Portland anarchist Kerry Cunneen has announced their refusal to cooperate with the grand jury investigating the May Day attack on the Nakamura federal courthouse in Seattle. Kerry’s subpoena, which was delivered on December 14th, stated that they were required to appear just 5 days later on the 19th. Their lawyer successfully got the date pushed back until January 3rd, when Kerry declined to even enter the grand jury room. Kerry has stated that they will never under any circumstance cooperate with this or any state in persecuting themself or others:
I have been subpoenaed to the grand jury in Seattle investigating Anarchists in the Pacific Northwest. I was called to testify on January 3rd at 9am. I did not appear before the grand jury. I will not cooperate with this grand jury nor will I in any way aid the state in its efforts to imprison people.
I stand firmly in solidarity with the actions taken against the Nakamura Federal court house during the May Day demonstration and all action taken against the state and capital towards the goal of a more liberated society.
I am in solidarity with the May Day 5, with Maddy, Matt and Kteeo, and everyone else who has met repression with resilience. To all whose solidarity has come in some form of action, it is inspiring and must continue.
CAPR supports Kerry’s bold refusal to even enter the grand jury room. Although for some, resisting a grand jury may be a display of commitment of civil liberties, free speech, or freedom of association, it can also be a method to further the spread of insurrectionary tactics. To be blunt, it is easier to break windows or act against the state in other ways that are necessarily illegal when there is a culture against snitching among anarchists. We oppose the state in its entirety – we are against its courts, its prisons, its judges, its prosecutors, and every manifestation of the law and their justice. The Committee Against Political Repression is encouraged by attacks against the existent, including the May Day attack on the Nakamura federal courthouse.
The May Day anti-capitalist march in Seattle signaled a broad and growing antagonism to hierarchy and domination, and the state’s heavy-handed response to it (three house raids in Portland, at least nine grand jury subpoenas, and three people currently sitting in prison for refusing to testify) signals just how dangerous the state perceived it to be. As an anonymous author writes in We Are Contagious: a gift to those who desire social revolt,
“What was special about May Day wasn’t the black bloc, impressive as it was in its coordination and preparation. What was special was that the hundreds of people clustered around the black bloc probably had a good idea of exactly what was going to happen when the anti-capitalist march left Westlake…and they liked it. They stayed close the bloc anyway; a few even joined in on the fun. Others screamed in joy. Some, who only months ago might have tried to prevent the property destruction or would have later denounced it, simply smiled to themselves and moved on down the road. Perhaps most importantly, a fair number of these people will return to the streets, better prepared to act themselves.”
Broken windows are an easily replicable tactic that is capable of rapid generalization. Although broken windows are certainly not the anarchist end-goal (there is no single anarchist end-goal), the tactic of breaking windows is a way for people to directly attack (and cause financial damage to) institutions to which they are opposed, and build affinity in the streets. The state logically must do whatever it can to control, disrupt, recuperate, or liquidate that which presents a threat. While we are angry about this grand jury (and all grand juries, and the existence of the state, period), it also shows that anarchists have been doing something right – anarchists are posing a threat that can’t be ignored.
We can respond to this and all instances of repression by strengthening and escalating our projects of resistance. Kerry has stated that the best support they could ask for is action of some sort that is in resistance to state and capital. Indeed, that is the only way we’ll come through to the other side stronger than before.
Taken from The Huffington Post
Marineland — the captive animal park in Niagara Falls, Ont. — has faced opposition for decades. However, the statements delivered to the Toronto Star this summer by 15 ex-employees has exploded this issue. News coverage has been global, all levels of government have been brought in and the park has seen record demonstrations — culminating in a 800+ person protest on the park’s closing day (Oct. 7), which included hundreds of advocates jumping the turnstiles and shutting down the last dolphin show of the season.
Marineland has tried to counter this growing public concern by taking to the courts and filing what I believe is a SLAPP suit — a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation — a common tactic to try to shut down public debate. The park has launched a $1.5-million suit, as well as injuctions, against me. They have tried to use to the press to their advantage, releasing a statement that groundlessly accused activists of a “campaign of intimidation and harassment.”
The timing of Marineland’s lawsuit is a great indication of their motivations and intentions. A day before Marineland ﬁled their suit, news broke that the Ministry of the Environment was going to begin aninvestigation and possible excavation of Marineland’s four mass graves — two of which are allegedly full of over 1,000 of animals who have been buried during the park’s 50-year history without the knowledge of the Ministry of the Environment. Advocates have made the graves a focus for decades, and this announced investigation sent the news viral — exposing yet another aspect of apparent callousness at the captive animal park.
The next day, Marineland ﬁled their suit in St. Catharines Court. Interestingly, before the suit was even filed, I was contacted by Sun Media paper the Niagara Falls Review for a comment. That left me wondering, did Marineland leak the story to the Review in an attempt to wash the mass graves story out of local press?
Marineland has been cautioned by its own industry lobby group, the Canadian Association for Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA) — to which it pays membership dues — to conduct an independent assessment of the park’s water system to determine what if any update may be needed. Months later, no assessment has been conducted, according to news reports.
