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Grand Jury Alert for West Coast

The FBI has launched a largescale dragnet aimed at "ecoterrorism" in California, in the wake of the recent much criticized hearings before the House Environment and Public Works Committee, and various recent FBI setbacks and embarrassments in its touted "War on Terrorism."

Numerous prominent grassroots community activists throughout California are being delivered FBI subpoenas to appear before Grand Juries, apparently in connection with various unsolved alleged incidents of "ecoterrorism." For additional stories, see: sandiego.indymedia.org/en/2005/06/109378.shtml, sfbay.indymedia.org/news/2005/06/1748279.php, and www.fbiwitchhunt.com.

The Grand Jury is a controversial tactic that traditionally was reserved for pursuing highlevel government officials, powerful organized crime syndicates, and other high level racketeering cases, often involving cases of official corruption, by offering insiders "whistleblower" protection and legal immunity in exchange for forcing them to waive their Fifth Amendment rights to remain silent and to enjoy legal representation. In such cases, the extreme measure of denying such Constitutional rights has been justified on the grounds that, otherwise, these witnesses will face irresistible pressures from powerful, entrenched government or organized crime figures. But many have criticized the use of such Draconian tactics as the Grand Jury when the targets are people such as grassroots political activists, as being a transparent and totally indefensible tactic for silencing and repressing social movements. Activists such as Craig Rosebraugh have refused to cooperate with Grand Juries on principle.

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