Grand Jury Resister Jordan Halliday Loses Appeal

Dear friends,We sincerely regret to inform that Jordan Halliday lost his appeal this morning. We have attached the 10th circuits ruling below.

It is crucial that we show solidarity and support for Jordan in everyway we can. We are calling for solidarity actions from January 21st – 28th, 2012 to show support for Jordan Halliday and grand jury resistance.

During the summer of 2008, the FBI approached Jordan at his place of employment; he refused to answer their questions and told them to leave. They warned him that they would return with a subpoena to testify before a grand jury and six months later they followed through with their threats. They subpoenaed both Jordan, and another ‘activist’ Nikki Viehl who chose to testify. Jordan, however, chose to resist the grand jury in protest due to its abusive and archaic nature.

In March 2009, Jordan appeared before federal grand jury investigating a series of underground animal liberation activities in Utah. He asserted his 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination. The court jailed Jordan for nearly 4 months under civil contempt of court in an effort to compel him to testify. The day after Jordan refused to testify, the grand jury indicted Alex Hall and William James Viehl under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act.

The week following his first grand jury appearance Jordan (still in jail) received a second subpoena, which he again refused. While in jail, Jordan also received letters of support from all over the world, made friends, and confidently reflected on his decision not to snitch.

Upon release the court charged Jordan with federal criminal contempt of court, to which he pleaded guilty in August 2010.

There are no sentencing guidelines for criminal contempt. However, the government decided to follow the guidelines of “obstruction of justice”, which has a 10-16 month sentence range. Fortunately, the court only sentenced Jordan to the low end of 10 months. However, Jordan and his attorney believed this was far too much, and appealed for a guideline range that more closely relates to his charge. They appealed to the 10th circuit court of appeals asking that the sentence be reevaluated under the guidelines for “failure to appear”, which has a 0-6 month sentence range.

In November 2011, Jordan’s attorney argued his case orally before the 10th circuit court of appeals in Denver, Colorado. The feeling of hostility and bias could be felt from the beginning and in an unusually fast ruling (it usually takes 3-6 months to rule), the 10th circuit denied Jordan’s appeal exactly a month and a day after his oral argument in Denver.

It is ironic to note, that also today, baseball legend Barry Bonds received a 30-day house arrest sentence which will likely be reduced for perjury, while lying to a grand jury regarding steroid use in December 3, 2003. It’s unfortunate that Jordan, who didn’t lie, rather just simply refused to testify, isn’t a celebrity.

United States history to be charged with criminal contempt of court after already serving time for civil contempt, for the same act of recalcitrance.

Over the past 20 years many animal rights, environmentalists, anarchists and otherwise radical activists and communities have suffered 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’s incarceration an Iowa grand jury subpoenaed Carrie Feldman and Scott Demuth, and held them in civil contempt for four months. Fortunately, neither Carrie nor Scott has been charged with criminal contempt.

Jordan’s case sets a crucial new precedence in terms of grand jury resistance. While friends and family converge to show support and solidarity for Jordan in this time of great sadness, we are calling out for an eruption of many more moments, for acts of recalcitrance anywhere and everywhere, for actions that show solidarity with Jordan Halliday and grand jury resistance. We are asking that support and solidarity begin immediately. But we will also be focusing on and asking for massive global solidarity actions from January 21st-28th, 2012.

We are expecting Jordan to begin serving

For More information Visit:

*be advised, we have been suffering server-side issues with the support site and are working to address them. If the website fails to load, please keep trying back.

You can also visit his support page via tumblr:

Donations can be sent to:
Jordan Halliday
West Jordan, Utah 84081

or via paypal:

-Support Jordan Committee

Copy of 10th Circuit Decision:

Support Grand Jury Resister Jordan Halliday


Hey friends,

I know it seems like forever ago that Jordan Halliday was first called to a
Grand Jury which he resisted. In a way it was forever ago, he was first
approached by the FBI in 2008 regarding local mink farm raids in Utah. He
refused to cooperate with the FBI and was told he would face a subpoena to
testify in front of a grand jury. Six months later the FBI followed
through, Subpoenaing both Jordan and another ‘activist’ who chose to
testify. Jordan however chose to resist the grand jury in protest due to
its abusive and archaic nature.

