[Ppnews] Thursday 8:45 am SF - Grand Jury Resistance Demonstration

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Thu Oct 5 08:39:55 EDT 2006



Grand Jury Resistance Project
For Immediate Release: October 4, 2006
Contact: Kris Hermes 510-836-0395

Animal Rights Activist Subpoenaed to New Federal Grand Jury in San Francisco
Wednesday protest at the federal building to show solidarity against
government use of grand juries to silence dissent

San Francisco -- Activists will demonstrate Thursday at 8:45am in
front of the federal building at 450 Golden Gate, in support of Ariana
Huemer, an animal liberation activist subpoenaed to testify before a
federal grand jury at 9am that day. Huemer along with at least ten
other animal liberation activists were subpoenaed last year to appear
before a similar grand jury. Huemer appeared before that grand jury in
January, but asserted her constitutional rights and refused to
testify, and was later excused. Huemer and three other activists
refused to cooperate with the grand jury at that time.

Huemer and fellow activist Nadia Winstead were subpoenaed again in
June to appear before a new grand jury. As with the 2005 grand jury,
the government is allegedly investigating the possible concealment
of a suspect in a series of actions from 2003 aimed at local
pharmaceutical companies with ties to Huntingdon Life Sciences, an
animal-testing lab that is the target of an international animal
rights campaign. Winstead has already appeared before the new grand
jury on August 17, and, once again, refused to testify. Winstead has
stated publicly that she will 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."

On Friday, Winstead's attorney, Mark Goldrosen, argued a motion to
compel the government to explain how it obtained information for
Winstead's subpoena and to disclose whether National Security
Administration (NSA) wiretaps were used. Seemingly unconvinced by the
government's response, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston ordered
the government to formally brief the court on the matter. A similar
request for disclosure is being made in the so-called Green Scare
case in Oregon, with attorneys there seeking information on whether
NSA wiretaps were used in the investigation that ultimately indicted
thirteen people, some of whom are currently in jail.

  "Committed activists are being harassed, intimidated, and jailed at
an alarming rate under the Bush Administration," said Kris Hermes of
the Grand Jury Resistance Project, a coalition opposed to the use of
grand juries to suppress dissent. "It is important to stand up to the
widespread use of this tactic that is creating a new line of political
prisoners in this country."

Independent journalist Josh Wolf was ordered back to prison on
September 22 for civil contempt after losing his appeal in the Ninth
Circuit Court. Wolf had earlier refused to turn over unpublished video
footage of a July 2005 anti-G8 protest to a federal grand jury in San
Francisco. Wolf could be jailed until July 2007, but he is expected to
file for En Banc review before the Ninth Circuit Court in order to
overturn his contempt charge.

In May, Jeff Hogg, a full-time nursing student who works with
developmentally disabled adults in Eugene, Oregon, was jailed for
declining to testify before a federal grand jury investigating
environmental and animal rights activists. In August, Hogg was denied
a motion that argued his incarceration was punitive and not coercive,
and, therefore, in conflict with the rules of the federal grand jury.
Hogg remains in jail after being denied an appeal for release by the
Ninth Circuit. The Oregon grand jury was expected to expire on
September 30, at which point, Hogg would have to be released. However,
despite a scheduled trial in the Eugene Green Scare case and no new
indictments, the government was successful in gaining a 6-month
extension to continue the investigation. Hogg stands to spend that
entire time in jail.

Information compiled by the Grand Jury Resistance Project (GJRP), a
coalition that provides education on politically motivated attacks by
government and support to people targeted by these attacks, shows that
grand juries are currently being used against environmental and animal
rights activists, as well as groups that have historically struggled
for self-determination. The GJRP reports that in the past year, at
least 66 individuals have been subpoenaed or indicted in Atlanta,
Denver, Eugene, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Diego, Tampa and
Trenton. At least fourteen people have refused to testify before
recent grand juries, and some were jailed for contempt. The GJRP
believes that these grand juries are part of the same broad and
unconstitutional federal investigation into various political
movements that oppose U.S. policies.

# # #

For more information, refer to the following websites:
http://www.FBIWitchHunt.com, http://www.cldc.org/,
http://www.joshwolf.net/grandjury, http://www.shac7.com/


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