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Third anarchist jailed for refusing to testify before secret grand jury *updated*

A third self-described anarchist from the Pacific Northwest has been jailed by federal officials for refusing to speak before a secretive grand jury that the accused have called a politically-motivated modern-day witch-hunt.

Leah-Lynn Plante, a mid-20s activist from Seattle, Washington, was ushered out of court by authorities on Wednesday after refusing for a third time to answer questions forced on her by a grand jury — a panel of prosecutors convened to determine if an indictment can be issued for a federal crime.

Plante was one of a handful of people targeted in a series of raids administered by the FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force on July 25 of this year which the feds say were in conjunction with an investigation into acts of vandalism that occurred during May Day protests in Seattle nearly two months prior. As part of their probe, search warrants were issued at multiple residences of activists in the area, including Plante’s, demanding that dwellers provide agents with “anti-government or anarchist literature” in their homes and any flags, flag-making material, cell phones, hard drives, address books, and black clothing.



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"as long they want to get rid of all government; who cares?"

...I care. I don't want a bunch of deranged left-anarchists running around trying to overturn the property-regime, and causing mass chaos, which only encourages the State to crack down, or an even worse State to rise up. That they are well-intentioned (i.e. those of them that aren't agents provocateur) is small consolation.

Those who are less left, or is that less wrong, just have to remember to arm up sufficiently. So that, by the time the left leaning figures out that economics is a basic science, and inevitably give up on anarchism for totalitarianism, any wannabe totalitarian and his supporters, can be summarily disposed of.

Exactly, at best the left-anarchists will cause chaos (which tends to unleash illiberal sentiments among the masses in general), and at worst, if they ever got to imposing a political programme, they'd bring about totalitarian socialism. And not even the kinder, gentler socialism of the USSR in its later phase, I'm talking the "war communism" of the Bolsheviks, which is what happens when idiot-utopian socialists discover their idiotic utopian visions are impossible and react by trying to overpower economic laws with brute force.

...No thank you. They get no sympathy or support from me. I think it is a serious strategic mistake for propertarian anarchists (anarcho-capitalists) to think they can forge any kind of alliance with left-anarchists.

"Alas! I believe in the virtue of birds. And it only takes a feather for me to die laughing."

Use the period of chaos to

Use the period of chaos to arm up.

Chaos as a result of everyone having plenty of guns to play with, is vastly preferable to lack of chaos due to one gigantic, oppressive entity preventing chaos by being the only one with decent arms.

Let's look some historical examples...

...and see what mob violence produces:

Mob violence in French Revolution --> murderous socialist nightmare.

Mob violence in Russian Revolution --> murderous socialist nightmare.

Mob violence in Germany in the 20s --> murderous socialist nightmare.

Mob violence in post-WWI Italy --> murderous socialist nightmare.

Mob violence in European cities in 1848 --> old regimes create the welfare-state and expand the franchise to buy off the mob

...I could go on. Are there any examples of street violence/mob violence leading to a more liberal social order? When was the last time the masses rioted for liberty? Seems to me there's something about human nature that when you get large groups of people together engaged in disorganized violence, they tend to forget all about individual rights, adopt a herd mentality, and go about their business of wanton destruction and expressions of crude egalitarianism (beating up the rich, looting, etc).

As a libertarian, that's not my bag.

"Alas! I believe in the virtue of birds. And it only takes a feather for me to die laughing."

Somalia, after they figured

Somalia, after they figured out figured out what is the proper way to treat governments and political leaders, in the 90s. While they're still mostly poor, Somalia is hardly socialist.

Afghanistan, although they never really degenerated to the point where "street violence/mob violence" had much traction. "Street violence/mob violence" in the instances you listed, were all against a background of poorly armed populations "fighting" for control of a force monopoly army. When everyone's armed somewhat equally, stirring up much of anything is too obviously a losing battle (armed society being a polite one, and all that jazz.)

The American revolution. The ragtag band of militiamen and pissed off civilians that eventually gelled into the revolutionary "army", weren't at the onset all that different from a violent mob. Just one with the stomach for something a bit more far reaching than breaking a window here and there. Of course, looking at it from where we are today, I guess you can argue even that one eventually turned into a socialist hellhole. But at least there was a century or so of semi civilization in the interim.

Hold on a minute...

...a well organized militia motivated by liberal ideals as in the American Revolution is quite a different animal from a rioting mob.

