Seventeen Days and Counting...


He pissed off the 1% and as we know the Dems and the GOP partisan hacks are sworn to defend the 1% no matter what and destroy anyone and anything that threatens their control of the country.

Expect more of this in the future.
This is what they spend money on? They should be arresting bankers.
Entitled vegan quips start in 3.... 2.....
Serves him right. There is not nor should be, a right to refuse to testify. The limited exception to this that is a person cannot be compelled to testify against themselves.

If people could not be compelled to provide testimony there is no way the court system could work.

Would people feel the same way if this were an officer at a bank refusing to turn over records or provide testimony?
Tinted windows only? What is this, Abu Ghraib?
A witness summoned to a Grand Jury can can refuse to answer any question on fifth amendment grounds.

That's kind of been left out of the posts on anarchist blogs that Brendan has been reblogging.

The witness may refuse to answer any question on the grounds that it might incriminate the defendant (or the witness), and the witness is told who the defendant is prior to testimony.

Refusing to testify before a grand jury isn't a principled refusal to answer "fishing expedition" questions; a witness can do that, perfectly legally, during his or her appearance before the grand jury.

Refusing to testify before a Grand Jury is instead an attempt to jam the legal system to protect the defendant, and it's a pretty smart propaganda play, if not a particularly effective legal maneuver.

Since the Grand Jury can't release the name of the defendant, public attention can, at least for a while, be deflected away from the alleged crime, and and a savvy propagandist can drum up liberal outrage over the confinement of a witness who has opted to sit in a cell for a few weeks rather than simply plead the fifth to the Grand Jury's questions.
"We do not prosecute people for their political beliefs"\

We just imprison them.

Er, I meant that the witness can refuse to answer any question solely on the grounds that it might incriminate the witness.

And of course in practical terms, that means the witness can refuse to answer any question at all, beyond name, rank, and serial number.
Unless the guy gives in he's gonna rot for a good long time so long as his attorney argues against established law and not the facts.

They can only hold the witnesses for civil contempt until the grand jury's term expires. That might be as much as two years, but it's usually less.
"Even under these conditions, Matt has no intention of changing his mind or strategy."

Okay, then I'll save my pity and concern for somebody else.
@4: You should probably save that question until we actually get around to prosecuting bankers.

I think your Google might be broken.

It sure would be satisfying if more bankers were put in the dock, and I'm panting as hard as the next person to see some really, really rich guys in leg irons and orange jumpsuits, but let's not pretend there aren't any district attorneys out there angling to boost their careers with some populist bankster-busting.
Someone needs to tell Matt Duran that you really and truly don't want to fuck with the federal government. It will end quite badly for you, Matt.

Fucking with the federal government is exactly what Matt Duran wants. Generally speaking, "fucking with government" is the means by which an anarchist tries to achieve the form of society that he or she believes in.
Am I supposed to sympathize with this fuckwit? Because no, sorry. I don't.
The Seattle Police discovered some anti-American literature in Cowen Park the other day, next to a couple of contraptions made out of PVC tubing. They closed the adjacent bridge for two hours while the bomb squad dismantled the PVC tubing. The anti-Ă„merican literature reportedly turned out to be a paperback copy of The Plot Against America by Philip Roth. I'm not sure what the PVC tubing turned out to be. My uninformed guess is pipes or bongs, not pipe bombs.

On another note, I have some black clothing. Should I be worried? Should I get rid of it? What other colors should I wear from now on? What are goths doing? Are goths still a thing?
@13 (robotslave): I think you know perfectly well that what suddenlyorcas (@12) meant was Wall Street bankers being prosecuted for their role in the mortgage-backed-securities debacle and its aftermath. And that simply hasn't happened.
@Robotslave: 5th Amendment right to avoid self incrimination is just that, the right to avoid SELF incrimination. If the witnesses guilt is not in question, they do not have a right to take the fifth. That is what is happening here; the state is giving prosecutorial immunity to the witnesses so that they have no right to take the fifth.
@14, @15: Does refusing to testify result in a criminal record?

I'm sure Matt thinks he's doing the right thing, although wouldn't be surprised if his perspective on all this changes 20 years from now, when he's no longer young and dumb.
@ 16 (and others). There's more to life than like/dislike, approve/disapprove, yay/boo.

You are allowed to think critically about Matt Duran and the federal government at the same time.

Just FYI.
Nothing would make me happier than to see the entire black bloc contingent and every last Wall Street bankster join together for a very long stay in federal prison.
I kind of respect a guy with an unpopular opinion, punished by the state, who's sticking to his guns. I'm too ignorant in matters of law to have an informed opinion about the Fifth.

@17 Phillip Roth, huh? Well, the title does say it all. I always had my doubts about him.

Immunity to prosecution for specific crimes does not strip away a the fifth amendment rights of a witness. The witness can very reasonably claim fear of self-incrimination in matters unrelated to the target of the grand jury.

Blanket immunity would be another matter, but that's not something a grand jury can bestow.


Actually, no, refusing to testify does not result in a criminal record. Refusal to testify in a grand jury is civil contempt, not criminal contempt.


If you're allowed to think critically about both, then why aren't you thinking critically about the uncooperative witnesses? I suppose that's allowed as well, but it seems a little odd to practice one thing and preach another.
Solidarity with the resisters, fuck this sick system.
"Immunity to prosecution for specific crimes does not strip away a the fifth amendment rights of a witness."