Despite this, Marineland has attempted some jaw dropping PR spin, rolling out social media sites in an apparent attempt to quell public outrage. Evidently, for the park, protecting proﬁts comes ﬁrst, and animals are a distant second.
In 2011, Marineland Animal Defense launched as a campaign, marking Marineland’s 50th anniversary. Ahead of launch, John Holer — Founder, Owner and President of Marineland — had been successful in his move to evict 47 families from a trailer park he had recently purchased, which sat near his Marineland property. Those families fought the evictions — many of them low income, marginalized families with homes that were “ﬁxed” and could not be moved off site. Many of them lost thousands. Nearly two years later the park still sits untouched.
The last resident in the park — Paula Millard – threatened that she would kill herself before she would leaver her home. On the night of March 31, 2011, that is what she did. For months, she had complained to other park members about what she felt was harassment by John Holer. Apparently, she saw suicide as her ﬁnal act of resistance. I have been told by Paula’s cousin and best friend Teresa that before Paula took her life, she wrote on the walls of her trailer: “John you will get it back ten fold.”
From the beginning, Marineland Animal Defense organized with the residents that fought their eviction through the GoHomeless.ca campaign. This summer I got the opportunity to meet Teresa. As we hugged and cried I promised her that I will see this through and that I will make sure that Paula’s struggle, as well as the struggle of the animals captive at Marineland, doesn’t fade away. John Holer has money, inﬂuence and lawyers. I’ve got the promise I made to Teresa.
As I move forward with my defense, I am calling for support. Marineland will be attempting to “spend me into the ground.” We will be organizing to use what resources we have to neutralize them. I am calling for statements of support and solidarity from animal advocacy and social justice organizations, and will be setting up speaking events throughout Ontario and Western New York.
An effective response to a SLAPP suit depends on a refusal to trade in fear and intimidation — and also a broad base of support. That’s why I need you. I’ve got some promises I need you to help me keep.
A while ago, I got word that a new straight edge related project was in the works. Being straight edge myself, I was really curious to hear what kind of project this was, and what the project intended to accomplish. When I heard that the main theme of the project was discussing straight edge beyond punk rock, I was instantly hooked and have been patiently waiting since. We are extremely excited for this project to launch, we hope you are too!
“Counter Conduct is an effort to best document anti-authoritarian aspirations and critiques coming from those who have been influenced and shaped by straightedge and to examine how embodied practices make antiauthoritarian politics more viable. Many of our peers do incredible work somewhat invisibly anchored to this commitment and we aim to make that intersection more visible and reflect on its various iterations. Counter Conduct is a project that not only wishes to add to the critical discourse of resistance, but to also dismantle conceptions and realities of an often rigid subculture. Counter Conduct will launch in early 2013″
by Jake Conroy (SHAC 7)
“I don’t tweet or tumbl or any of that stuff, so I don’t really have a place to put this besides here. Nor can I contact websites like Animal Liberation Frontline or NAALPO due to my legal issues. But this ridiculous article ( http://ow.ly/fkeMf ) about how we need to do away with ALF supporters has been heavy on my mind. So I thought I would share my thoughts. Feel free to share on your social media outlets if you feel inspired to:
While I share in the anonymous author’s desire to see more action and less talk, the arguments laid out in their article are tragically flawed, dangerous, and counterproductive (and somewhat laughable as it is being posted on blogs and all things social media, thus creating just the opposite affect of the original argument). I have spent awhile thinking about and being angered over the article and how best to respond. Ultimately, my own personal story, which I think is fairly commonplace for a lot of us, was the best rebuttal:
I think my story is pretty typical for anyone coming up in the mid 90′s. I moved to the Northwest in 1995 when I was 19. I quickly became vegan and interested in politics. I didn’t know any other activists or even vegans at the time. However, I found myself captivated by hardcore and punk music, and zines that espoused the lifestyle. I would go to places like Fallout Records and dig through the dusty box they had in the corner, full of old magazines. Here I would find old Sea Shepherd journals and issues of The Underground (the ALF Supporters Group newsletter). I would go to hardcore shows and pick up literature at tables. I spent hours in used bookstores digging through the history sections for books on radical activism. I would spend days pouring over these materials, reading and rereading them, and dreaming and scheming.
Eventually I would find my way into my local animal rights group. I worked with the Northwest Animal Rights Network in Seattle that was a mix of the greatest group of people. Our tight-knit core group of 10 or so had retired naval lawyers in their 70s down to punk rock teens with mohawks. But the one thing we all had in common was that we unabashedly supported the ALF. One of the first demonstrations I ever went to was an ALF support demo after a local Honey Bee Ham restaurant had its windows smashed in. Myself and a friend started passing out information on animal rights and animal liberation at the local hardcore shows. We would be doing tables upwards of 3-4 times a week. There wasn’t much in the way of ALF support merchandise at the time, so we screened pro-ALF shirts and hoodies we got from the thrift store and sold them to cover the costs of photocopies. While I certainly don’t attribute it entirely or even remotely to the two of us, there was definitely a genuine feeling of support for direct action and the ALF within the community.
