On November 27th, 2017, federal grand jury subpoenas were received by at least two anti-racist activists and victims of the attack by neo-Nazi James Alex Fields, Jr. on August 12th, 2017. The US Attorney, to our knowledge, has focused their subpoenas on some of our most vulnerable comrades – those who survived Fields’ attempt on their lives and are still healing physically, let alone emotionally.
We know that the US Attorney has stated they wish to seek indictments against white supremacists; James Fields, Chris Cantwell, and potentially others. Some of the potential charges that the US Attorney has stated they are seeking indictments for are listed below. We find it notable that aside from the hate crimes act, it is possible these charges could be brought against those who stood against racism, hate and white supremacist violence that day.
- 18 USC 231 – Civil Disorder
- 18 USC 241 – Conspiracy against rights
- 18 USC 249 Hate Crimes Act
- 18 USC 2101 – Riots
- 18 USC 926A – Interstate Transport of Firearms
What we don’t know, and the federal government is under no obligation to tell us, is whether they are going to continue with the narrative initiated by Donald Trump last August. We cannot say with any certainty that the US Attorney does not also wish to seek indictments against anti-racist and anti-fascist participants from August 12th. This is why we firmly believe that non-cooperation continues to be our safest option when it comes to grand juries!
The same law enforcement who rely on the violence and white supremacy of the state can never be relied upon to serve justice against white supremacists. It is vital to look at this situation from this perspective. White supremacists such as Richard Spencer and Jason Kessler are not a threat to the continued legitimacy of the state. We know the kind of America Donald Trump and his supporters mean when they say they wish to “Make America Great Again.” It is the same kind of America that those who attended the Unite the Right rally wish to see.
We want to remind all of our comrades, instead, it is those who put their bodies on the line last August to fight white supremacy that are a threat to the State.
We remember the Greensboro massacre of 1979, and how federal and local law enforcement knew that the KKK had every intention of murdering anti-racists that day. We remember that a paid FBI informant was with the KKK that day, undercover, having been a part of the planning of that massacre and present as it happened. We mention this not to weigh our spirits down, but remind all of us that the state has never protected people of color, queer and trans people, anti-racists, femmes or allies that have stood up against the violence of white supremacy. They didn’t protect us on November 3rd, 1979 and they didn’t protect us on August 11th or 12th, 2017.
Because we do not and likely cannot know the full scope of the subject of this grand jury, non-cooperation is the strongest and safest option. We want to acknowledge that all of us deeply wish to see justice for Heather Heyer. We want to see justice for those injured by James Fields and other white supremacists on August 11th and 12th. But, how can we ever trust the state to deliver that to us? Justice is something we must seek and co-create within our communities, amongst our relatives, with our neighbors, and cultivate with our loved ones and comrades. That kind of justice, which brings with it transformation, healing, and power won’t come from a US Attorney, the FBI or the Department of Justice.
For all those taken by the hands of the state, fascists, and white supremacists.
For each other.
Virginia is for grand jury resistors!
If you or someone you know has been contacted by a federal agent or the US Attorney in regards to this grand jury or the events of August 11th and 12th please contact these folks and they can connect you with resources and support: VAresistsgrandjury@protonmail.com
Grand jury resistance has a long and vibrant history within social and political movements! None of us are in this alone, and, in fact we can draw on our comrades, elders and movement ancestors for the strength necessary to resist.
Please check out the following resources for more information on grand juries and grand jury resistance:
The Frontlines Are Everywhere Zine by Water Protector Anti-Repression Crew
Grand Jury Resistance at Standing Rock by The Final Straw Podcast
Dealing with Grand Juries by CLDC
Grand Juries Are An Abuse of Power from CLDC
Don’t Talk the Police or FBI Poster from Crimethinc
Support the PNW Grand Jury Resisters from Crimethinc
Grand Jury Training: by Midnight Special Law Collective
Grand Juries and Past Liberation Struggles from Freedom Archives