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Building Liberty | Repression

Grand Juries as a Political Weapon

From José Palafox in California

May 9, 2012

Folks, please read and repost, it's very important:

I HAVE BEEN SUBPOENAED BEFORE A GRAND JURY

On Friday May 4th, I was approached by two FBI agents at the BART Station at 19th and Broadway in Oakland. They asked my name, identified themselves as Carrie and Matt from the FBI, and served me a subpoena to testify before a federal Grand Jury. They informed me that I had been served and left without asking me any other questions.

From the face of the Grand Jury Subpoena, it appears related to an animal rights action that took place in Santa Cruz in August of 2008. I know nothing about the Santa Cruz action but believe this is a political prosecution and part of a government attempt to gather information on activists, specifically involved in the animal rights movement.

I will be getting a lawyer and plan to exercise my rights to the fullest extent. If anyone else receives a similar subpoena or a visit from the FBI, you can contact the National Lawyers Guild for advice on you rights.

This is the second time I have come into contact with the FBI. A couple of years ago, I had to deal with the Oakland Police Department regarding a private criminal matter, unrelated to activism, and without my knowledge was interviewed by an FBI agent. He began to ask me questions about my activism and political affiliations. I asked what agency he was from and I immediately stopped answering any questions. Probably unrelated but you never know. 

I feel that it is important to let folks know about this political repression and to let people know that I will be needing support. However, the lawyer I did briefly speak with advised me not to answer any questions about the facts the case. I can talk about what the government’s allegations are and what is happening with court appearances but I can’t answer questions about the facts so please don’t ask. 

in solidarity, Jose Palafox, 5/9/12

 

More Resources


David Kaplan of California's Center for Investigative Reporting called COINTELPRO "the largest known program yet in domestic suverillance."

Kaplan observed that "between 1965 and 1975, the FBI opened more than 500,000 intelligence files on more than one million Americans, according to a Congressional report."

"Among the Bureau's targets: Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement, anti-Vietnam War Groups, and the underground press."

 

 



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