Three anarchists are in jail in Seattle for refusing to talk about their politics and other activists before a federal grand jury, and prosecutors have shown no signs of letting up. Another anarchist has now come forward about receiving a subpoena, and has refused to cooperate in any way — even entering the courtroom.
Portland anarchist Kerry Cunneen received a grand jury subpoena on December 14th, according to a statement published by the Committee Against Political Repression. The date was pushed back until January 3rd, but Cunneen refused to enter the courthouse.
“I will not cooperate with this grand jury nor will I in any way aid the state in its efforts to imprison people,” Cunneen said in a statement.
The grand jury appears to be investigating May Day vandalism at the Nakamura Federal courthouse in Seattle. Cunneen and the other grand jury resisters are not accused of those crimes, but were subpoenaed to the grand jury to answer questions about their political associations, their politics, and their friends.
Matt Duran, Katherine Olejnik, and Maddy Pfeiffer all refused to answer any questions during the grand jury hearing, saying it was a political witch hunt against anarchists because of their political beliefs. They are all in jail in Seattle, where they may remain for the full term of the grand jury. Cunneen risks similar jail time for taking a principled stand against cooperation.
Meanwhile, grand jury tactics are also being used to target animal rights activists in California.
Grand juries have historically been used against radical social movements to foster fear and distrust, and to intimidate activists into providing information about their communities.
“I am in solidarity with the May Day 5, with Maddy, Matt and Kteeo, and everyone else who has met repression with resilience,” Cunneen said. “To all whose solidarity has come in some form of action, it is inspiring and must continue.”