By Will Potter
Leah Plante appeared before a federal grand jury for the third time yesterday, and for the third time she refused to talk about her politics and other anarchists. She was taken into custody on civil contempt, and is now imprisoned at SEA-TAC in Seattle, Washington.
Plante joins two other activists, Matt Duran and Katherine “KteeO” Olejnik, who have chosen to make the same principled stand.
The three were subpoenaed to this grand jury following FBI and Joint Terrorism Task Force raids in multiple cities in the Northwest. The search warrants identified “anti-government or anarchist literature.” At the time, because of statements from police and because the warrants listed that the items were connected to “conspiracy to destroy government property” and “interstate travel with intent to riot,” it appeared that the raids and grand jury were connected to broken windows and other vandalism at a Seattle May Day protest.
Grand jury proceedings are secret, but Lauren Regan, an attorney with the Civil Liberties Defense Center, learned that the grand jury was empaneled March 2, 2012 — before the May Day protests even took place. It’s possible that prosecutors spent months anticipating and investigating May Day protests, but a more likely explanation is that this grand jury is not about broken windows.