—–Eight months ago I was subpoenaed for the Grand Jury investigating the incidents of May Day 2012 in Seattle Washington. However, unlike others involved I had not been “served”, therefore I had a chance to flee, and to do so legally. These past eight months have been the most trying months that I have ever lived. In this period I have loved yet I have lost, and I have felt emboldened yet defeated.
Though I am technically not breaking any laws, the degree to which I am public about my situation is something that has constantly been on my mind. I do not want to publish the exact place I am in or full name because I have already been harassed (both verbally and physically) in my current location. Yet, at the same time there seems to be a lot of confusion around the situation that myself and others are in, exile. This statement is an attempt to clarify the situation that I am in and speak a little about what my experience has been. This statement is also a call for support and solidarity. Both are things that I really need right now. Thanks for reading.—–
I understand that there has been some confusion around the issue of my exile and this is something I hope to clear up. I am a grand jury resister and though I am not in currently in prison, I am sure that if I were to enter back into the United States before the Grand Jury investigation is closed I would be served my subpoena and ordered to appear in front of the Grand Jury. Being that cooperation with the state is not something I would ever do, I view my leaving the country as an act of resistance, a refusal to engage in any sort of dialogue with the State. Since my leaving, I have been contacted multiple times by the FBI in regards to when my new subpoena date is, and also just to be harassed.
My subpoena was not the first interaction I have had with the FBI, it has been a fairly constant thing in my life for the past two years. I understand that there are other people who have also not been served who have been able to avoid being harassed and haven’t been ordered to appear in front of the Grand Jury. These people have not left the country and I think this is great news and wish nothing but the best for those people. Unfortunately I don’t see myself being in that situation, since there have also been people who the agents have gone to pretty extensive lengths to serve. Given all of the information I have, this is not a risk I am willing to take.
I want to be clear that I stand in complete solidarity with all other Grand Jury resisters, regardless of whether they chose to appear or not. To me, this is a personal choice and I don’t view the refusal to appear as either better or worse than the refusal to answer their questions in person. But if I can avoid going to prison, especially while doing so legally, that is what I will do, and I have no regrets about the decisions I have made.
In many ways thinking back on the past eight months is something that is hard to do. While it’s easy to recount the events; the late august beach trips, the three day drive fueled by four bottles of “5 hour energy” and too much McDonald’s(even for me), celebrating a friends birthday by trekking part way up a snow-covered and drinking champagne and sending fireworks in the night sky. It seems like time has just flown by. But that sinking feeling in my stomach is always there to remind me just how long it’s actually been. The countless number of sad phone calls made to my best friend at home remind of just how many days I have been gone. Experiencing the death of my 24 year old brother while not being able to attend the funeral or grieve in person with my family and old friends. This is what makes the weeks feel like months, and the months feel years. These are not so subtle reminders that, in some ways, my time is being stolen.
Financially there have been lots of amazing people and organizations who have provided me with what I need and I want to express my utmost gratitude to them.. But most of my money has come in the form of financial aid from the university I am still currently attending in the States. However, I am no longer able to receive money due to my graduating and am going to need to be relying on donations for the rest of my exile. Finding employment here is very hard given that I do not have status nor know the language you need to be employed. I will be having friends set up in a website in the near future with an option to donate both by mail, in person, and online. Anything than anyone can offer would be greatly appreciated as I currently have rent, bills, transportation costs, and I really really like tacos.
I very much appreciate all of the solidarity actions that have happened for Grand Jury resistors. I can’t think of any other act of repression that has inspired so many solidarity actions and it is heartwarming to see that they are still happening. While solidarity means lots of different things to lots of different people, I want to clarify that I have no interest in the discourse of rights and laws. I am not just opposed to some laws, I am opposed to all laws. And for there to be “rights” there must be a state-body that grants these rights. I don’t engage in and support acts of resistance for a more benevolent state and better laws, I desire the immediate eradication of the State, Capital, and all those who seek to uphold the domination I wish to destroy. Solidarity means a lot of things, but it also means attack!
I want to say that I stand in full support of all the actions that occurred on May Day 2012 in Seattle. The Kenzo Nakamura courthouse was attacked because it is an institution that perpetuates the racist, patriarchal, hetero-normative, and ultimately, capitalist forms of domination that continue to enslave the world. While Nakamura died in World War II fighting for a country that was solely trying to further it’s goal of empire and colonization, his family was forced into an internment camp (along with 110,000 other Japanese people) by the racist politicians and judges. Furthermore, the courthouse stands as a monument to two things which disgust me, the State and Capital. I wish nothing more than to see attacks targeted at all facets of domination multiply, as we continue to take care of each other and nurse our wounds, both physical and emotional, together.
While I have been removed from my life, my life has not been removed from me. I’m aware that while my life back in the Northwest goes on without me, but in many ways it’s hard for my life here to go on knowing that. I say this not to criticize but to clarify that I cannot simply view my situation as being on a adventure or “traveling”, and I don’t want others to view it this way either. The reason why I left was because it was the only option other than going to prison, any form of cooperation has never and will never be an option for me. I have been able to experience lots of amazing things during the past eight months, some experiences I wouldn’t trade for anything else. But I’m constantly reminded by the context in which all of these experiences are taking place, and as a special person once told me, context is everything.
This context is not something that ever goes away, but the people I’m able to surround myself with and spend my time with not only make the time pass faster but allow me to appreciate the amount of “freedom” I’m enjoying that I could have had taken away from me by being sent to prison. These people make me want to return and continue to have them be a large part of my life. All in all, I’m doing okay.
PS- It’s my birthday on Tuesday April 2nd, I’m turning 24! Luckily I will be surrounded by new friends but if you feel like celebrating with me, even though I can’t be there, here is a list of things I like so I can be there in spirit! The movie “The Notebook”, Ice-cream cake, jello-shots(!!), Caribbean food (especially Jamaican and Puerto Rican), The TV show “No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain”, and Mountain Dew “Baja Blast” from Taco Bell, and Doo-wop music.
Solidarity and Complicity to All Fellow Resisters!
Long Live Anarchy!
I Love You Maddy!
Yours In Exile,