January 10, 2013

Northwest Grand Jury Resisters Back in Solitary Confinement

The Committee to Stop FBI Repression is circulating the following The Committee Against Political Repression press release:

Repression Against Anarchists Intensifies

Portland, Oregon – Two recent developments indicate an intensification of the government’s campaign against the anarchist movement in the Pacific Northwest.

In late December, the three grand jury resisters being held at the Sea-Tac Detention Center for their refusal to testify were moved into solitary confinement. No explanation has been given for why they were moved.

In a letter describing the situation, Kteeo wrote:
“Prison is incredibly fucked up even at the best of times, but that doesn’t mean people can’t create community within these circumstances. We do. When I was in my unit I was part of a community. I gave support and received support. I learned from people and I taught. My unit doesn’t have educational opportunities so we created our own. I taught math, reading, and lead a workout group. I was part of something, part of laughter and part of tears; part of a shared experience (not that any of us want to be part of a this). I was a part of growth, part of a community that comes together again and again as our units make up changes. But I am no longer in that unit, no longer in that community.”

The Committee Against Political Repression is calling for the discontinuation of the use of solitary confinement for any purpose, and for the immediate release of Matt Duran, Kteeo Olejnik, and Maddy Pfeifer.

In an unrelated case, in Portland, a young man accused of firebombing an empty police car was released on bail, under the condition that he have no contact with any anarchist organizations. He was specifically ordered not to have contact with Resist the NW Grand Jury or the prisoner support group Anarchist Black Cross, clearly indicating that prosecutors want to prevent him from receiving legal, political, or personal support that would aid in his defense.

These developments come after a year which has seen, in addition to the grand jury hearings, SWAT raids against activists in Portland and Seattle, a grotesque inflation of charges in a Portland case involving small-scale vandalism, and indictments against five people accused of participating in a Seattle May Day demonstration where government and corporate property was attacked. Similar events have played out simultaneously in the Bay Area, and elsewhere in the country, forming what critics have called a Federal anti-anarchist witch hunt.

CAPR believes that the governments most recent actions confirm what we have said all along: The state is using the legal system to target the anarchist movement, in the process criminalizing a set of political beliefs and associations. We decry the use of inquisitorial tactics such as secret hearings, coerced testimony, guilt-by-association, and torture in the form of solitary confinement.


CAPR is asking its supporters to call Sea-Tac (206-870-5700) and demand an end to the use of solitary confinement, and to call US Attorney Jenny Durkan (800-797-6722) demanding an end to the grand jury investigation.