parenti received his Ph.D. in political science from Yale University, and has taught at a number of universities in the United States and abroad. He is the author of 23 books, including The Face of Imperialism, Democracy for the Few, The Terrorism Trap, and The Sword and the Dollar.

Eric Laursen: “A New Star Chamber”

The grand jury system in the U.S. has become a new Star Chamber, a way to intimidate and force politically committed people to testify and name names against the causes they’ve devoted their lives to.

The FBI, in collaboration with the Criminal Injustice System, is clearly attempting
to intimidate activists and tamp down protest in advance of the establishment-sanctioned Democratic and Republican national conventions. It won’t work. The protests will go on anyway. But the larger issue is freedom of speech, and the outrageous infringement of people’s human rights.

During World War I, activists were arrested merely because they were anarchists, and subsequently deported from this country and otherwise disappeared. Today, the FBI raids people’s homes in search of “anti-government or anarchist literature or material.” Back then, these actions were called a “Red Scare.” Now, they’re business as usual.

Please support the Committee Against Political Repression and the National Lawyers Guild in defending the victims of these attacks. Next time, it could be you.

Eric Laursen is an independent journalist, activist, and author of The People’s Pension: The Struggle to Defend Social Security Since Reagan (AK Press, 2012).

David Graeber: “To Resist is an Act of Principle that Benefits Everyone”

What we have been experiencing since the beginning of the repression of Occupy in November is a calculated, coordinated campaign against the very principles of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly — principles that, it should always be remembered, were themselves only established by mass popular mobilization of exactly the sort which our increasingly militarized US police and criminal justice system are now trying to suppress.

At a time when America’s liberal class seems to have decided that civil liberties are no longer worth defending (at least, when a Democrat is in office), it is left to anarchists to actually do something to fight for the principles that everyone claims to believe in.

Nothing could be more important than halting the effort to turn the United States into just another police state — if only because oppressive regimes around the world look to the US as a model for what they can get away with at home. “If they can arrest 700 non-violent protestors for marching on a bridge in America, how can you possibly object to our doing it here?” “If they can round up radicals and put them on trial just for their ideas in America, why not here?”

This is an attack on the very idea of human freedom and to resist it is an act of principle that benefits everyone.

David Graeber is a Reader of Social Anthropology at Goldsmiths, University of
London, and the author of books on value, debt, and civil disobedience.

Michael Novick: “We Must Raise Our Voices in the Streets”

Resistance to grand jury repression and witch hunts is a vital aspect of building a fighting solidarity movement that can break the teeth of state repressive efforts through unity and silence.

Grand juries have historically been a tool to spread fear and create isolation and division within the peoples’ movements. The lessons of the Puerto Rican and Mexicano grand jury resisters of the 1970s, and numerous other cases, is that the best response to grand jury repression, the one that defeats such efforts and lays the basis for ongoing principled resistance and counter-organizing, is non-collaboration.

The corollary of freedom of political speech is freedom of political silence in the face of an inquisition. The grand jury is designed specifically to take away the one right the forces of repression have been forced to turn into a byword — “the right to remain silent.”
Grand juries incarcerate and attempt to criminalize people for their silence. This is the new McCarthyism, an attempt to get people to name names and to be more concerned about individual consequences than collective and social survival and liberation.

We must raise our voices in the streets — and stand with those who maintain our silence in the star chambers — to defeat such repressive fishing expeditions.

Michael Novick is editor of Turning the Tide: Journal of Anti-Racist Action, Research & Education, author of White Lies, White Power: The Fight Against White Supremacy and Reactionary Violence,” a member of the Jericho Amnesty Movement to free all political prisoners, active in Occupy L.A., and the chair of the local station board of KPFK, Pacifica radio in Los Angeles, CA.