Over the next several years I would redirect my focus from simple protests to civil disobedience, to direct action in the form of whale hunt sabs off the coast of Washington, to helping get the SHAC USA office off the ground and working on the anti-HLS campaign for 5 years. During that time I also worked on and helped start some of the biggest and most important direct action support magazines of those times. Those magazines would help build, among other things, community support for imprisoned activists around the world. That support would come in many forms, including leaflets and magazines, t shirts, videos, benefits, and support funds. Eventually myself and 5 friends would be found guilty in the SHAC 7 trial. I would be sentenced to 48 months in federal prison, partly because we chose to publicly share ideas. Controversial ideas, like supporting direct action and the ALF.
All of this started with zines I found in a box in the corner of a record store. It led to high-fives with friends, wearing black shirts and taking goofy pictures with disposable cameras at hardcore shows (that’s what we did before Instagram). I started out as a kid listening to music and reading propaganda. I never was a press officer, or a convicted (or not convicted) operative, nor am I disabled. But I think I’ve accomplished some really exciting things in my 17 years as an activist – from getting fur out of major retailers in Seattle, to using direct action to stop the killing of whales off the coast of Washington to organizing with SHAC USA, one of the most successful grassroots animal rights campaigns in our history. And I started out exactly as the kid you are saying needs to stop their “madness”.
Do you know who else started out the same way I did? Being inspired by listening to the music you want to end and reading the zines (now online, called blogs) you would like to do away with? ALF activists like Rod Coronado, Keith Mann, Peter Young. Andy Stepanian, Darius Fullmer. Do you know how ALL of those folks survived their prison experiences? By receiving books and letters and photos and donations by all those people who you suggest do nothing more than “work and watch movies with friends”.
The bottom line is, for over 40 years there has been ALF support work going on all over the world. (Please learn the history of that work at Conflict Gypsy ) That work has created a community of people that might not be exactly what you want them to be, but ultimately will support those people you revere so much when they need it the most. Their simple presence will keep that community around, will foster that support when its needed, and keep the issues as relevant as possible. Of course we want more action, less words. But ultimately we need both, because that’s what will keep these ideologies going throughout the peaks and the troughs, the highs and the lows. To not show your support publicly for direct action is what may be the final blow to one of the most important elements of the animal rights movement.”
Taken from GreenIsTheNewRed
Another anarchist has been subpoenaed to a federal grand jury in Seattle investigating political activists in the Pacific Northwest, while a support group for grand jury resisters has decided to withdraw support from Leah Lynn Plante until she provides information about her terms of release from jail.
On October 25, 2012, two FBI agents served Matthew “Maddy” Pfeiffer with a subpoena in Olympia, Washington. Pfeiffer is scheduled to appear before the grand jury in Seattle on November 7. Three others have already been imprisoned for refusal to cooperate in any way, and Pfeiffer expects to be the fourth. In a statement Pfeiffer said:
“I will never betray the people I care about, the ideas which I hold dear, or the commitments I have made. I will never give any information about crimes, should I have any knowledge of them, nor will I give information about my personal relationships. I will never cooperate with this or any attempt to stop struggle. I will never cooperate with the systems of control which I loathe. If the federal government chooses to imprison me for my refusal, then so be it. I expect no less from them…”
Meanwhile, the Committee Against Political Repression, which is one of the support groups for grand jury resisters, has announced that it will no longer be supporting Leah Lynn Plante. Plante was imprisoned for her refusal to testify about her political beliefs and political associations, and due to a massive amount of publicity she became a public face associated with the grand jury resistance.
After a week imprisoned, Plante was released on October 17th. That news wasn’t shared with the public until several days later. I was in the Northwest for speaking events in Eugene and Portland on the 17th and 18th, and spoke at length about her case and called for people to make donations and write her; no one knew she was actually out of jail, not even those who self-identified as her friends and supporters at the events.
A few days later Plante released a cryptic statement that began “do not panic.” It also said she was traumatized that she could have been imprisoned for the 18-month grand jury term. Since then she has made other statements about internet commenters remarking about her appearance, and her supporters have posted cat photos, but no one will say anything about the grand jury.
The Committee Against Political Repression said it has withdrawn support until Plante provides information about the terms of her release: “We do not know what was said at that hearing. In the time since her release, Leah has not offered details regarding the subjects of the hearing, her response, or about her release. CAPR is withdrawing support for Leah until we get information regarding her grand jury hearing.”
I delayed commenting about any of this because it is such a sensitive situation. Grand juries are secretive by nature, so it is impossible to know what was said during a hearing. It’s impossible to know if someone cooperated, and it’s impossible to know if theyrefused but were released in order to foster distrust and skepticism amongst their supporters. However, in light of Plante’s refusal to communicate what actually happened two weeks ago, and in light of a new subpoena, CAPR’s response seems appropriately cautious.
A support rally is being organized for Maddy Pfeiffer on November 7th in Seattle.