A more general observation: It only makes sense to use mob violence for political purposes if you don't have the numbers of dedicated revolutionaries to pull off a revolution on your own, e.g. by forming a militia as in the American Revolution. If you lack the numbers for that, the idea behind stirring up the mob is to magnify your influence by drawing a bunch of people into the fray who are not ideologically motivated: if they were, you could form them into a militia! No need for the mob.

And this strategy of drawing the otherwise indifferent masses into your service works for socialist revolutionaries, because the mob is (as I suggested earlier) innately Leftist in character (though not ideologically so). This does not work for liberal revolutionaries, obviously, because the sentiments of the mob run contrary to their liberal objectives.

Returning to the French Revolution, I think actually a good case can be made (see: "Citizens," by Simon Schama) that liberals made the mistake of using the mob, and that's what led to the socialist disaster. The early phase was led by liberal aristocrats, and they encouraged the mob, which did indeed allow for the overthrow of the old regime. But the interests of the mob were then quickly revealed to be contrary to the interests of the liberal aristocrats, and demagogues took leadership of the mob, and slaughtered the liberal aristocrats, along with just about everyone else.

....Rousing the mob is playing with fire.

"Alas! I believe in the virtue of birds. And it only takes a feather for me to die laughing."

Militias, even sometimes well

Militias, even sometimes well organized ones, can be formed from mobs. It did happen after the "student riots" of the 60s. Since the riots themselves, as well the rioters, were leftist; it's not surprising the resulting militias, like RAF, Brigate Rosse and Minutemen were leftists as well. From what I understand, Fidel and Co.'s takeover of Cuba grew out of increasingly focused protests as well.

And the original Boston Tea Party was pretty much a mob riot as well. And from it sprang both sentiments and connections that later help more regular militias.

A problem with forming militias, is judging how widespread ones sentiment is, and how far people are willing to go. Increasingly violent "mob protests" are one way of ramping up the pressure, and of letting participants and outsiders learn more about the intensity and appeal of what the protestors are fighting for. Not the only way, for sure, but one way.

As for the end being socialist or anarchistic/libertarian, I think that depends more on the expectations of the participants going in. In most/all more recent cases in the West, the expectation/promise is to form a better government, that will "right the wrongs" of the existing one. Note that this implies a government strong and powerful enough to "right" something, which in and of itself implies a statist vision, likely with either a socialist or fascist endpoint.

While in the US revolutionary experience, the goal going in was simply to be left the heck alone. Not to put someone in charge who would make those darned Brits pay, or redistribute the Brits goods to the revolutionaries, "the people", or whomever. But just to kick the bums out.

As does it seem to be in Somalia. Noone other than outsiders seem to mind much that the Mogadishu government only control a few city blocks of the capital, as noone really expects much from the anyway. While those Afghans (and Northern Pakistanis), seems primarily motivated by simply kicking out whomever happen to claim dominion over them, regardless of who that might be.

So, in other words, as long as the "mob" has no other real objective than blowing up whomever and anyone that claim to have the right to tax, jail and regulate them; I cannot see why it could not be a useful mob.

There will be no sympathy for you.

Mark my words.

I imagine not...

...especially if the tribunal consists of left-anarchists. Why, they'll indict me for being a kulak and an enemy of the people, for sabotaging industrial equipment essential to the progress of the 5-year plan, for hoarding shaving cream, for taking the Dear Leader's name in vain, and for farting in the general direction of Party literature. Then it's up against a wall for the final cigarette.

"Alas! I believe in the virtue of birds. And it only takes a feather for me to die laughing."

Here is a personal video statement from Leah


I haven't looked into her too deeply, one comment on a site said she was involved in burglarizing federal facilities for animal protection...or something along those lines. I don't know if the whole story is being revealed here (or if that comment is true), but it does seem like a strong armed treatment to ransack her home with SWAT and take all her stuff for a simple property crime.

The lesson here is..

"Avoid being taken by whatever means your conscience allows."

the comments under the original article are . . .


Does anyone know this person--

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

A Ron Paul quote, and a question


"Each of us must choose which course of action we must take. Education, conventional political action, or even peaceful civil disobedience to bring about necessary political change, but let it not be said that we did nothing. Let not those who love the power of the welfare/warfare state label the dissenters of authoritarianism as unpatriotic or uncaring. Patriotism is more closely linked to dissent than it is to conformity and a blind desire for safety and security. Understanding the magnificent rewards of a free society makes us unbashful in its promotion, fully realizing that maximum wealth is created and the greatest chance for peace comes from a society respectful of individual liberty.”

