[Ppnews] Activist to Iowa Grand Jury: “We will not be intimidated. We will not cooperate.”

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Oct 19 11:15:53 EDT 2009

<http://www.greenisthenewred.com/blog>Update from Green Is The New Red

Activist to Iowa Grand Jury: “We will not be 
intimidated. We will not cooperate.”

Posted: 19 Oct 2009 06:00 AM PDT

Carrie Feldman, a 20-year-old woman from 
Minneapolis, has been subpoenaed to a federal 
grand jury in Iowa in what appears to be yet 
another attempt to harass and intimidate 
political activists. She faces up to a year in 
jail if held in contempt for refusing to cooperate with the grand jury.

As you can see in 
grand jury subpoena, the government provides few 
details about what is actually being 
investigated. That’s no accident: grand juries, 
by design, are secretive and conducted outside of 
public scrutiny in a legal void where basic Fifth 
and First Amendment rights do not apply. [Here is 
handy booklet on grand juries with much more 
information.] If activists refuse to participate 
in the political witch-hunt, they can face 
serious jail time. 
Halliday has done exactly that with a Utah Grand 
Jury, and he is facing federal criminal contempt charges.

There’s a very good chance the grand jury is 
investigating a 
Animal Liberation Front raid at the University of 
Iowa (video of the raid is embedded here), for a 
few reasons. It was a very high profile crime at 
the time, and both the university and the FBI 
have indicated it is a top priority. Also, at the 
preliminary hearing by the grand jury, a witness 
asked a question that Feldman says related to that investigation.

After that raid, the University of Iowa announced 
that its new, $11.2 million 
experimentation facility would be underground. As 
an anonymous activist wrote on the 
Indymedia page:

“Like the torture of animals, grand juries, too, 
are only at their most effective when done as intended, in secret.”

If the new underground lab at the University of 
Iowa is intended to deter both legal and illegal 
animal rights activity, that’s not going to 
happen. When I sent around a news article about 
that on Twitter a while back, an aboveground 
activist responded in a way that I think reflects 
the mentality of many people in the animal rights 
and environmental movements: “They’re building 
their labs underground now? I guess we’ll just have to get shovels.”

And if this new grand jury is intended to harass 
and intimidate political activists
 well, I think 
they picked the wrong activist and the wrong 
community to target. Carrie Feldman is active 
with EWOK (Earth Warriors are OK), which has been 
active on local 
Scare issues. She also works with the Coldsnap 
Legal Collective and the RNC 8 support committee, 
experience that is clearly reflected in her 
to the grand jury:

First of all, I would like to state, 
unequivocally and most certainly for the record, 
that I have no intention of testifying before 
this grand jury. Based on information from the 
prosecutor indicating that I may be a target of 
this investigation, I am invoking my Fifth 
Amendment right against self-incrimination. But 
beyond that, I am refusing to cooperate based on 
a sincere belief that to do so would run counter 
to my deeply held convictions and values.

Grand juries were originally created to prevent 
arbitrary indictments, but are now used as a tool 
of the prosecution to gather information. Grand 
juries undercut basic rights supposedly granted 
in the Constitution by denying access to counsel 
and coercing testimony. They are now, and have 
been for some time, used to investigate and 
intimidate those who would express dissent.

This is only effective when we are complicit, 
when we are frightened, when we are divided. 
Today my voice may waver, as I stand alone in 
this room. But I know I speak with the voice of 
every one of my friends, loved ones, and comrades 
when I say this: We will not be intimidated. We 
will not cooperate. I have nothing more to say to you.

    * Carrie Feldman’s support website:
    * <http://supportcarrie.wordpress.com/>http://supportcarrie.wordpress.com/

Related posts:
Halliday Faces Trial on Contempt Charges for Resisting Grand Jury
Jury 101 From the Rockford Files
Admits Utah Grand Jury May Lead to ALF “Sympathy Attacks”

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