PNW Resisters: Grand Jury Reportback

AnarchistNews.org. Sept 14:

I arrived just before noon, and wrote down events and times as I saw them. I’m only going to report what I had written here and spare artistic license for when I can collect my thoughts.

@~12:20pm we reached about 100-200 people, the critical mass which held for several hours.

From 11:30 – 2:20 the law enforcement presence was ~15 Federal Protective Service(FPS), 2 of which patrolled the courtyard and 5 more walked around the entrance above the stairs. There were ~10 SPD bike cops, and US Marshals who stayed inside the building.

@~1:30, one of the resisters read their statement of non-compliance with the Grand Jury. Soon after, a KOMO 4 cameraman took shots of the courtyard and courthouse.

@~1:45 the other resister entered the court for the grand jury and had their statement read by others soon after.

@~2:15 the remaining resister outside entered the court for the grand jury.

Until 2:30 the atmosphere stayed lively with music, dancing, flyering and social gathering.

@~2:30 It was made known that the contempt trials would commence. Soon after, FPS blocked the entrances, so that nobody could enter. It is the general understanding that the trial, versus the grand jury, is a public trial. Several Marshals came out to regulate flow as it was made known that first the courtroom in question was now closed, and then that the whole 7th floor (where the room was) was also closed. The crowd of supporters, who clearly complied with all court regulations, would be fully escorted while in the building, subject to additional security screenings, made to give their reason for entry, and also followed while in the building. Without the ability to even go to the same floor as the trial, most people chose to remain outside. Among those agents lining the entrance included plain clothes officers. SPD remained at the side of the building, though of them one was armed with a MP5 submachine gun. Other agents were armed with standard pistols, pepper spray, flares, tasers, gas masks, first aid packs, gas masks (packed), and carried dozens of plastic zipties anticipating arrests.

@~4:00 the crowd in front begun to break to the loading docks of the building in the rear, where it was believed the resisters would be transported out to jail. 2 SPD officers monitored the protesters in rear of the building, and were soon joined by ~5 Marshal agents, and then ~10 FPS agents.

@~4:30 one of the resisters made their way behind the building to the loading zone with the other activists. They had not been sentenced to jail, but they did receive an additional subpoena without a date or time. Clearly, the other resister was still inside and everybody remained there in solidarity. SPD bike cops including a FPS and SPD field commanders were on scene, standing by to restrict the ramp from the courthouse, having warned everyone that blocking the prisoner transport may result in arrest.

@~4:40 a SPD paddywagon left the courthouse, with lights on, and sped down the street. All SPD officers cleared the area at that point. It was unclear whether the resister had been in the vehicle, though most remained just in case. The FPS agents remained – Marshals re-entered the building through the front.

@~5:00, though some had left, the loading gates opened up once more, and the FPS agents on standby including Marshals who ran out from the gate quickly blocked activists from access to the ramp as a federal prison transport bus pulled out and left the building. After cheering in support of the departing resister, and raising fists in solidarity, all police agents and activists peacefully dispersed, save for those who stayed for the ongoing candlelight vigil in the courtyard.

In no way are all these notes comprehensive or guaranteed to be fully accurate – the notes were taken as the events and people appeared/happened.

In all the time I was present, the atmosphere was entirely peaceful, in good spirits, and there was very little activist-police interaction. No arrests, other than one resister who was on the transport to jail.

I have not heard any official charges or sentences as of the time I wrote this, other than that the free resistor had not been jailed and was instead served an additional subpoena.

This fight is not over.

 

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