This woman made her choice, knowing full well that the consequences may result in confrontation with the state, and she stood by her convictions, regardless of the consequences. I don't know what she did on May Day, if anything, but hope she is released soon. No one should be incarcerated for their political beliefs, or for refusing to discuss them, Grand Jury or not!

What I don't understand is why anarchists would celebrate May Day, (/boggle). The connection between anarchists and communists is so strange because one belief = the absence of government, the other belief = the presence of total government. Thus, the compatibility of the 2 ideas appears illogical to me. If anyone can explain this to me I'd be grateful. Thanks.

The connection is opposition

The connection is opposition to what they see as "bourgeois government." In some fantasy lands, there exists governments that somehow do not serve the powerful and connected. While the only reason some people are less than 100% all knowing and altruistic, is that the bourgeoisie, via government, have corrupted them.

So, in the minds of guys like Bakunin and Chomsky; IF only bourgeois government is overthrown, every "worker" (code word for one of "us") will magically join with every other "worker", form nice soviets and knitting groups, and discuss themselves to a solution that everyone is forever after happy with.

Of course, once these guys realize not everyone plays along, "they" (regretfully, of course) "have to" put in place oppressive government "temporarily", to "educate", then when that doesn't work either, exterminate, the difficult ones.

reedr3v's picture

These Star Chambers must be abolished



..the grand jury protects citizens from arbitrary prosecution. No DA or judge can just decide to prosecute someone, they have to get an indictment from a grand jury. Grand juries are also used to hear complaints by citizens against officials; rather preferable to having judicial officials regulate themselves, eh?

"Alas! I believe in the virtue of birds. And it only takes a feather for me to die laughing."

Go ahead and post examples of

Go ahead and post examples of how grand juries have helped people.

Are there any cases where a grand jury...

...has denied the district attorney his request for an indictment? If so, then grand juries have helped people by shielding them from the desire of the State to prosecute them.

"Alas! I believe in the virtue of birds. And it only takes a feather for me to die laughing."

Front Page request

This deserves MORE exposure.
More reading here:

Her pic could/should be on the DP front page as well

Thank you...

Thank you moderator for your quick response
and front page status..
and thanks to fonzdrew/the OP for posting this.

I became aware of her stand about a month ago..
I NEVER thought they would have the arrogance
to incarcerate her.
She wasn't jailed at the time, (2nd appearance)
but she was well aware of who/what was facing her.
She has my utmost respect.
Her blog
is a tribute to her commitment and intellect on the issues at stake.

No, thank you

I appreciate getting them to post this on the front page, and thanks for putting the link to her original comments, and as you can tell, I added it under the news link. I have a recent post about a girl that is dying and the TSA humiliated her, so I am not surprised that they would do this to an anarchist.

The first NDAA domestic enforcement action?

Could she not just plead the 5th?

One day, I'm gonna' change my name to Dale Lee Paul

No 5th Amendment protection

From her blog:

I returned to the Grand Jury on September 13th where I was granted immunity. When you are granted immunity, you lose your right to remain silent and can be thrown into prison for civil contempt.

She has immunity, but clearly doesn't want to testify against her friends. She's in a hard spot. If her friends did no harm to anyone else's life, liberty or property, then whatever "crime" they are accused of committing is nothing for which they deserve to be punished, and she's doing a noble thing in refusing to testify. If they DID hurt someone or damage (private) property, then -- not such a noble thing at all.

Recommended reading: The Most Dangerous Superstition, http://www.amazon.com/Most-Dangerous-Superstition-Larken-Ros...

If it was really a secret,

If it was really a secret, why does Russia Today know about and report on it?


Proceedings of these Grand Juries should be a matter of public record, but instead they are kept secret. It's un-American, worthy of the Nazis and Soviets.

It's ludicrous that the feds have any jurisdiction at all; vandalism, trespassing, interfering with trade, and other property crimes are matters for state courts.

The relief is that they didn't merely use the NDAA and kidnap her off the streets. It's going to come to that, dissent and disorder are the new terrorism on the homeland battlefield.

Take back the GOP and Restore America Now.