Never Surrender: Kerry Cunneen subpoenaed to the NW grand jury


Portland anarchist Kerry Cunneen has announced their refusal to cooperate with the grand jury investigating the May Day attack on the Nakamura federal courthouse in Seattle. Kerry’s subpoena, which was delivered on December 14th, stated that they were required to appear just 5 days later on the 19th. Their lawyer successfully got the date pushed back until January 3rd, when Kerry declined to even enter the grand jury room. Kerry has stated that they will never under any circumstance cooperate with this or any state in persecuting themself or others:

I have been subpoenaed to the grand jury in Seattle investigating Anarchists in the Pacific Northwest. I was called to testify on January 3rd at 9am. I did not appear before the grand jury. I will not cooperate with this grand jury nor will I in any way aid the state in its efforts to imprison people.
I stand firmly in solidarity with the actions taken against the Nakamura Federal court house during the May Day demonstration and all action taken against the state and capital towards the goal of a more liberated society.
I am in solidarity with the May Day 5, with Maddy, Matt and Kteeo, and everyone else who has met repression with resilience. To all whose solidarity has come in some form of action, it is inspiring and must continue.

never surrender,
Kerry Cunneen

CAPR supports Kerry’s bold refusal to even enter the grand jury room. Although for some, resisting a grand jury may be a display of commitment of civil liberties, free speech, or freedom of association, it can also be a method to further the spread of insurrectionary tactics. To be blunt, it is easier to break windows or act against the state in other ways that are necessarily illegal when there is a culture against snitching among anarchists. We oppose the state in its entirety – we are against its courts, its prisons, its judges, its prosecutors, and every manifestation of the law and their justice. The Committee Against Political Repression is encouraged by attacks against the existent, including the May Day attack on the Nakamura federal courthouse.

The May Day anti-capitalist march in Seattle signaled a broad and growing antagonism to hierarchy and domination, and the state’s heavy-handed response to it (three house raids in Portland, at least nine grand jury subpoenas, and three people currently sitting in prison for refusing to testify) signals just how dangerous the state perceived it to be. As an anonymous author writes in We Are Contagious: a gift to those who desire social revolt,

What was special about May Day wasn’t the black bloc, impressive as it was in its coordination and preparation. What was special was that the hundreds of people clustered around the black bloc probably had a good idea of exactly what was going to happen when the anti-capitalist march left Westlake…and they liked it. They stayed close the bloc anyway; a few even joined in on the fun. Others screamed in joy. Some, who only months ago might have tried to prevent the property destruction or would have later denounced it, simply smiled to themselves and moved on down the road. Perhaps most importantly, a fair number of these people will return to the streets, better prepared to act themselves.

Broken windows are an easily replicable tactic that is capable of rapid generalization. Although broken windows are certainly not the anarchist end-goal (there is no single anarchist end-goal), the tactic of breaking windows is a way for people to directly attack (and cause financial damage to) institutions to which they are opposed, and build affinity in the streets. The state logically must do whatever it can to control, disrupt, recuperate, or liquidate that which presents a threat. While we are angry about this grand jury (and all grand juries, and the existence of the state, period), it also shows that anarchists have been doing something right – anarchists are posing a threat that can’t be ignored.

We can respond to this and all instances of repression by strengthening and escalating our projects of resistance. Kerry has stated that the best support they could ask for is action of some sort that is in resistance to state and capital. Indeed, that is the only way we’ll come through to the other side stronger than before.

29 responses to “Never Surrender: Kerry Cunneen subpoenaed to the NW grand jury

  1. seattleantirepressioncommittee
  2. Pingback: Never Surrender: Kerry Cunneen subpoenaed to the NW grand jury | Seattle Free Press

    • Because I’ve made this mistake before and see it as especially corrosive and a real impediment to having interactions with people, let me put this bluntly: no one gives a shit about your opinions on the “bastardization” of English. Because gender is, indisputably, a social construct, people who feel no affinity toward “either” gender (e.g. genderqueer people), have chosen to use gender-neutral pronouns. That the English language and the legal system does not accommodate genderqueer or trans people and has only plural pronouns as gender-neutral ones should say more about the culture that we live in than the sensitivity of the people asking that you show some respect and don’t assign a gender to them that they have rejected. And one more thing: while certain people will respectfully correct you until you use proper pronouns, others will punch you in your fucking mouth if you insist on assigning them one.

      • pinbalwyz: No one is “violating” anyones free speech rights. When you refuse to respect folks gender identities and preferred pronouns after repeatedly being asked, that just makes you a jerk. It’s a cold hard fact in life, but if you go around being a jerk and intentionally insulting to people sometimes you get punched. It amazes me how people (particularly white men) in our society feel as if they are entitled to be disrespectful jackasses to everyone around them, but when someone stands up to them they try and play as if they were the biggest victims in the world. Notice how all it took was an off the cuff comment warning you that some folks might not take your insensitiity towards gender identity to kindly and you flip out about bullet proof vests and how your rights are being persecuted. Get a grip.

  3. Why are you referring to this person as “they” and not “she”?

    • Because Kerry goes by they/them/their pronouns, not she/her/hers pronouns.

      • While I completely understand the courtesy involved in using someone’s chosen proper name, isn’t laying a claim to pronouns a bit over the top? Using appropriate gender pronouns is equally understandable, but when it morphs into plural vs. singular, that’s just either arrogant or a bastardization of the language. The Queen of England uses ‘we’ too, but I’ll continue to refer to the Queen as her/she. At any rate, isn’t policing PC pronouns off topic to the more important one of state oppression and Grand Jury Inquisitions? I’d guess the prosecutor doesn’t use ‘they’ either when addressing Kerry Cunneen. What pronoun do I use for such a courageous person?

