Solidarity to Political Prisoners and Jury Resistors!
These two political prisoners were sent to the “SHU” (solitary housing unit) for a crime they weren’t even suspects in, they weren’t ever charged with anything and they weren’t serving out a prison sentence either. They were held for contempt, for refusing to testify to a grand jury about some property damage which had taken place on May Day last year in Seattle and you’ll hear one of these people (KteeO) had testified she wasn’t even at the May Day event at all.
[excerpts from the info provided on the video]
The suspects are alleged to be a group of anarchists, as are KteeO and Matt. Matt and KteeO believe they were brought in to testify based solely on their shared political beliefs with the suspects, and that the FBI is on a witch hunt to track down political dissenters.
Using solitary confinement for convicted felons is controversial enough, but in this case the imprisonment was a form of coercion. The judge only released Matt and KteeO after concluding that they would not break their resolve under the harshest of circumstances.
There were several raids in Seattle in the summer of 2011, which were conducted supposedly to investigate the May Day incident and like KteeO and Matt, this political prisoner (Plante), was not at the event, nor was she even in Seattle at the time! Plante also faced a grand jury and resisted, but it’s not yet known whether she will also be detained in the SHU…
The warrants for the related raids used similar language. One warrant for an early morning raid at a Seattle home also listed black clothing, electronics, and “paperwork—anarchists in the Occupy movement.” In effect, witnesses in Portland and Seattle say, federal and local police burst into people’s homes while they were sleeping and held them at gunpoint while rummaging through their bookshelves, looking for evidence of political leanings instead of evidence of a crime. (For the record, I executed a quick search of my home early this morning and found black clothing, cans of paint, sticks, cloth, electronics, and “anarchist literature.”)
Forty-five minutes after Plante pushed through the revolving door at the courthouse, she reemerged. She smiled shyly while the crowd of protesters cheered. Plante told the crowd that she gave the grand jury her name and her date of birth, refused to answer any other questions, and was released.