SAN FRANCISCO-- On Friday, Nov. 17, activists will rally at 10 a.m. in
front of the Federal Building (450 Golden Gate Ave) in support of local animal advocate Nadia Winstead. Winstead may be ordered to jail at a hearing that morning by U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston for refusing to testify before a federal grand jury investigating the animal liberation movement.
Winstead and fellow activists were subpoenaed in June to appear before the grand jury. They asserted their constitutional rights against self incrimination and refused to cooperate with what they call government-sponsored harassment. These activists have been
targeted before; they were also subpoenaed last year by a previous grand jury investigating the animal liberation movement.
"This grand jury, like the last, is being used as a fishing expedition and as a way to intimidate activists in the animal liberation movement," Winstead said. "I refuse to participate in unconstitutional grand jury proceedings that have been used time and time again by this government to harass movements fighting for social change."
Grand juries are frequently used by the government as tools of political repression. People can be subpoenaed for virtually any reason, and they can be interrogated in minute detail about their private lives and beliefs. Even minor misstatements caused by faulty memory can lead to perjury charges. Those subpoenaed to testify before grand juries are denied legal counsel during testimony. Witnesses who assert their right to remain silent can face indefinite imprisonment.
Winstead believes she is being targeted by this grand jury as part of the larger "Green Scare" that has rounded up animal and eco-liberation activists across the country in attempts to stifle their dissent against government-sponsored animal abuse and environmental destruction.
For more information please contact Kelah Bott at 415-577-6150.
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More information about Winstead's case and grand juries in general
can be found at the following websites: http://www.FBIWitchHunt.com