Dude, you're just wrong. None of these people who has been granted immunity has a fifth amendment right to refuse to testify. That's why they are thrown in prison: to compel testimony. That they aren't cowards (like you) is why they haven't testified.

Grand juries don't bestow immunity. Prosecutors do.

They might be charged with criminal contempt. Just because they haven't yet, doesn't mean they won't.
I wish this were a battle between steely eyed G-men and implacable anarchist partisans, but its not. In fact this grand jury conviened march 2… well before mayday. This prosecutor has no idea what he's looking for, these witnesses have no strategy to gather supporters. Sorry RS, just some bumbling lawmen trying to collect overtime and a few young people wondering what the fuck is happening to them.

I didn't say the fifth amendment gave them the right to refuse to testify. It does, however, give them the right to refuse to answer questions during their testimony. As I'm sure you're aware.

That's the distinction the anarchist blogs don't mention; between refusing to testify, and testifying but simply declining to answer questions. Either can be a legitimate choice for any subpoenaed witness to make, but we can and should ask whose interests are being served when someone tries to tell us the other choice doesn't exist.
re: criminal contempt charges.…

Seems you suddenly know an awful lot about what the grand jury is investigating, eh?

Can you tell us why we should assume that May 1 vandalism was totally unconnected to anything that might have been under investigation prior to those crimes?

And can you tell us what the target of the investigation is, or who the subjects are? That might be very helpful in deciding for ourselves if the prosecutor "has no idea what he's looking for."

If you don't know any of that yourself, of course, then you have absolutely no basis whatsoever for the claims you've just made.
@Brandon: You are allowed to think critically about Matt Duran and the federal government at the same time.

Indeed. Perhaps people are responding to the (possibly mistaken) perception that you are selling a particular point of view, when it comes to these rascals.

That said, I wasn't aware the feds could lock you up and use low-grade torture tactics to make you talk. Surely I'm missing something.

@robotslave: Can he reject the prosecutors offer of immunity, plead the fifth, and go home?

Possibly, the feds are making a big show of all this to deter future flash-mob glass-breaking performances. Come to think of it, have there been any "demonstrations" since the crackdown?

If you are granted immunity, than your 5th Amendment protections are technically satisfied since there can be no legal self incrimination. The prosector granted immunity to both Matt and Katherine. In fact, it's a requirement of the civil contempt procedure. Once you have immunity, you can no longer "plead the 5th."

The GJ investigation is unconnected to the May Day vandalisms because they were just that, vandalisms. Grand Juries don't convene to investigate future crimes and May Day had not occurred yet. If the prosecutor had information leading them to believe the vandalisms would imminently occur, they would have grounds to issue arrest warrants, not convene a grand jury to determine if there are sufficient facts to charge a person or group of people with a crime.

The fact is, the prosecutors are trying to build on the precedent of the ELF prosecutions from a few years back. They're doing the exact same thing except in the ELF proceedings they had cooperating witnesses and acts like arson to investigate. Here they are casting a wider net into sparser waters. It's their hope that the same tactics, GJ's determining that they can prosecute specific people, those people turning around and giving them other people, will result in another wave of politically escalated convictions. This will justify the absurd amount of money the feds have spent on investigating political activists in the NW.

This is why the refusal to cooperate by Matt and Katherine is so striking and so heroic. It puts the feds in a bottleneck. Without the molehill to make a mountain of, they have nothing to go on, their investigation stalls and ends and their attempt to chill political dissent fails. This possibility has led them to take the drastic measure of imprisoning citizens who have not been convicted of any crime and who were targeted for their political convictions. This touches on a terrible and dark history that we all would do well to remember.
#30 I have no idea what they are investigating and neither do you. All I know is they began an inquiry into weather a crime occurred well before the smashy smashy. The point is they are plowing around through peoples lives hoping something will turn up, for the sake of these people sitting in seatac , I hope they find something so they can get back to their lives.
@33, @34: There had been numerous acts of property destruction on Capitol Hill long before May Day. Seemed like a weekly occurrence for a while. That's why all the banks have security guards planted in front of them now.

Still, this has all the appearances of federal law enforcement bloated with "homeland security" funds casting about for justification of its existence. Another of Bush's disastrous legacies.
@32: Thanks for the link. It appears there's been no property destruction in the PNW since the raids. The feds should declare victory and move on.
He has a right to remain silent. What is complicated about this? Duran is being persecuted for his political beliefs and associations, no matter what the federal prosecutor says.
What a bunch of morons. They complain about not having access to a laundry list of things while in prison, but refusing to testify is the only reason they are in there.

Furthermore some attorney complains about how the Grand Juries should have never been used for intimidation, yet the same thing can be said about their right to protest, in that it should never be used as an excuse to violence to intimidate government. Use freedom of speech to intimidate government and its citizens, not violence.

After months of dealing with these childish protests, draining budgets and being completely worthless or ineffective, I have absolutely no problems with these Neo Anarchists being locked up in this manner. If they want to play a game of Snitch Chicken, let them.
FYI this is the nineth circuit court, these people are from Portland , this probably has nothing to do with spray paint and torch light parades on Broadway. Just like FBI informants nailed some kids in Cleveland for 'terrorism' and set up a 'jihadist' in PDX with a truck bomb, it probably only exists in some cops wet dreams.