[Pnews] Abolitionist Jesse Shackelford jailed for resisting Madison Grand Jury probing support for Black Liberation

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Thu Aug 20 17:56:41 EDT 2020



*Public statement 8/19/20: RESISTER IMPRISONED: “I am a full abolitionist”*

Madison, WI. At 3:00pm, today, Wednesday, August 19, Jesse Shackelford, 
28, was taken into federal custody at the Dane County Jail and joined a 
long history of grand jury resisters. He claimed his Fifth Amendment 
right to silence in order to protect himself and his community and in a 
strong stand against both this grand jury in particular and the grand 
jury process as an oppressive, movement-busting tactic.

For refusing to testify in front of a grand jury targeting the Black 
liberation struggle and uprisings in Madison, Jesse was charged with 
civil contempt and put in a cage: he is currently being held in solitary 
confinement. This was his second call to the federal grand jury convened 
by US Attorney Scott Blader this summer. It is FFLS’ understanding that 
Jesse is thefirst grand jury resister nationally to be incarcerated in 
contemptas a result of the 2020 Black liberation uprisings.

Supporters gathered at 12:15pm today on Henry St. by foot and by car to 
uplift Jesse as he entered the courthouse. A strong band remained until 
after 4:00pm when word was released that Jesse had been taken into 
custody at the Dane County Jail with a charge labeled “federal contempt 
offense- hold for US Marshalls.” He has been held in civil contempt of 
court for continuing to refuse to speak after being granted use 
immunity. He could be held in federal custody for the duration of the 
grand jury, up to another 16 months.

We need to show Jesse and our community that we stand up and show out 
for everyone who resists this tool of state repression!

Write to Jesse.Send Jesse letters, cards, and postcards at the following 
address. Make sure you follow the mail guidelines listed on theDane 
County Sheriff’s Office Mail page 
<https://danesheriff.com/Divisions/Security-Services/mail>. It’s 
essential for Jesse to have reminders of the impact he has made on us on 
the outside.

Jesse Shackelford 688871

Dane County Jail

115 West Doty Street

Madison, WI 53703

Words from the resister.Jesse is a prison abolitionist, longtime Madison 
resident, and a law student at the City University of New York planning 
to build a career in movement support. His statement of resistance is as 

The feds and Madison police are facilitating a coercive, manipulative 
operation to quash this movement for black liberation. they are playing 
a game, as they always have. A brutal, disgusting game, where they steal 
away those raising their voices in dissent, torturing them, labeling 
them as felons, doing everything they can to quiet them.

If you support BLM, truly, you know this. You are here because you know 
this, because you know from the bottom of your heart, and with full 
mental clarity, that this system and the way it operates is not only the 
opposite of justice, but evil. The true, real-world embodiment of evil. 
A system that fills torture chambers with vastly disproportionate 
amounts of BIPOC, but will take anyone who raises their voice loud 
enough in opposition.

I’m a white ally and not one to try to be the center of attention, and 
I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to convey this message even 
though realistically I’m pretty nervous. To everyone I have met through 
the movement in the last several weeks, and the friends I’ve made: I am 
thankful for every moment I have being in your presence, learning and 
listening with you. Don’t ever let them make you believe this fight is 
unjust, it is the furthest thing from!

I came out here simply because I feel ethically bound to resist this 
racist fascist system. I came because I am a full abolitionist!

If you receive visits from federal agents or subpoenas to a grand jury,, 
please call the Freedom Fighters Grand Jury Support Line at (608) 
535-9907 for free legal support. If you are outside Wisconsin, please 
call the National Lawyers Guild Anti-Repression Hotline at (212) 
679-2811 to speak with an attorney at no cost. Remember that anything 
you say can and will be used against you and others, so it is advisable 
not to talk about anything you did, witnessed, or heard about with 
anyone but your attorney. Memorize the line: “I will not speak without 
my attorney present.”

Freedom Fighters Legal Support (FFLS) is a group supporting activists 
and community members impacted by grand jury proceedings in Madison, 
Wisconsin. For previous statements on Persons of Interest, Jury 
Resistance, the Grand Jury, and ATF Visits, see facebook.com/FFLSMadison .

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 https://freedomarchives.org/
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