The fucking tyrants are afraid of those who want to govern themselves. They can’t have the illusion of authority broken. If they do the whole damn system will collapse and they will be rendered powerless. So they will do everything within their power to stop the spread of freedom.
Fuck the police state.
The Keene Activity Center (KAC) is a place where (mostly) young libertarians and anarchists in Keene, New Hampshire congregate to talk philosophy, plan activism (including civil disobedience), and generally relax and socialize. Apparently the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been trying very, very hard to infiltrate the KAC, judging from this account of the arrest of one of the club’s members, Rich Paul, on marijuana charges.
Paul is going on trial for petty marijuana distribution offenses pursuant to testimony by an undercover FBI informant. It looks as if the trial is on state charges, but what’s interesting and disturbing is the interest the federal government has taken in the case. FBI agent Phillip Christiana apparently tried to pressure Paul into wearing a wire into the KAC and luring people into pot transactions, offering him immunity from prosecution in exchange. Follow the link to read more about how the FBI agent tried to coerce and trick Paul into waiving his right to counsel.
Here are some questions the FBI ought to answer, that is, if they were in any way accountable to those of us who are paying their salaries under duress:
- Why is the FBI taking such a keen interest in these small-scale marijuana offenses?
- Is the FBI targeting Keene libertarians, anarchists, and “voluntaryists” for their political views?
- Does the FBI countenance or authorize the deceptive and coercive interrogation tactics reportedly used by this agent?
I’m hoping Paul finds himself a good lawyer and negotiates a good plea bargain. His trial starts April 16th, though, so time is short. The local activists seem to be aiming for jury nullification. They shouldn’t bet the house on that. The prosecutor will paint Paul as a big-time drug dealer and scary anarchist.
It says he’s facing 81 years for selling a little grass to his buddies. Wtf is wrong with this picture?
It appears this guy is going to need some financial support from the community. Whether or not he’ll get that from voluntaryists I’m not sure. I hope so.
And when things are heated up and distractions are everywhere, that’s when evil slips its hand in. If the FBI hasn’t infiltrated their group yet, now would be the time to do it. A little caution from here on out would be wise.
Just a few weeks ago, an FBI task force raided a home* in Portland, Oregon very early in the morning. They broke down the front door with a battering ram and threw in a stun grenade, which is non-lethal but produces a very loud and disorienting noise and a blinding bright light. The team locked down the building and secured the sleepy, compliant occupants. The operation was one of several which also occurred in Olympia, WA and Seattle, WA, involving some 60-80 officers.
Just who were these dangerous criminals, these domestic terrorists whose threat level is so high that an FBI team with stun grenades, battering rams, and assault rifles needed to burst into their homes in the wee hours of the morning?
Why, it’s these two young folks,
Reportedly, the FBI search warrant was for black clothing, paint, sticks, computers and cell phones, and ‘anarchist materials or literature.’ According to an FBI Domestic Terrorism guide published by greenisthenewred.com, “anarchists are criminals seeking an ideology to justify their actions,” and are “not dedicated to a particular issue.” Common meeting places are “college campuses, underground clubs, coffee houses/ internet cafes.” The implication is that owning “anarchist” literature is enough to indicate to the FBI that one is a criminal – even if that person happens to be a student studying political thought. Or maybe particularly if you are a student – the FBI document states that anarchists are “educated persons of various backgrounds, often students.”
What even counts as anarchist material? Given the vitriolic US political rhetoric of anti-socialism, you might think a book by Karl Marx or about Tommy Douglas would count. What about someone like Shulamith Firestone? Hell, what about Walt Whitman?
Leah-Lynn and Matt have since been subpoenaed and ordered before a Grand Jury hearing, which is a private hearing used to determine if there is sufficient evidence to indict someone with a federal crime. During the proceedings of a Grand Jury, the defendant is not allowed an attorney to represent her or him. This means that a Grand Jury is essentially a group of twenty-four jurors, a prosecutor looking to indict someone with a felony, and Leah-Lynn Plante, vegan. A Grand Jury is also secret, so we do not know and are not allowed to know what is going on in the courtroom.
Leah was first called before a Grand Jury back on August 2. She refused to co-operate with the jury proceedings, giving them only her name and date of birth. She refused to answer any other questions and explicitly stated she would not talk about any other people. Historically, the Grand Jury process was intended to protect citizens from slanderous or malicious prosecution. However, Grand Juries have been used to isolate members of political activist groups and use the fear of imprisonment to gain information about other groups and persons. Leah was re-subpoenaed, and returned to court yesterday, where she again refused to co-operate. She has been re-re-subpoenaed without yet receiving a date for her next hearing.
All this is because someone vandalized a Seattle courthouse on May Day. Leah has publicly stated that she does not endorse what happened on May Day, and that she was not in Seattle during that time. She has made it clear that her refusal to co-operate is not a strategy to protect criminals, but is rather a protest against a legal system which is unconcerned with the civil rights of citizens. Considering that she could be held in contempt of court and sentenced to jail time, we should take what she says seriously. Matt Duran, also subpoenaed and brought before a Grand Jury, has already been held in contempt of court and is currently in U.S. Federal custody. His contempt hearing was made private by the presiding Judge, a move unprecedented since the McCarthy era.
You know, they arrested Emma Goldman a couple times. I learned that from reading about her. In a book I own.
click here for an audio interview on the history of dissent, political repression, and punk in the Pacific Northwest!
For ongoing information from the source, check in with http://nopoliticalrepression.wordpress.com/
To find out more about the Grand Jury resistance, check in here http://saynothing.noblogs.org/
To find out how to support the resistors, check in at http://supportresist.net/
Updated: Write to Matt in Jail!
Writing to prisoners is an easy and important way to help ease the isolation of imprisonment. Please write letters to Matt!
* Editor’s note – for the past few days, this link was to an article about Leah-Lynn Plante and the Northwest Grand Jury on the National Lawyer’s Guild blog. The Lawyer’s Guild blog appears to no longer have any content posted on it.