Letter from anarchist Steven Jablonski, Grand Jury resister (USA)
Hi, my name is Steven Jablonski. I am anarchist and Grand Jury Resister. After living in exile in Canada for about a year and a half, I returned to United States about a month ago. My return was not meant to be secretive but I felt the need to take some time for myself to collect my thoughts and decompress before I releasing an official statement. I now feel ready to break the silence and clarify some of the confusion around me being subpoenaed for the Seattle Grand Jury investigating May Day 2012 in Seattle.
In July of 2012 several people in the northwest received subpoenas to testify for a Grand Jury investigating anarchist activity and property destruction that occurred at the 2012 Seattle May Day Anti-Capitalist Demo. In late July I received a phone call from someone claiming they were an FBI agent who stated that I had been subpoenaed to testify in front of Grand Jury and how they could deliver that subpoena to me. A subpoena only goes into effect once it is “served” to a person, which means the physical subpoena must be hand delivered to the person. I made the decision to resist the grand jury by leaving the country rather than risk being served and testifying in front of the Grand Jury.
I was and still continue to be firm in my belief of noncooperation with the State. I was fairly certain that if I refused to answer the Grand Jury’s questions that I would be held in civil contempt and placed in prison. Without passing any judgment on the decisions other Grand Jury Resisters have made, I did not feel comfortable presenting myself to the State for a prison sentence. I understand that jail and prison are a fact of life for many people in this world and I also understand that by engaging in anarchist activity one can also risk imprisonment. I want do everything possible to resist cooperation with the state and I also refuse to willingly walk into my own prison cell.
I arrived in Canada on August 4th, 2012. By November I had started living in Montreal, Quebec. Throughout my time spent in Montreal I was fucked with by both CSIS(Canadian Security Intelligence Service) and the SPVM (Montreal City Police). Over the course of my time in Canada I was routinely followed and approached by name on the street and outside of my house. During these interactions I was told to go back to my home country and that they were just waiting to deport me. I was placed in a SPVM car multiples times including been picked up by cop car a block away from my house at 2 in the morning and driven to the outskirts of the city where they took my phone, cash, shoes and jacket. A couple months later I was suspiciously jumped by two unknown people 2 blocks from my house that made no effort to take any of my belongings, but kept calling me an “American Faggot”. In each of these interactions it has been clear that these people knew of my legal situation.
Despite all of the harassment I was also able to have the love and friendship of great people in Montreal. I essentially showed up in Montreal not knowing anybody and people made sure that I had everything that I needed. Quickly through both highs and the lows these relationships transformed into bonds that I am sure will be long lasting.
Clearly the State is not happy with my and others decisions to not cooperate with this investigation. Despite this, all except one of the people involved in the investigation have maintained strict noncooperation with the investigation. But the investigation is now coming to a close. The past year and a half has most certainly been the most interesting and difficult year of my life. With the help of both old friends and new friends, anarchists both near and far, and the inspiration I have felt from my fellow Grand Jury Resisters and comrades, some things are finally coming to a close.
My exile has also turned out to be rather expensive but due to the financial support I received from a whole lot of people I was taken care of very well. I want to specifically thank the Committee Against Political Repression and comrades in Vancouver BC and Guelph ON and friends in both the Bay Area and New York. I also want to thank my friends in the Puget Sound, the closest friends I have in the world. Their support and encouragement has been insurmountable in my resistance, mental health and emotional health. I also want to speak about how inspired I have been by the countless solidarity actions that took place all over the world, as well as anyone else who has offered any gesture of support.
I also want to be clear that I stand in full solidarity with those anonymous vandals who attacked the William Kenzo Nakamura Courthouse in Seattle on May 1st 2012. There are few things I desire more than to see institutions of power targeted and attacked. I strongly identify with the insurrectionary anarchist tendency and believe that those acts of crime and rebellion that occurred on that day in Seattle serve as a small example of how people can physically attack institutions of Capital in their never-ending quest for liberation.
As excited as I am to be home, like most things in life the experience is bitter-sweet. I have had some wonderful experiences over the past year and a half and returning home has not been an easy thing to do. As frustrating as the past nineteen months have been, I know I am coming out of this experience as a stronger person with stronger bonds, and clearer idea on what affinity, friendship, and anarchy actually mean to me. But ultimately, I’m just glad to finally be home.
Solidarity with all other Grand Jury Resisters and those in Exile!
Freedom for Amelie, Carlos, and Fallon! (The 5E3 Prisoners)
Long Live Anarchy!
*If you have any questions/concerns/comments for Steve, he can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 at 1:56 pm and is filed under Social Control.