Longtime anarchist and lifelong North Carolina resident Katie Yow appeared before a Grand Jury in Greensboro, NC yesterday and refused to cooperate. Between 75 and 100 community members from the surrounding area rallied in support.
— NC Resists (@NCResists) July 31, 2017
We have now learned more from the Assistant US Attorney about the subject of the federal grand jury to which I have been subpoenaed. This grand jury is looking into what the government has described as a bombing at the GOP headquarters in Hillsborough, NC this past fall. The AUSA has also indicated that they are interested in “other people” and “other events.” I don’t know anything relevant to a criminal investigation of the alleged incident at the GOP headquarters. The broad nature of the government’s interest in other information makes clear the way that this and other grand juries are used as fishing expeditions to attempt to coerce testimony on 1st amendment protected information. This is one of the many ways grand juries are used to repress social movements, and one of many reasons why we resist them.
Whatever new information we may learn about this grand jury, I will continue to refuse to cooperate. We didn’t have to know what this grand jury was about to know what we are about. Our values are long held, they are nurtured through both triumph and incredible loss, and they cannot be compromised. My resistance to this grand jury is the easiest decision I have ever made, even if the consequences may be difficult. I will continue to refuse to comply with this subpoena, and I have every faith in my community’s ability to support me in doing so.
“A lot of the problem with what is going on with grand juries is that it is a subversive tactic to get information from people with no representation,” Register said. “You don’t get transcripts. There’s not documentation, so they can use anything against you.”
This morning around 9:00am at the federal courthouse in Greensboro, NC, grand jury resister Katie Yow spoke to a crowd of supporters and media before going inside to appear for her federal subpoena.
In an inspiring speech before entering the courthouse, Yow stated, “Whatever happens today or in the future, I will continue to resist this grand jury subpoena… as we face state repression and all of the things that we struggle against, it is so critical that we mean what we say to each other. And resisting this grand jury is one way I can show you I mean what I say, and that we as anarchists mean what we say.”
— ngọc loan trần (@ntranloan) July 31, 2017
While Yow and her lawyer remained inside court, between 75-100 supporters amassed in front of the courthouse steps. The day’s activities ranged from playing drums, holding banners that read “NC Resists the Grand Jury” and “We Stand with Katie,“ to people passing out water, food, and sunscreen. A steady stream of local and regional media covered the event, with curiosity from newcomers and care by friends continuing until the end of the court day.
Katie Yow appeared before the grand jury in the afternoon. After refusing to testify, she and her attorney were informed by the Assistant US Attorney that the government will ask the court to hold her in civil contempt. Yow left the courthouse with her lawyer around 4:00pm, and further updates will be shared as they develop.
Katie made the following statement at the rally in front of a crowd of about 100:
My name is Katie Yow. In a moment I will be going inside this courthouse, and I will be resisting a grand jury subpoena. Whatever happens today or in the future, I will continue to resist this grand jury subpoena. Things are really tough right now, and we are much, much tougher. And as we face state repression and all of the things that we struggle against, it is so critical that we mean what we say to each other. And resisting this grand jury is one way I can show you I mean what I say, and that we as anarchists mean what we say. My community means everything to me. Anarchism means everything to me. I am strong enough to do this because of you.
Protestors gather outside the Federal Courthouse supporting Katie Yow who has been subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury. pic.twitter.com/9cUzduyxw6
— Danielle Battaglia (@DBattagliaNR) July 31, 2017