Grand juries are called when the government lacks evidence to indict an
individual for a crime. Witnesses are subpoenaed to testify before the
grand jury in hopes of providing evidence to the prosecution. Little is
known about these secretive proceedings, because all information is
considered sealed and classified. A witness that is called before a grand
jury is not allowed to have a lawyer present with them in the grand jury

In recent years activists have seen an increase in subpoenas to grand
juries. These subpoenas are often used to harass and intimidate legal
above-ground activists, like Jordan feels is the case, in his situation.
The prosecutor can ask any question and if you refuse to answer or if you
lie, you could be held in contempt of court or perjury. With no lawyer
present for the witnesses, prosecutors can often ask for information not
relevant to a crime in hopes to harass, intimidate or ‘fish’ for
information, in a secretive manner which many consider a modern day witch
hunt. Jordan said he was mainly asked information about his friends,
family, and general life and refused to answer any of them. Continue reading

Fight Grand Jury Repression: National Call-In Day This Tuesday

We are asking you to call those in charge of the repression aimed against anti-war leaders and the growing Palestine solidarity movement.
We want your help in promoting the national call in day to demand:
— Call Off the Grand Jury Witch-hunt Against International Solidarity Activists!
— Support Free Speech!
— Support the Right to Organize!
— Stop FBI Repression!
— International Solidarity Is Not a Crime!
Over 50 cities, hundreds of groups, and thousands of people protested against FBI and U.S. Grand Jury repression on Tuesday January 25. The protests are a response to ongoing and expanding repression originating from U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald’s office in Chicago. On September 24th, the FBI raided anti-war and solidarity activists’ homes and subpoenaed fourteen in Chicago, Minneapolis, and Michigan. All fourteen decided to not appear before the Grand Jury in October. The Grand Jury is a secret and closed inquisition, where the U.S. Attorney controls the entire proceedings, hand picks the jurors, there is no judge, and the activists are not allowed a lawyer.

“Why I Will Not Testify:” Chicago Grand Jury Resistance

Statement made by Maureen Murphy, a Palestine solidarity activist living in Chicago…

I have been summoned to appear before a federal grand jury in Chicago on Jan. 25. But I will not testify, even at the risk of being put in jail for contempt of court, because I believe that our most fundamental rights as citizens are at stake.

I am one of 23 anti-war, labor and solidarity activists in Chicago and throughout the Midwest who are facing a grand jury as part of an investigation into “material support for foreign terrorist organizations.”

No crime has been identified. No arrests have been made. And when it raided several prominent organizers’ homes and offices on Sept. 24, the FBI acknowledged that there is no immediate threat to the American public. So what is this investigation really about?
Continue reading

Students for Justice in Palestine Condemns US Government Witch Hunt

Press release, Students for Justice in Palestine, 29 December 2010

The following press release was issued by the Students for Justice in Palestine (US) on 29 December 2010:

“For if they take you in the morning, they will be coming for us that night.”
– James Baldwin, in an open letter to Angela Davis, 19 November 1970

As students at over fifty American universities, we unequivocally condemn the abuse of grand jury subpoenas to chill the exercise of First Amendment rights by university students and anti-war activists speaking and organizing against Israel’s continued oppression of the Palestinian people. Since 24 September 2010, the FBI has served at least 24 grand jury subpoenas on students and activists in a secret investigation that many have called a witch hunt. We call upon Attorney General Eric Holder and United States Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald to respect the civil rights and free speech of all those who support the Palestinian struggle for freedom by immediately withdrawing grand jury subpoenas which threaten the First Amendment rights of students and activists around the country.

The government’s assault on organizations and individuals who support the Palestinian struggle for freedom has become increasingly authoritarian. The abuse of laws criminalizing “material support for terrorism” is unprecedented and, had they been implemented at the time of South African apartheid, would have effectively criminalized broad American support for the anti-apartheid movement. At the apparent behest of US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, the government today has cast a net so wide that it has entangled journalists, college students, and peace activists. We know that a campaign so indiscriminate will seriously impinge on the First Amendment and other civil rights of people living in the United States. This will, in particular, affect active and outspoken students on university campuses, especially those of Palestinian descent.
Continue reading

More Grand Jury subpoenas in Chicago – now against Electronic Intifada

FBI delivers subpoenas to 4 more anti-war, solidarity activists
Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2020

The FBI came unannounced to knock on doors at two apartments in Chicago this morning. FBI agent Robert Parker, under orders from U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald’s office, delivered a subpoena to Maureen Murphy. Murphy, like several other individuals served subpoenas, is an organizer with the Palestine Solidarity Group-Chicago and is the Managing Editor of the online journal “Electronic Intifada”.

This continues the repression unleashed by Fitzgerald on the anti-war movement since September 24th, when fourteen subpoenas were delivered to anti-war, labor, and solidarity activists in coordinated raids involving more than 70 federal agents. Armed FBI agents raided homes, taking computers, phones, passports, documents, notebooks, and even children’s artwork. A total of 23 subpoenas have been served to activists around the country.

Maureen Murphy said, “Along with several others, I am being summoned to appear before the Grand Jury on Tuesday, January 25th, in the Dirksen Federal Building in Chicago. We are being targeted for the work we do to end U.S. funding of the Israeli occupation, ending the war in Afghanistan and ending the occupation of Iraq. What is at stake for all of us is our right to dissent and organize to change harmful US foreign policy.” Ms. Murphy is also the Managing Editor of the widely-read website, The Electronic Intifada.

In addition, three women in Minneapolis – Tracy Molm, Anh Pham, and Sara Martin – are threatened with reactivated subpoenas by Fitzgerald’s office and new Grand Jury dates. Tom Burke of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression explained, “It is likely the three individuals, like all the others so far, will continue to refuse to take part in Fitzgerald’s witch hunt. Fitzgerald can then call for putting them in jail as long as he wants.”

For more information:;

Contact: Tom Burke, Committee to Stop FBI Repression, 773-844-3612

BREAKING: FBI delivers more subpoenas to anti-war organizers in Chicago

stop fbiFBI Delivers Subpoenas to More Anti-War, Solidarity Activists

The FBI has informed a lawyer from the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) that at least three subpoenas to appear before a Grand Jury have been delivered in the Chicago area.

Attorney Jim Fennerty confirmed that FBI agent Robert Parker informed him just before 1:00 pm today that the subpoenas were being delivered at that moment.

This is a continuation of the assault on the anti-war movement that began on September 24th. This case began with 14 subpoenas delivered to anti-war, labor and solidarity activists in coordinated raids that swept the Midwest, involving scores of federal agents. “The FBI is continuing their campaign to intimidate the movement,” stated Joe Iosbaker of the national Committee to Stop FBI Repression. Iosbaker was one of those raided and subpoenaed in September.

Fennerty is one of the lead NLG attorneys from the legal team for the activists. According to Fennerty, “The new subpoenas are summoning people for grand jury dates. At least one of the three has been told to appear before the grand jury Tuesday, January 25th, in the Dirksen Federal Building in Chicago.”
Continue reading

Lynne Stewart on October FBI Raids

From Political Prisoner Lynne Stewart


My message to you today is neither upbeat nor optimistic. We are living in dangerous times for our movement and it is getting worse as this insatiable government flexes the law to enable its nets to ensnare more people and further shred the body politic.

