Grand Jury Alert for West Coast
there are active grand juries in the bay area and southern california calling over 10 activists as witnesses. they must be fought and destroyed!
Protest in support of local activists:
Grand Jury in SF Seeks to Intimidate Activists -- Join us as a united front against government sponsored harassment.
Ten Bay Area residents, including animal advocates, alternative media members, prisoner rights activists, and members of the greater Bay Area progressive community, have been subpoenaed to a Federal Grand Jury in San Francisco. The first hearing is Wednesday, June 22. Please join us for this very important date!
Where: Federal Courthouse at 450 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco
When: Wednesday, June 22, 9am
Grand Juries represent an outright assault on our most fundamental of rights! No matter what your issue is, if you rely upon your right to speak out for what you believe in, this is your issue. It's time for us to raise our voices, or risk loosing them forever!
Rob "Ruckus" Middaugh, a former political prisoner, a Chicano-Mexicano
anti-authoritarian, has been served by the FBI with a Subpoena to testify
before a Federal Grand Jury in San Diego at the Federal Office Building,
880 Front Street, in Room 5251 or 5254 (according to the notice) on
Tuesday, June 28, at 1:30 p.m. Middaugh was imprisoned for three years as a
result of his arrest at the Long Beach police riot against an anarchist
celebration of May Day several years ago. After his release from prison, he
was threatened with further federal prosecution over a previous case that
grew out of opposition to a racist "American Patrol" anti-Mexican and
anti-immigrant rally at the Westwood Federal Building, during one of the
racist group's annual Fourth of July rallies, which included open neo-nazis.
Rob needs our support, along with the others subpoenaed to appear in San
Diego. There are also several grand juries in the SF Bay Area, which have
been issuing subpoenas to animal and earth defenders and to former Black
Panthers and their supporters. These grand juries are part of a new wave of
repression, and as in past instances, represent a fishing expedition to try
to create divisions among, and extract information from, activists and
organizers. In the past such grand juries have actually been used for
political internment, by granting limited "immunity" as a means to coerce
people's testimony by stripping them of the fifth amendment protection
against self-incrimination. It is another example of the new McCarthyism
that is taking hold under the USA PATRIOT Act and the "endless war on
terror," which is trying to criminalize dissent.
We must defeat these grand jury witch-hunts the way previous simil
campaigns were defeated, by universal non-collaboration and a refusal to
talk to the FBI or to testify to the grand jury. For more information,
contact email@example.com, or check out
wwwddgeocitiesddcom/jerichoamnestycoalitionla or http://www.FBI-WITCHHUNT.COM
The Grand Jury system, long since abolished in most democratic nations, denies targeted individuals their most fundamental of civil rights and poses a grave threat to the constitutional rights of every American.
Legally, a Grand Jury is a type of common law jury responsible for investigating alleged crimes, examining evidence, and issuing indictments. When targeted against social movements however, Grand juries are a tool of political repression used to frighten activists, create mistrust, drive people out of the movement, and cause others to inform on friends out of fear. Grand Juries are often used as "fishing expeditions" to gather any and all information on a particular social movement.
A Grand Jury, which operates in complete secrecy, is distinguished from a petit jury, which is used during trial. Grand Juries consist of 16 to 23 jurors who are not screened for bias. They convene for periods of 18 months, with possible 6-month extensions thereafter. Normal rules of evidence do not apply to a Grand Jury investigation, and no judge is present in the Grand Jury room to ensure the rule of law is upheld.
Federal Grand Juries allow the U.S. Attorney's office to compel activists to testify without demonstrating any probable cause or reason to believe they have any relevant information about a case. Often activists are subpoenaed simply because of their political beliefs.
Subpoenaed individuals are not allowed the presence of legal counsel and are often denied the right to invoke Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. If an individual refuses to answer questions about such things as who her friends are and what activist groups she is involved with, she can be jailed for months and even years.
Grand Jury proceedings completely revolve around the prosecution (US attorney). Defense attorneys are not allowed to present evidence, question witnesses or even enter the grand jury room. The US attorney, however, is allowed to present any witnesses and evidence she desires, including hearsay testimony.
Double jeopardy does not apply to the grand jury. If an individual appears before the Grand Jury, refuses to testify and spends two years in jail for contempt, legally she can still be re-subpoenaed and the whole process can start over again.
Grand Juries are little more than modern day inquisitions. Instead of scapegoating innocent people as "witches" and "heretics," they target innocent activists as "terrorists." We are only now beginning to realize the full extent to which Grand Juries were abused by the government throughout the 1960s in their efforts to disrupt social justice organizations of the era.
add a comment on this article
add a comment on this article