Vancouver Media Co-op. Aug 12:
On the morning of Friday August 10th, 2012 (prisoner justice day) we dropped a banner from the roof of the building next to a probation office on Commercial Drive. The banner read “Solidarity With anarchists Under the Gun – Fuck the Law”. We did this in solidarity with anarchists facing repression all over, and most specifically with our comrades south of the border facing raids and grand jury repression.
In addition, posters were also put up throughout the Eastside expressing solidarity with comrades all over the map. On the posters there was an image of a white rose which traditionally (in the European sense) is a symbol for silence! Don’t snitch! No one talks, everyone walks!
Also freedom to Kelly Pflug-Back! Freedom to all prisoners whether they want to be labeled political or not! Fuck the Police!
When the banner was dropped on Commercial Drive, confetti and leaflets were thrown, explaining and exclaiming the action, below is the text from the leaflet.
Solidarity with Grand Jury resisters in the North West
On Wednesday July 25th, the FBI conducted a series of coordinated raids against anarchists in Portland, Olympia, and Seattle. They subpoenaed several people to a special federal grand jury, and seized computers, black clothing and anarchist literature. The people subpoenaed have issued a clear statement about their refusal to collaborate with the grand jury.
What is a grand jury? Officially, a grand jury is used by the US state to decide on whether there’s enough evidence to charge someone with a felony crime. It’s also a tool that the state uses to try to destroy social struggles. When a person is subpoenaed, they have to appear at a secretive grand jury hearing, which defies even basic legal norms – there’s no judge present, the prosecutor runs the proceedings, the person isn’t allowed to have their lawyer in the room, and the prosecutor can ask them a wide range of questions about what their politics are or who they’re friends with, that would normally not even be relevant in court. The most significant thing about grand juries is that they can imprison someone, on the spot, for up to 18 months for refusing to talk. It is essentially a way the state tries to force people to snitch.
Whether in the northwest of the US or here in ‘Canada’, authorities are conducting a political witch-hunt against anarchists and others working toward a more just, free, and equal society. The warrants served specifically listed anarchist literature as evidence to be seized, pointing to the fact that the FBI and police are targeting this group of people because of their political ideas. During a time of growing economic and ecological crises that are broadly affecting people across the world, it is an attempt to push back any movement towards creating a world without bosses, prisons or police, one that meets every person’s needs rather than serving only the interests of the rich.
Closer to home, we can see this sort of repression with the federal government trying to pass increasingly harsher laws like the federal anti-mask law, which will be used to sentence people to up to ten years in prison simply for wearing a mask at a demo to protect themselves from the police, or in the construction of many new prisons. This can also be seen in in the repression faced by people in the aftermath of the G20 protests against the meeting of the rich and powerful, with people getting sentenced to prison for the ‘conspiracy’ of engaging in social struggle against the state. Another example is the repression happening against people fighting the government’s plan (and, more broadly, the government itself) to raise tuition fees: there have been over 2000 arrests since the start of the strike, multiple demonstrators seriously injured by police (comas, losing an eye), and several hundred people facing criminal charges and restrictive conditions like being banned from the city they live in, curfews, non-association with friends, and perimeters that they cannot enter. Law 78 – a law making most demos illegal – is only the newest form of repression.
August 10th also marks Prisoner Justice Day, which originally began when prisoners went on strike in solidarity with a fellow prisoner who died while in custody. With this in mind, lets be clear – our struggle isn’t just about better laws, or getting the police to even follow their own laws. No amount of legal reform, or of official politicking, is going to get rid of our disgust at a society that locks others in cages, a society that guts our forests as it enslaves all our time for the production of commodities. As our struggles against the state and capital intensify and spread, as we start to take back our own lives that have been stolen from us, whether through prison or the monotony of wage slavery, the state will try to break us. Lets breaks its back before it can break ours.
Solidarity with the comrades in the pacific northwest facing grand jury repression, and with everyone anywhere fighting for freedom.
Fuck the Law!
For more information and updates:
- On the North West:
- On repression from the G20 protests:
- On repression in Quebec: