February 7, 2013
The newest document released in the Pacific Northwest Grand Jury case reveals the federal government’s criminalization of anarchists. On January 30, a redacted affidavit was unsealed by order of Judge Richard Jones. The affidavit can be found Redacted Warrant
Throughout the document Geoffrey Maron, an FBI Special Agent assigned to the Joint Terrorism Task Force, repeatedly refers to individuals under investigation as being “known anarchists,” as if the ideology alone is evidence of a crime. Maron admits that “many anarchists are law-abiding,” but continuously points to the “Oregon Conspirators” as being known as part of the anarchist community. Similarly, Maron notes that some of the Portland police had seen many of those individuals at squats in Portland — as if that had any relevance to the investigation other than that it might corroborate that the targeted individuals are, in fact, anarchists.
Likewise, in justifying a preemptive investigation of the May Day protests, Maron points to an article appearing in the anarchist magazine Tides of Flame, quoting that writers there “urge everyone there to skip out on school and work to take to the streets.” This passage indicates that, not only was the FBI monitoring the anarchist press in advance of the May Day protest, but the quote suggests that it was precisely the possibility of a popular mobilization under the anarchist banner that prompted law enforcement attention. Elsewhere, Maron also indicates that Portland-based anarchists were personally under surveillance before the may Day protests, and were followed by FBI agents when they left the city.
Furthermore, according to Maron’s statement, law enforcement used information gleaned from electronic records to identify “associates and conspirators” of the anarchists under investigation. By referring to “associates” (in addition to “conspirators”), Maron as much as admits that the FBI is casting its net over the entire anarchist movement, not narrowly investigating specific illegal acts.
The text of this affidavit further strengthens the argument that the FBI is targeting anarchists for being anarchists, not for any alleged crimes.
At present, three people are in jail for refusing to collaborate with the FBI/grand jury witch hunt. The Committee Against Political Repression urges everyone to support Matt Duran, Kteeo Olejnik, and Maddy Pfeiffer, and to demand that U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan end the investigation immediately.