Jerry Koch, a recent NYC anarchist Grand Jury resister, was released from prison on Tuesday January 28th. Natasha Lennard summarizes his release and sets his resistance in the context of other Grand Jury resisters, Grand Juries as a repressive institution, and within a larger context of resistance against the state. The article can be read here (and another less enlightening one from NYTimes.com here). We welcome you back Jerry, wish you a easy transition, and thank you for your recent efforts.
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Originally posted on Support the ACAC 19:
Your support is needed, all out for a critical day for the ACAC 19!
All 19 defendants have been ordered to appear at a “settlement hearing” on Friday, October 4 at 850 Bryant St., Department 23. Rally at noon on the steps and fill the courtroom for the hearing immediately following. This will be a key moment where the case could be settled – let’s pack the court and pressure the Judge and the DA to drop the charges!
At the settlement hearing a judge will try to negotiate a deal between the DA and the defendants. The judge will likely call all attorneys into chambers and try to convince both sides to come to an agreement that will avoid trial. Sometimes that means convincing the defense attorneys to try to sell their clients on a deal because the judge thinks that they may be convicted at trial…
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Vahid Brown was or is an FBI instructor at the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, who has recently been attempting to integrate himself into radical and activist scenes in Portland. As an instructor for the CTC’s FBI counter-terrorism training program, he designed curricula on Islamist terrorism and taught regular courses both at the FBI Academy and for Joint Terrorism Task Force training events at FBI Field Offices throughout the United States.
According to FOIA records obtained by the ACLU, it is clear that Vahid was training new FBI recruits for the CTC from 2008-2010. His classes included: Origins of Islam, Islam and Militancy, Modern Jihadist Groups, Islamic Terrorism and the Internet, How Terror Networks Use the Internet, and Radicalization.
Vahid Brown attended Reed College in Portland from 2003 – 2006, and recently has been attempting to re-integrate himself into radical and activist scenes in Portland. He portrays himself as “an activist and woodland creature who has been reading poetry at Portland coffeehouses, ballrooms, and basement bars for nearly twenty years.”
Vahid Brown has worked for the FBI, and as such should be thoroughly unwelcome among anarchists, radicals, and activists. Though his area of expertise is Islamic militancy rather than anarchism, he is still a threat and should not be tolerated, just like any other FBI employee, agent, informant, infiltrator, or cop who attempts to become friendly with radicals.
An agent of the state who has the same subcultural interests as you is still an agent of the state.
An agent of the state who calls himself an activist is still an agent of the state.
An agent of the state who works to destroy the lives of people who aren’t necessarily anarchists is still an agent of the state.
SEPTEMBER 28TH 2013: AN UPDATE ON STEVE’S SITUATION!
It saddens us to announce that the grand jury investigation has received a six month extension and will most likely conclude on March 4th, 2014. During the past six months there has been little news as to the current status or extent of the investigation and subsequent repression. The only news has been what has already been stated, the grand jury will continue.
Steve is still struggling against the grand jury. He is adjusting to life in a new city surrounded by good friends who are both inspiring and supportive. However, in the past week, Steve has been experiencing multiple instances of police harassment; harassment to the degree he has not experienced before.
About two weeks ago at one in the morning, while walking to the corner store, Steve was approached by two local police officers who screamed his name and threw him against their car and into the backseat. After several minutes of questions and insults, in which Steve remained silent, the car drove with Steve out of the parking lot. The drive lasted an hour while the two cops continued to insult and harass Steve. The harassment and verbal abuse was both common insults and questions around his forced exile outside of the United States. The cops went as far as to insult him, stating that they would beat him and leave him out where no one could find him. Eventually the police stopped the car in an industrial park on the outskirts of the city. They then removed Steve from the car and stole his cellphone, jacket, shoes, and emptied his wallet of personal items and money. The cops then left him there. Thankfully, Steve was able to contact friends who later came and took him back home.
Unfortunately, only a few days after that incident the cops returned to harass him. Steve was riding his bike home from a friend’s house when he realized he was being followed by a cop car. The cops in the car began to shout his name and ask him to “go for another walk”. Steve ignored them but the cops continued on his trail. Eventually the cops chose to drive onto the bicycle path and follow behind Steve. At this point Steve was able to cross through another area and escape his harassers. Again, Steve’s friends were able to retrieve him and take him safely back home.
Four days later Steve was targeted again. While walking to the store near his house Steve was stopped by two police officers and placed in the back of a patrol car. He was brought to a parking lot a half hour away and was kept in the back of the car for three hours until an unknown man, identifying himself as a detective came into the parking lot and talked to Steve. The man told Steve that though he does have current legal status in the country he is residing in, the FBI is currently working to have that status revoked. The man also told Steve that if he does not return to the United States and testify before the Grand Jury his life will become a living hell, and that the FBI does not deal well when they don’t get what they want. He suggested that Steve make contact with the FBI agents who want to talk to him but said the decision to do that is ultimately up to him. After the man left, Steve was dropped off in a mall parking lot on the outskirts of the city. He was able to have friends pick him up and take him back home again.
This recent harassment has led to Steve feeling more concerned about his already precarious situation. Although he does have legal status, he does not feel stable in his situation and is currently seeking counsel from immigration lawyers. At this point he is entirely uncertain of whether or not he will be able to stay in his new city, or whether he once again must leave and travel somewhere new.
Steve has been been very grateful and appreciative of the donations offered thus far and continues to do whatever he can to supplement his income where he currently is. However, with the upcoming potential of legal and or relocation costs, Steve’s economic situation has only become more unstable and stressful with this recent wave of intense harassment.
We ask that you donate whatever you can to help Steve. Please support Steve and the rejection of the grand jury investigation against anarchists. Take a moment of your time and resources to show your solidarity with Steve and let him know he is never alone!
In the past 48 hours at least six Seattle climate activists have been approached by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation at their home or school. In light of recent revelations about the extent of state surveillance by federal agencies we feel it is important to share this information with the broader activist community in Seattle and nationwide.
Please show solidarity with the Seattle activists facing this investigation
by sharing this statement. We will provide updates if the situation
Check out these various solidarity events that have been planned. If you know of a public event that’s not listed here, feel free to leave it on the comments. If there’s not something planned in your city, it’s never too late to throw something together. Whether you show up at a demonstration or not July 8 is a chance for individuals or crews to take direct action in any way they see fit, that is to say autonomous action is welcome from educational actions to direct actions, as long as you don’t claim to represent others.
Portland, OR: Rally, noise demo, and mobile dance party, 7:30pm July 8th, Chapman Square
Chehalis, WA: Noise demo in solidarity with Green Hill youth prisoners on strike, 3pm July 8th, Recreation Park. (Carpools leaving from the well in Olympia, meet at 2pm)
Seattle, WA: Noise demo, noon July 8th, King County Jail
Oakland, CA: Fuck July 4th! Prison Strike Solidarity Noise Demo, 8pm July 4th, Oscar Grant Plaza
Corcoran, CA: Mobilization to Support the Prisoner Hunger Strikes, 2pm July 13th, meet at Cesar Chavez Park then march to Corcoran State Prison (carpools leaving from Oakland and Inglewood at 9am)
Norwalk, CA: Candlelight vigil in front of city hall, 7pm July 8th, Norwalk City Hall
Starting on July 8th prisoners in California will initiate statewide hunger strikes for those in the segregation units (Security Housing Units and Administrative Segregation) and work stoppages for those in general population. Prisoners in the Green Hill Juvenile prison in Chehalis Washington have stated they will join the strike and have released their own demands. It is important to remember that prisons cannot function for long without the labor of prisoners.
Outside support groups for these strikes have been organized in San Diego, Los Angeles, the Bay Area, Sacramento, Portland, Olympia, and Seattle.
Demonstrations will be held at the King County Jail in Seattle (5th and James) at Noon on Monday, July 8th and at 3:00 p.m. Recreation Park, Chehalis, Washington (across the street from Green Hill). Carpools will be leaving from the artesian well in Olympia at 2 p.m. The purpose of this demonstration is to communicate to the prisoners of Washington and California solidarity with their struggles, noise is encouraged.
Whether you show up at a demonstration or not July 8 is a chance for individuals or crews to take direct action in any way they see fit, that is to say autonomous action is welcome from educational actions to direct actions, as long as you don’t claim to represent others.
For more information, check out the following websites: