CAPR: Seattle FBI now targeting climate activists

Short update from the Committee to Resist Political Repression:

In the past 48 hours at least six Seattle climate activists have been approached by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation at their home or school. In light of recent revelations about the extent of state surveillance by federal agencies we feel it is important to share this information with the broader activist community in Seattle and nationwide.

Please show solidarity with the Seattle activists facing this investigation by sharing this statement. We will provide updates if the situation escalates.

Seattle: Rowdy May Day demonstrations lead to 8 police officer injuries, 18 arrests

Unfortunately, as of this early hour the day after the night full of demonstrations and street skirmishes, the most complete write up of what happened is being presented by the Seattle Police Department. We do not endorse this report, nor do we believe that everything that is included is at all factual. The Seattle Police also reference flash-bang grenades, a dangerous weapon producing bright light and loud concussive explosions, as “blast balls”. Once a more complete, accurate, and honest reflection is posted from our comrades on the ground, we will share that as well. So, read this critically, understanding that the authors are clearly not on our side, while also understanding that unlike the Alex Jones wingnuts that permeate the blog-o-sphere, we understand that this is not some completely fictional account, and that our comrades definitely were on the offensive against the cops last night, and support them in their actions.

From the Seattle PD Blotter:

With the exception of a few minor scuffles between clowns and our local superheroes, the 13th Annual May Day March for Worker and Immigrant Rights was a complete success and went off without a hitch.

But two hours after that march ended, at about 6 pm, another group of demonstrators smashed windows, hurled rocks at officers and bystanders, souring an otherwise peaceful day.

Earlier in the day, police throughout downtown provided traffic control and security as thousands of people celebrated their First Amendment rights during the May Day March for Worker and Immigrant Rights.

Police were prepared to provide the same level of public safety service for a 6 o’clock demonstration, that began at Seattle Central Community College. The Capitol Hill march was unpermitted, and demonstrators did not provide the city with any information about which route the march would take through the city. According to a flyer, this march was advertised as the Anti-Capitalist/Anti-State May Day 2013 Rally and March.

Even without a permit, police worked to assist demonstrators as they marched down Broadway, providing traffic control.

The behavior of the group during the evening demonstration steadily escalated into violence. Just after 7 p.m., protestors began spraying the costumed Rain City Superheroes with silly string. Shortly after that, the window at Sun Liquor was smashed.

The march then wound its way downtown on Pike Street towards the Downtown Retail Core, where demonstrators began shoving and attacking reporters as they provided live on-air reports from the event.

Shortly after that, demonstrators ignited a smoke device, spewing orange pinkish smoke throughout the block.

After demonstrators began damaging property, throwing fireworks and rocks at officers, police formed a tactical line to prevent the marchers from moving any further into the retail core or on to the Interstate on-ramps.

After demonstrators began throwing metal rods and full water bottles at officers and business windows, officers moved in and made arrests.

When officers arrested several protesters and began loading them into transport vans, demonstrators surrounded the officers and prevented the vehicles from leaving.

Some demonstrators then began to throw large rocks and pieces of asphalt at officers.

In the interest of safety, police commanders issued clear orders to the crowd to disperse. The order was repeated three times.

Meanwhile, some demonstrators continued to hurl rocks, bottles, fireworks and a skateboard at officers.

Officers chose to deploy oleoresin capsicum, better known as OC pepper spray, to move the crowd.

It should be noted that all officers equipped with OC spray must be pepper sprayed during training before they are able to use OC in the field.

Officers gave demonstrators numerous opportunities to leave as police worked to clear downtown streets. However, a large group of demonstrators moved up Olive Way. Officers followed them using pepper spray and blast balls to keep the crowd moving.

Officers endured a barrage of rocks and bottles throughout the melee until the crowd finally did disperse around 9 p.m.

In all, 17 people were arrested for various offenses including property destruction and assault.

Eight officers sustained injuries, mostly bumps and bruises with the exception of one female officer who was struck in the knee by a fist sized rock.

A woman driving by the scene of one of the protests was injured when a protester hurled a glass bottle at her car, shattering her window. The woman sustained cuts from broken glass and was treated at the scene by medics.

Reports indicate limited damage to cars and business around the demonstration route. A complete tally of damage will be forthcoming.

The department will form a task force to investigate all criminal activity that occurred during the evening demonstration. Anyone with pictures or video clips is asked to save them.

The department will thoroughly review all force used by officers, per department policy.

Seattle: 5 indicted for May Day Action

From The Stranger – by Brendan Kiley

King County prosecutor Dan Satterberg has filed charges against five individuals for participating in the May Day smashup. Charging documents accuse five of riot, fourth-degree assault, and malicious mischief “against the peace and dignity of the state of Washington.”

The accused are: Phillip Neel, Kellen Linnell, Meaghnn Gonzales, Matthew Erickson, and Jason Michaels. Two have priors for crimes such as marijuana possession, obstructing a police officer, and harassment. Three have no known priors.

Police identified the suspects by articles of clothing and tattoos that showed up on camera footage, officers’ reports from May Day, and search warrants of the suspects’ homes. Officers also received some anonymous tips and say they recognized some of the suspects from Occupy protests. Officers also say they gleaned information from cell phones and other electronic devices that were taken and searched.

These charges are not part of the current federal grand jury that is ostensibly looking into May Day, and Emily Langlie from the US Attorney’s office says she has “no idea” whether the five might be called before the grand jury.

It has also come out, in documents filed in October, that FBI agents followed some Portland activists up to Seattle where they participated in May Day demonstrations.

Further Coverage from KOMO

Northwest Grand Jury: Matt Duran imprisoned; Leah Plante released and re-subpoenaed

“Updates as of 4:40 PM” from Committee Against Political Repression:Around 3:00 PM today, Matt was taken to a contempt of court hearing. The judge decided to make the hearing private instead of public. It is our understanding that this action is unprecedented since the McCarthy Era of political witch hunts. The entire 2nd floor of the Federal Court House in Seattle where the grand jury itself was taking place was closed off to the public as well as the 13th floor where the contempt hearings were taking place. As of this writing, Leah has not been taken to her contempt hearing yet.

As of 4:00 PM, Matt is now in federal custody. He has another hearing scheduled on Wednesday, September 26th. We do not know where is being taken yet, but supporters are still at the court house to support him.

As of 4:30 PM, Leah was released and re-subpoenaed. She does not know the date of her next subpoena.

We are asking for supporters to call Judge Richard Jones in his chambers at 206-370-8870 and demand that Matt not be charged with contempt and be released.
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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

What You Can Do This Week to Support Grand Jury Resistance!

From the Committee Against Political Repression:

Thank you to all the individuals who have reached out to us and the organizations who have signed our solidarity statement. More than 160 organizations have signed on to the statement. This has been an important first step in supporting those facing political repression in the Pacific Northwest. We have a long and rough journey ahead of us, but we are inspired by the outpouring of support that we have already received. Many people have asked what else they can do to contribute to this struggle so we have come up with a short list of options. Those resisting the grand jury will be making a statement later this week.

Call In Day- Wednesday, August 1st. We are asking for people to call the US Attorney for Washington, Jenny A Durkan on Wednesday, August 1st to demand an end to political persecution and that the grand jury and investigation be stopped. When you call the U.S Attorney’s office, please let them know that you are speaking for yourself and not the individuals resisting the grand jury subpoenas. Be aware of how the things you say will impact the people you are trying to help. Feel free to use our example to help you figure out what to say. If you make a call, please email us (nopoliticalrepression@gmail.com) and let us know how what kind of response you got from the Attorney’s office.

An example of what you might say:

“Hi. I am Doug Brown. I am calling about the grand jury being impaneled in Seattle, Washington this Thursday, August 2nd. I am disgusted that the FBI and government are persecuting political dissent in our country. This group of people is being harassed and intimated for their political beliefs. I demand that the grand jury and investigation be ended immediately and that the governments repression of social movements stop. Thank you for taking my comments.”

Telephone: (206) 553-7970 or toll free at: (800) 797-6722
Fax Line : (206) 553-0882
ISDN: (206) 264-2765

Thursday, August 2. Come to Seattle to stand against the Grand Jury witch hunt! There will be a demonstration in solidarity with those affected by the raids and subpoenas starting at 7:30am and throughout the day. The demonstration will be at the federal court house, 700 Stewart St., in Seattle.

Can’t make it to Seattle? Plan another event or demonstration in solidarity! Please email us at nopoliticalrepression@gmail.com to tell us about your event.

Please donate! There is a “Donate” tab on our website (http://nopoliticalrepression.wordpress.com) We are trying to raise legal fees for all of those affected. We also are trying to provide material support for those that are resisting the grand jury.

Please spread this information far and wide!

If you have questions, email us at nopoliticalrepression@gmail.com. We are still taking signatures from organizations so email us if your organization would like to sign on. Keep checking this website for updates in the coming days.

Seattle: SWAT raid house in relation to Mayday investigation

From The Stranger:

At approximately 5:45 am this morning, L was sleeping in bed with his girlfriend, in his Central District apartment. (L spoke with me before speaking to an attorney, so I’ve agreed to leave his name out of it until he consults one.) The apartment is on the third story of an old house that’s been partitioned off into apartment units.

Around that time, he heard a bang near the main, first-floor entrance. “My first instinct,” he said, “was that it was Fourth of July and we were hearing fireworks.” Then he says he heard from below: “This is the Seattle Police Department.” He hadn’t heard fireworks. He’d heard police kicking down his door and throwing flash-bang grenades into the house.

So L crawled out of bed, put on some pants, and knelt on the floor with his hands behind his head—before the police even entered his apartment. L wasn’t surprised. He’s been a participant in the Occupy events, anarchist circles, and the May Day protests (which thousands of people attended, including myself, in a professional capacity). And in the past few weeks, such people have been visited by FBI agents—who asked them to become informants—and had their houses raided and their telephones confiscated, presumably for social-mapping purposes.

L had heard these stories and was expecting a visit sooner or later. “We knew that SWAT teams tend to come in with automatic guns,” he said, “and nobody wanted to test the trigger-happiness of Seattle cops.” So they got down on their knees.

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