Around 3:00 PM today, Matt was taken to a contempt of court hearing. The judge decided to make the hearing private instead of public. It is our understanding that this action is unprecedented since the McCarthy Era of political witch hunts. The entire 2nd floor of the Federal Court House in Seattle where the grand jury itself was taking place was closed off to the public as well as the 13th floor where the contempt hearings were taking place. As of this writing, Leah has not been taken to her contempt hearing yet.
As of 4:00 PM, Matt is now in federal custody. He has another hearing scheduled on Wednesday, September 26th. We do not know where is being taken yet, but supporters are still at the court house to support him.
As of 4:30 PM, Leah was released and re-subpoenaed. She does not know the date of her next subpoena.
We are asking for supporters to call Judge Richard Jones in his chambers at 206-370-8870 and demand that Matt not be charged with contempt and be released.
Friends and comrades,
My name is Matt Duran and I will do everything I can to resist this Grand Jury. I’m releasing this as it’s come to my attention that the strategy my lawyer and I have been working under will more than likely not work; the prosecution wants to grant me immunity before I even have a chance to testify. I want to make it clear that I am in no way ever cooperating with the state now or ever. Anyone who knows me well enough to be a close friend knows that I will fight with my political allies and for them with every fiber of my being. If I ever did cooperate, it would bring an immeasurable amount of shame upon myself, my community, and my family as they have risked more in resistance than I have in my life so far.
This is not the first time that the State has attempted to kidnap me, extort money from me, and take me away from my family, loved ones, and comrades. The last time, the State even went so far as to create lies in order to put me away. Bearing this in mind as well as the institutional racism I face every day, I have long ago accepted that I am going to go to prison at some point in my lifetime. This compounded with the fact that I have such an amazing amount of support, to the degree that I don’t even know what to do with it, allows me to know that I am going to make it no matter what is thrown at me.
People should know that this is more than likely not the end of this, the State will continue this Grand Jury well after my comrades and I locked up. Whatever happens, I want you to know that you are not alone and are more than capable of handling whatever is thrown at you. They would not be doing this if we were not successful in any respect; if we kept to our ivory towers debating what is more revolutionary and not actively creating conflict, we would not be facing this repression. Do not stop the struggle, keep organizing and fighting or they will have won. When the Haymarket massacre took place all those years ago and the martyrs were hung for their desire for a better life, the State attempted to crush all radicals. Clearly, this did not work then and it won’t work now. If this was their desire, they have failed in every aspect of it as I have not seen anything other than flagrant disregard for them across the globe. Keep the struggle in your hearts and minds and do not bend to their will. They will never be able to destroy us no matter how hard they try.
As most of you know, activists in the North West, and in California’s bay are facing political repression in the form of grand juries. Most of these folks have decided to resist the grand jury, stating that they invoke their 5th amendment right to remain silent because they feel the grand jury is seeking information designed to infringe or chill on their rights and the movement in general. A number of people have already gone before the grand jury with mixed outcomes; some have been excused, and unfortunately a couple resisters have been re-subpoenaed to appear before the grand jury at a later date.
Leah-Lynn Plante was subpoenaed to go before the grand jury on August 2nd. She stated her name, and was then excused after stating that she did not plan on answering any further questions that the US attorney asked her. Before she could leave, she was re-subpoenaed to appear again at the end of August. That date got pushed back and now Leah and the others are set to appear Thursday, September 13th.
We got word that the Assistant US Attorney who is in charge of this grand jury has most likely granted immunity for one, if not both of the resisters for September 13th. When given immunity, they are not allowed to invoke their 5th amendment right to remain silent. That means that it is likely they’ll be taken from the grand jury room to a contempt hearing. After the contempt hearing, they can go to jail for the remainder of the investigation. Grand juries are closed to the public, but contempt hearings are not! If you’re coming to Seattle already that day for the solidarity demo, please be prepared to go inside to pack the courtroom for any contempt hearings that may happen. You’ll need photo ID and court-appropriate clothes. Let’s show Leah and the rest of the subpeanuts that we’re with them, every step of the way!!
Folks resisting the grand jury have a network of support both locally, and nationally. Here are some ways you can help out!
National Fax in Day Against the Grand Jury (Wed, Sept 12th)
Rally at the Courthouse in Seattle (Thur, Sept 13th)
Vigil at Federal Courthouse in Seattle (Noon Sept 13th to Noon Sept 14th)
Solidarity Against State Repression at City Hall in Minneapolis (Thur, Sept 13th)
Stand in Solidarity with Grand Jury Resisters in Portland (Thur, Sept 13th)
Don’t know much about the grand jury situation going on in the bay area, or the North West? Want to freshen up with a panel discussion about your rights as an activist? Then we have got a perfect presentation for you! A Grand Jury presentation and a know your rights discussion all wrapped up into one package!
Lauren Regan and Wombat will be giving a presentation on grand jury resistance on September 6th in Portland and September 7th in Olympia.
Thursday: 4312 SE Stark St., Portland, 7-9pm
Friday: Traditions Cafe, Olympia, 7pm.