Who are Matt Duran and KteeO and why are they so important
On July 25 of this year 40 riot gear clad FBI agents and Joint Terrorism Task Force officers from the Seattle/Portland region broke down the door of this of the house of three activists. They handcuffed them and held them at gun point.
Their warrant was for computers, black clothes and anarchist literature. There was no warrant for their arrests. There still is not one. Yet all of them were imprisoned and placed in solitary confinement initially. Now they have been moved into general population and they are being greeted like heroes by the other inmates.
Leah Lynn has since been released, without testifying, likely because she was suffering from serious mental health problems in solitary and the state did not want even more bad press. But Matt and KteeO could be there for 18 months.
When asked why they were being imprisoned, the FBI would only say they was suspected of being involved in “violent crimes”. On Sunday legal documents about the case which were to be sealed indefinitely were accidentally opened, revealing some of the FBI’s motives. The FBI unable to identify anyone from the May 1st attacks in Seattle after endlessly reviewing the video tap, decided instead to arrest these three, knowing that they were not even at the rally, with the intent to force them to give up the identities of fellow protesters who were at the event. This is a very scary precedent, where you can be thrown in prison for months, not because you committed a crime, but because the grand jury thinks you might know someone else who committed a crime. This is a very big group, and it might well include you.
The reason they were imprisoned is for refusing to cooperate with this grand jury. They were granted immunity from prosecution, against their wills, so they would loose their right to remain silent under the fifth amendment which insures you dont self incriminate. [The logic being if you are unable to be charged because of immunity, you can not self incriminate] Thus if you dont answer their questions they can throw you in jail for contempt. And in all three of these cases that is what they have done.
Sadly, for a number of reasons, including her appearance, gender and race. The case of Leah Lynn has received much more publicity than the other prisoners who remain in custody. [Leah Lynn also released a video about her situation before being imprisoned and was imprisoned last of the three, making her the most media accessible.] There is quite some danger that now that she has been released, the other two prisoners will be forgotten. Please dont let this happen.
For some of the better articles on this case see the Sparrow Project, Pakalert Press
Things you can do if you have very little money:
“Like” the Facebook groups for both of the prisoners who remain in jail
Free Matt Duran - Facebook Group
Please read Matt’s public statement
Free Kathrine “KteeO” Olejnik - Facebook Group
Please read KteeO’s public statement
These 2 activists are in solitary confinement, there only crime is silence
Send Letters to Matt at:Matthew Kyle Duran #42565-086
P.O. Box 13900
Seattle, WA 98198Send books to Matt of of his book wishlist!Send Letters to KteeO at:Katherine Olejnik #42592-086
P.O. Box 13900
Seattle, WA 98198Please write to KteeO!! She is specifically interested in news and information about the Basque region, and reading material related to linguistics and social anthropology.
If you dont have experience writing to prisoners please read this
You can also send these prisoners paperback (only) books. If i were in solitary, the books i would want to read are the inspiring political fiction of Le Guin, Piercy and Starhawk.
If you have some money, even a small amount (for all three resisters) please donate
If you are into t-shirts or pins
In other radical news, indigenous American activist, musician, actor and citizen diplomat Russel Means died yesterday. Means and fellow activists occupied a copy of the Mayflower, broke into the Bureau of Indian Affairs office and occupied it. He and other activists at one point occupied Mount Rushmore. He was involved in the 71 day take over at Wounded Knee in 1971 between the FBI and 300 armed American Indian Movement activists. In 1987 he ran as a libertarian for president, only to be beaten out by Ron Paul who won the nomination. The LA Times called him the most famous American Indian since Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse.