As has been reported elsewhere, police, FBI, and Joint Terrorism Task Force agents raided three houses in Portland this morning, dressed like paramilitaries and using flash bang grenades. No arrests were made, but electronics--presumably cell phones and computers--were confiscated.
In addition, today five subpoenas were served throughout the Northwest: two in Portland, two in Olympia, and one in Seattle. These subpoenas demand that the recipients appear before a grand jury that will convene in Seattle at the Federal Courthouse on August 2nd.
Grand juries exist to coerce civilians into providing information about themselves and others to law enforcement and intelligence agencies. They operate in secret; no judges or defense attorneys are present, and neither Constitutional rights nor conventional evidence-gathering protocol apply. Grand juries are frequently used to harass activists and dissidents; for example, a grand jury forced independent journalist Josh Wolf to serve 226 days in a federal prison simply for refusing to turn over a videotape he had shot at a demonstration.
That being said, it is critical to understand that the best strategy for defeating a grand jury involves coordinated non-cooperation. In many cases of federal repression of activists and anarchists, cooperators have even wound up with similar sentences to those who have stood their ground. To put it simply: nobody talks, everybody walks.
There are also reports that law enforcement agents are still searching for specific individuals. If you are served with a subpoena, call the NLG National Hotline at 888-NLG-ECOL (888-654-3265) or call a criminal defense attorney immediately.
A support committee is forming and will soon announce how to get involved or donate to support funds.
Little else is known at this time, but updates will be posted as we receive them. It is best that in this stressful time, we resist the temptation to speculate and gossip.