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forest defense

Oregon Federal Grand Jury Targets Forest Activists

A sitting federal grand jury is targeting forest activists in Oregon. Subpoenas have been served by FBI agents to several people in Portland and elsewhere in Oregon.
Forest activists and others in Oregon have been served with subpoenas to appear before a federal grand jury now sitting in Portland. An unknown number of individuals began to testify before the grand jury last week after receiving visits by FBI agents at their residences or workplaces.
As one local activist states, "This is not your usual grand jury, where a local district attorney gets indictments handed down."
Federal grand juries are commonly viewed as useful tools against popular political movements, such as environmental activists in Oregon. All grand juries are supposedly secret, with both proceedings and members being protected. However, frequent and selective leaks by the FBI have been a common practice in the past.
As attorney Brian Glick explained in the book War at Home (South End Press),
"A grand jury subpoena carries legal penalties for non-cooperation. Those who refuse to testify, despite immunity from direct use of that testimony against them, can be jailed for contempt of court..."
"This process has been manipulated to turn the grand jury into an instrument of political repression. Frustrated by the consistent refusal of trial juries to convict on charges of overtly political crimes, the FBI and U.S.Department of Justice convened over 100 grand juries in the late 1960s'..."
A number of political activists, notably Puerto Rican independistas, have refused to cooperate with federal grand juries in the last two decades. Several have been jailed for periods of up to eighteen months.
Oregon has seen several federal grand juries unsuccessfully attempt to slow the spread of environmental activism in the last decade. One activist, Craig Rosebraugh, has refused to supply useful information to seven grand juries (www.protectcivilliberties.com)
One veteran of previous FBI visits stated, "It should be obvious to anyone who has followed the civil suit by Earth First! organizer Judi Bari against the FBI that they are not friendly to environmental movements (www.judibari.org). Anyone who is served a subpoena should contact a lawyer who is familiar with grand juries, which usually means someone with the National Lawyers Guild (www.nlg.org). Anyone who is worried about this should read 'Security for Activists' (see Site Guide at www.publiceye.org). Remember, people have told the FBI and Justice Department to stick it in their ear and walked away free."

homepage: homepage: http://www.judibari.org www.nlg.org www.protectcivilliberties.com www.publiceye.org

They hate us for our freedoms 10.Jun.2002 09:52


Freedom is an ephemeral stage between long periods of repression. Like a mayfly between chrysalis and egg.

Does it matter whether the repression comes from overseas as Al-Quaida or Fascism or Communism or whether it is home grown as in the FBI protecting the "freedom" of large corporations to dam any river, cut any tree and repressing its citizens who want to protect their own freedoms?

I don't know. I'm getting confused.

Drowning in uncertainty and dispair
They hate us for our freedoms
They hate us for our freedoms


Craig Rosebraugh anon@tao.ca

I feel it is a horrible decision on the part of those recently subpoenaed to the Portland grand jury to try to keep the situation low profile and secretive. As a community - not just in Portland but nationally - we have a right to know who has been subpoenaed and who is cooperating with this grand jury. The grand jury is not just about those subpoeaned, it affects everyone who in some way struggle against the state. One does not win against a grand jury by testifying and giving information or cooperating in any way with the system. This only leads to more people becoming subpoenaed, indictments being handed down and an affirmation of the grand jury system as a whole. No matter how many times this logic is said, I still see people giving into the grand jury system with its attempt to intimidate. The grand jury is used as a political tool to disrupt social and political movements. This occurs by subpoenaing people who then become frightened and refuse to expose the system and resist it. By not talking to others who have been subpoenaed, by not calling public attention to the grand jury, and by not outright resisting the inquisition, those subpoenaed are giving into and cooperating with the state. In my book anyone who cooperates with the state - especially in such a manner - is a major part of the problem.

So a number of people were scheduled to appear and testify last Tuesday in front of a federal grand jury in Portland. What occurred on this day? Did people go in and testify? What exact questions were asked during the proceedings? What were the exact responses? It thoroughly disgusts me that this information has not been made public. As a national community we have a right to know.

The torching of the log trucks last year should be supported by anyone actually concerned about the threats posed to the natural environment by human greed. It is a shame more of this activity does not occur.