[Ppnews] Jerry Koch Refuses to Testify Before NY Grand Jury

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon May 20 12:18:19 EDT 2013

  Jerry Refuses to Testify: Yesterday's Appearance

*Jerry 'like the mouse,' NOT the rat!

May 17, 2013

Yesterday, our friend and long time anarchist activist, Gerald "Jerry" 
Koch finally made his appearance before the Federal Grand Jury that 
subpoenaed him. Around 10:30 AM, at 40 Foley Square, Jerry entered the 
courthouse to cheers from some 80 gathered supporters chanting "our 
passion for freedom is stronger than their prisons!"

For the second time in four years, he stood before the impaneled jury 
and the prosecutor, without legal representation by his side or the 
comfort of loved ones in the courtroom pews, and refused to capitulate 
to state intimidation and announced his intention to remain silent.

 From what we understand, Jerry answered only the three pedigree 
questions which were his name, address, and date of birth. For all of 
the following questions he invoked his First, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth 
amendment rights and offered nothing further. After receiving each 
question he exited the courtroom to consult with his lawyer, before 
proceeding to return and invoke his rights. When it became clear he 
would not be answering any of the prepared questions he was permitted to 
leave the grand jury room.

At this time he emerged to hugs and cheers from the assembled 
supporters. The word had been spread around that he would not be taken 
in that day, since there wasn't enough time for a contempt hearing (we 
would later find out this was not exactly true*). A ring of media formed 
to hear a very brief statement from Jerry, which was simply that he had 
answered only the control questions and invoked for all others. 
Immediately following his subpoena appearance he was given a second 
meeting with the judge at 12:30 at the other Federal Courthouse, 500 
Pearl Street. Those gathered were told that this would be a procedural 
and routine admonishment, advising Jerry of the potential consequences 
of his resistance and ostensibly ensuring that his counsel had made him 
aware of the legal mechanisms at work.

The tension among Jerry's supporters subsided giving way to exhausted 
calm upon hearing that the second appearance was moved to 3:30 -- it 
seemed impossible that time would be made in the busy court schedule for 
a contempt hearing. Media of every stripe continued to arrive and be 
fielded by members of the Support Committee. At 3:30, Jerry and his 
partner Amanda climbed up for their second time the set of Federal 
Courthouse steps to another round of cheers and camera flashes. In 
minutes the relative peace was broken by the news that this procedural 
admonishment could turn into a contempt hearing at any moment without 
delay. That is to say, the doors would simply be flung open, and the 
process of throwing Jerry into prison would begin without notice. Those 
of us outside immediately streamed into the courthouse, into a long and 
anxious line to present photo ID and be searched before being allowed up 
to his part on the 20th floor.

/* We give this detail to underline that legal proceedings are always 
shrouded with a degree of ambiguity and uncertainty. Those of you who 
can make it on Tuesday, May 21st, should be prepared to enter the 
courthouse early (we are asking 3 PM) and, if possible, wait until the 
very conclusion of the session to make sure you don't miss an important 
moment. /

After queuing, the group consisting of Jerry's supporters and family 
eager to hear the news of their friend, along with a slew of reporters 
impatient for the dramatic resolution, had been moved into the hallway 
of the 20th floor for even more waiting. About an hour later Jerry 
emerged again and it was made clear that the proceedings were adjourned 
until Tuesday. His lawyer, Susan Tippograph, gave a brief press 
statement. When asked what she expected to happen on Tuesday she stated, 
/"I anticipate that the government will seek an order from the court 
holding Jerry in civil contempt."/ A reporter who asked if he had any 
plans to amend his decision before the next hearing was rightly told, 
/"This is a long-held position. This is not a flirtation. Jerry is a 
very thoughtful and serious young man."/

Jerry, his partner Amanda, his mother Janet, and supporters exited the 
courthouse to return home to spend as much time as possible with each 
other before Tuesday, and before Jerry's probable incarceration by the 
federal government.

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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