On March 4, 2009, Jordan Halliday refused to testify before a federal grand jury investigating a series of Utah mink liberations. On March 5, William Viehl and Alex Hall (“AETA 2”) were charged and arrested for one of these actions under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act and one conspiracy. For declining to answer questions about the animal rights community of Utah, the judge held Jordan in jail for four months under civil contempt of court. Upon release the prosecutor charged him with criminal contempt.
Jordan is the first dissident in decades to face incarceration under both civil and criminal contempt for a single act of recalcitrance. Over the past twenty years many animal rights and otherwise anarchist militants have suffered grand jury subpoenas and coercive incarceration, but rarely for more than a few weeks. But at present we are experiencing an increase of pressure. Shortly after Jordan was jailed, the state incarcerated Carrie Feldman and Scott Demuth for four months for resisting an Iowa grand jury.
While in jail, Jordan received thousands of letters of support from all over the world, made friends, and reflected confidently on his decision not to snitch.
Jordan now faces possibly one additional year in prison for criminal contempt.
Support Jordan at his Change of Plea Hearing on Tuesday, July 27th at 10:00 AM with a preceding rally at 9:00 AM. Grand jury resistance and Jordan’s circumstance in particular present yet another moment for solidarity to make a stronghold and, simply, for all of us to feel less alone. As we take the Fifth with a smile at grand jury inquisitions, as we rally with our friends, as we raise bail & get creative, as we communicate, as we all feel this heat, in doing so we diffuse it.
If you won’t be in Salt Lake City on July 27th, please send any letters or financial assistance to cover legal costs to Karen Halliday, address available at http://supportjordan.com.