In Silence, We Roar!: Grand Jury Resistance in the Northwest

From Puget Sound Anarchists

The following is a leaflet meant to be distributed far and wide. The ideal format is a half-sheet with both a front and a back side. Solidarity with the silent! See the attachment in the link for the leaflet. Text as follows

In late July of this year, anarchists in Portland (Oregon), Seattle and Olympia (Washington) were subpoenaed to testify for a Grand Jury. Some people were served their subpoenas and will be appearing on September 13th, while others avoided being served meaning they are not legally bound to appear, and have chosen lay low for the duration of the grand jury. In conjunction with the wave of subpoenas, the FBI and Joint Terrorism Task Force raided three known anarchist houses in Portland.

While the reason for and testimony from grand juries are not public, the purpose of this Grand Jury seems to be an investigation of what occurred in downtown Seattle on May Day 2012. The media reports anywhere from 150,000-300,000 dollars worth of damage occurred on that day, so clearly the state is looking for anyone they can punish for these actions. But punishment is not the only reason for this witch-hunt, it is clear the State also wishes to use fear to silence anarchist struggles. The Police, FBI, and JTTF want to make sure another incident like this does not occur anywhere in the Northwest.

It has been one month since the mania has started, although it seems like it could have been last week or even yesterday. In these intense moments time tends to lose it’s meaning. But this experience has not made us weaker but stronger. The State’s intended goal of isolation has only brought more anarchist communities closer together. New friendships and affinities have already been formed and strengthened, and this is a process that will continue. Despite all the hard moments; the curiosity of who will be indicted, the thought of being led away from the court room in chains, the phone calls to parents explaining why they won’t be seeing their child for the next eighteen months, the friends who are and will be missed, we remain non-cooperating. We remain silent.

We respond to this witch-hunt with silence, but a silence far from the one the state desires. It is the silence of refusal, not the silence of compliance. We use this silence to protect the one’s we care about. We use this silence because some of us were there running amongst the people dressed in all black, listening to the symphony of shattered glass falling to the sidewalk and watching reinforced black flags break through windows of Niketown in an almost synchronized fashion. More importantly, we use this silence because these are some of the moments that actually make us feel alive, and a little more free, and without this silence those moments could not exist. They seek a silence that will make us fear their cages; we seek a silence that will stop them dead in their tracks.

This silence has already inspired action, both near and far. From banks and luxury cars being vandalized in France to banner drops in New York City, and all of the other solidarity actions, it’s apparent that many find this silence inspiring. Whether one is choosing to lay low or face the wrath of the court, with our silence of refusal we make their mission of spreading fear and isolation that much more difficult. In Silence, We Roar!

Handout available here

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