  4. I do not support trashing, and greatly resent that the march (in which I participated) gave no indication at its inception that there would be this kind of action. There were children on the line of march! That said, this “fishing expedition” appears to be a tactic of political intimidation and tarring as much as an inquiry into the legal issue of property damage. For that reason, the Grand Jury resisters must be defended.

    Try not to kid yourselves that being tight in your own little group represents any kind of generalized, mass movement. Most people are leery of flying glass and damage to places they may use (like banks, for example).

    • The only people who are going to hurt the kids marching are the police. Many people long to break the glass cages of their isolation and misery under the State and Capitalism, whether they are conscious of it or not. The tightly knit circles in the Northwest are not alone. They ARE part of a generalized resistance that spans across the nation and the globe, even if you are not. Thank you to those who make these huge sacrifices for providing this opportunity for people to break through and revolt against everything they don’t believe in. We are in solidarity. We are in this together.

      • Unless you have a child who was present at the march, you are in no position to decide what will hurt the children who were there. No, it’s not just the police that are hurting our children. Children are also a part of the resistance, and when parents don’t feel safe bringing their children because of the actions of the protesters, then the children are excluded from the movement. Any movement that is not centered on the next generation(s) is a fallacy.

        That being said, I stand with the resistors.

      • You completely ignored/missed Daniel’s point: We know the cops are brutes, that’s a given and in their job description. What is not is providing a pretext for ‘collateral’ damage. If there’s going to be planned street violence, the responsible thing to do from those planning it, would to be to give fair warning to parents wishing to school their children in the process of PEACEFUL protest. Suggesting the consequences of smashing car windows, government buildings, corporate store fronts, and injuring journalists is all the fault of the police is disingenuous. This is the kind of reasoning that erodes ‘solidarity’–it does NOT enhance it.

    • “Most people are leery of damage to places they may use.”

      And yet this was an anticapitalist march, explcitly, and was clearly part of the nationwide Occupy trajectory as well, both of which would pretty clearly seem to have their sights set on banks, among other things.

      I don’t doubt that you’re right, that some of the people marching didn’t want banks damaged. But i’m also confused as to why they would join a march against an insitituion that they use if they’re leery of damaging the place… Whether they’re damaged through property destruction or “new regulations” initiated by the occupy movement, its damage to the banks either way.

      Do you mean they didnt want the banks damaged in that moment, while they were present? This i could understand, perhaps. But your comment (“they would use”) makes it sound like a more general opposition to damaging them at any time. Why? Why would you be willing to establish costly new regulations on banks but not smash them? Both cost them money. Both actions are opposed by the institutions themselves.

      I dont want to be misunderstood; i have no interest in new regulations or any of that. Im just trying to understand what you’re actually saying. I can only assume, given that these people were at the march willingly, that they have no love for banks but maintain a love for the law. This fills me with confusion. Its the same law that is holding these grand juries that you are now opposing.

      Banks and the laws of property and order are one and the same. Love them or hate them. But if you cant come to a solid consistent conclusion, please don’t raise objections to the actions of those who have.

      (On a sidenote, I love kids and think they should be involved in our struggles in every way possible. No children were ever in danger at this march – though if you were truly concerned about this, it seems prudent to realize that maybe bringing them to an explicitly anticapitalist march on mayday was a bad idea.)

  5. Pingback: Never Surrender: Kerry Cunneen subpoenaed to the NW grand jury « Denver Anarchist Black Cross

  6. Reblogged this on Move for Change and the Brooklyn Culture Jam and commented:
    The Seattle Grand Jury continues to sweep up people hoping to find something worth prosecuting in its fishing expedition.

  7. Pingback: Never Surrender: Kerry Cunneen subpoenaed to the NW grand jury « Internationalist Prison Books Collective

  8. Pingback: Never Surrender: Kerry Cunneen subpoenaed to the NW grand jury « Earth First! Newswire

  9. Pingback: Another Anarchist Refuses to Cooperate with Grand Jury, or Even Enter the Courthouse

  10. Pingback: Another Anarchist Targeted « Portland Anarchist Black Cross

  11. The women, for the most part, targeted for their political beliefs in the Pacific NW Grand Jury Inquisition seem amazingly strong. I’m humble by their quiet resolve, highlighting the barbarous methods of the state.

  12. Actually “amicus,” only ONE women targeted by the grand jury is amazingly strong, and that is Kteeo. Leah cooperated, and Kerry, as suggested by their pronouns, does NOT identify as a woman. Also, there really is no need to single out Kteeo – ALL the people refusing to cooperate are strong, and you should be humbled by all of them.

  13. Pingback: West Coast Grand Jury Investigation Threatens Another Occupy Activist With Imprisonment.. When Will It End? | BirchIndigo

  14. Pingback: West Coast Grand Jury Investigation Threatens Another Occupy Activist With Imprisonment.. When Will It End?

  15. Proud of you Ciarrai. Your courage and overall don’t-give-a-fuck is impressive. Of course, it was heartbreaking to hear that this happened at all. In the dark corners of the world, people are thinking about you and everyone else affected.

  16. Pingback: Welfare, workplace and repression news: Mid-January round-up. | Cautiously pessimistic

  17. Pingback: Update from Grand Jury Fishing Expeditions on the West Coast « Earth First! Newswire

  18. Pingback: Support the NW Grand Jury Resisters | Internationalist Prison Books Collective

  19. Pingback: West Coast Grand Jury Investigation Threatens Another Occupy Activist With Imprisonment.. When Will It End? |

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