This past week’s FBI raids on the support groups for various political causes, international, anti-imperialist, peace, animal rights–make it appear that anyone who opposes government policy and speaks or acts on behalf of that belief is now to be denoted a Terrorist and have his privacy invaded or be subjected to a subpoena or potential arrest. There has been a robust response from the movement with rallies and protests in many cities, the largest in Chicago and Minneapolis, where the most widespread raids occurred.

This is most excellent but unfortunately it may be too little too late as the law enforcement community licks its chops at the prospect of distracting, occupying and ultimately destroying all vestiges of resistance in this country.

Once when I spoke I said that I thought I thought my case was the canary in the mine shaft. A test of the expansion of the Law on Material Support of Terrorism. If they can label me (and) convict me behind their smokescreen of fear and intimidation and put me behind bars for a lengthy time, then they are ready to do it to the movement, to all of us. As some General said of Vietnam, “It’s not much of a war but it’s all {they} got.” We too must ready ourselves to defend not only our clients, who will come to us victimized by this outrageous, overreaching assault, but also ourselves as attorneys. As shown in my case, they will not be readily distinguished between the two. It is the worst of times and we must ready ourselves for the onslaught. As I said, the Law under which the FBI is operating is the prohibition of Material Aid to Terrorism, enacted during the Clinton Administration, and embraced by federal law enforcement ever since. The Secretary of State denotes certain countries and organizations as Terrorists. (There is no realistic opportunity to contest this in any court of Law.) Thereafter any kind of material aid is criminal per se. In my case it was a press release to Reuters. In the Holy Land case it was money donated to Palestinian charity. And in the Parliamentarian case, decided by the Supremes, it was counseling about methods to bring about peaceful resolution of disputes. These were the starting bell, indicating that anything, even speech, could be considered illegal and then loosing the hounds to discover (manufacture?) evidence.

Only time can tell what will be the outcome of this affront to the Constitution. Will people end up in jail or taking a principled stand, as I did, against these charges? Will there be the kind of overwhelming support for them that will convince the government that it reveals too much of their underlying desire to be rid of any criticism? Will resistance to subpoenas by not testifying fill the jails, as Maryland’s own Dan Berrigan suggested, and block the evil attempt? I, from my perspective, have seen this before –when they rounded up supporters in the 1970’s and 80’s of the Puerto Rican freedom fighters and also anyone who had any relationship with the Black Liberation Army. There was spirited resistance then inside and outside the jails and Courthouse.

Right now, we must take the same responsibility against a much stronger and more vicious government. Resist, Resist, and turn the tide that threatens Civil Liberties and the fabric of the Constitution. October, 2010

Justice Department ups ante against the anti-war movement

By Michael Deutsch / The Rag Blog / November 16, 2010

In late September the FBI carried out a series of raids of homes and anti-war offices of public activists in Minneapolis and Chicago. Following the raids the Obama Justice Department subpoenaed 14 activists to a grand jury in Chicago and also subpoenaed the files of several anti-war and community organizations.

In carrying out these repressive actions, the Justice department was taking its lead from the Supreme Court’s 6-3 opinion last June in Holder v. the Humanitarian Law Project which decided that non-violent First Amendment speech and advocacy “coordinated with” or “under the direction of” a foreign group listed by the Secretary of State as “terrorist” was a crime.

The search warrants and grand jury subpoenas make it quite clear that the federal prosecutors are intent on accusing public nonviolent political organizers, many affiliated with Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO), of providing “material support,” through their public advocacy, for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
Continue reading

Grand Jury Resister Jordan Halliday Releases Song “I’ll Miss You”

Animal rights activist Jordan Halliday was recently sentenced to 10 months in prison for his refusal to testify in a grand jury convened to investigate the release of mink from Utah fur farms by the Animal Liberation Front. Halliday refused to cooperate because grand juries have repeatedly been used by the government as a tool for fishing expeditions, forcing activists to testify about their political beliefs and political associations.

Grand juries have historically been used against social movements (and are also being used against antiwar activists in the Midwest). They’re a tool to harass and intimidate activists, and foster fear and distrust among activist communities.

Visit Jordan Halliday’s support website.