Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Armed FBI Raid Targets Activist's Political Literature

Leah-Lynn Plante
photo: National Lawyers Guild
Brandon Turbeville
Activist Post

If anyone has any doubt as to whether or not the United States has earned the designation of “police state,” one need only look at the case of 24-year-old Leah-Lynn Plante, a Portland woman whose home was recently raided by paramilitary police in search of ordinary household items including “anarchist literature.”

Plante is currently enduring an affair with a special grand jury which risks seeing her imprisoned for civil contempt if she refuses to comply and possibly indicted for other, less-defined crimes.

In Plante’s case, the entire grand jury theatre is based on the stated attempt of the FBI and federal prosecutors to trace the root of several acts of vandalism in downtown Seattle on May Day of last year targeting several different banks and stores, particularly those of Niketown and Wells Fargo and a door of a federal court house. The vandalism is largely considered to be politically motivated and anarchists are the number one suspect. At least, that is the position of law enforcement.

But, while legitimate anarchists may very well have committed the criminal acts, the fact is also that police have been caught disguising themselves as activists, particularly of the anarchist variety, and committing violent acts for some time – all this for the purpose of placing the blame on activists and subsequently cracking down on protestors using the very acts committed by the police as justification for brute force and violation of rights. Interestingly enough, it was in Seattle where police were first widely exposed for such despicable behavior.

Not only that, but considering the history of the FBI in encouraging and facilitating outright acts of terror, one is clearly justified in second guessing the ability of the FBI or any other law enforcement agency to tell the truth in regards to an act of violence that precipitates the wholesale investigation of philosophically related activists.

The subsequent investigation of “anarchists” in the Seattle area following the vandalism thus makes us view the entire incident with skepticism, particularly in light of the fact that the FBI has conducted several militarized raids in both Seattle and Portland in recent months which are openly targeting political activity and Constitutionally protected paraphernalia.

As a result, Plante was served a federal summons to appear in front of a grand jury in Seattle. Yet, instead of a typical arrest warrant delivery style, Plante was awakened in the early hours of July 25 by an FBI raid. The agents, she claimed, smashed in her front door with a battering ram, rushed in, complete with drawn assault rifles and, according to Plante, “looking paramilitary.”

Plante’s claims are backed up by witnesses to other raids conducted by the FBI in Seattle and Portland which also state that both federal and local police burst into private homes while the occupants were sleeping, held them at gunpoint, and searched through their belongings, particularly their bookshelves, looking for evidence of political affiliation as opposed to evidence of a crime.

According to Brendan Kiley of The Stranger, a copy of the search warrant shows that the paramilitary intruders were in search of “black clothing, paint, flags, computers and cell phones, and ‘anti-government or anarchist literature.’”

Kiley points out the absurdity of issuing a warrant for such items by writing, “For the record, I executed a quick search of my home early this morning and found black clothing, cans of paint, sticks, cloth, electronics, and ‘anarchist literature.’”

This is an important point because none of these objects were alleged to be the same objects that were used in the commission of a crime nor are they illegal to possess on their own. However, the raids and the subsequent possible indictments that will be based upon them continue to set a dangerous precedent that the government can and will target anyone who not only actively or tacitly opposes its conduct, but also those who simply do not conform to the “new normals” provided to the general public by the culture creators in Hollywood and tax-free foundations.

Interestingly enough, Plante said that some of the agents involved in the raid, while initially very aggressive, eventually started to appear confused at not finding a cache of guns and violent anarchists hiding in their lair. She said, “It seemed like what they expected was some armed stronghold. But it’s just a normal house, with normal stuff in the pantry, lots of cute animals, and everyone here was docile and polite.”

As President of the Seattle chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, Neil Fox, stated, “When I see a search warrant that targets political literature, I get nervous.”

Fox also stated that raids like those made on Plante’s home may have a chilling effect on free speech and an even longer lasting “negative effect on the country – you want to have robust discussions about political issues without fear.”

He went on to say “’Anti-government literature’ is so broad. What does that include? Does that include the writings of Karl Marx? Will that subject me to having my door kicked in and being dragged in front of a grand jury?”

If Plante’s case is anything to go by, then the answer to Fox’s question might very well be “yes.”

While grand juries have the potential to be used for good, the fact is that, in 2012, all they have is potential. As Riley writes,
Nowadays, Fox said, grand juries are often used by prosecutors and investigators who have run out of leads. But grand juries are secret, so it’s difficult to know what the prosecutor is really doing. And the effects of raids and subpoenas like the ones in Seattle and Portland may be more about putting on the dramatic public spectacle of dragging people through the mud than investigating a crime.
Will Potter of GreenIsTheNewRed has documented numerous accounts of abuse of power and the violation of activists’ rights since the 1990s to the present. In cases like Plante’s, Potter suggests that law enforcement is actually trying to silence free speech.

In an interview with Brendan Kiley of The Stranger, Potter stated, “Sometimes, law enforcement believes this knocking-down-the-door, boot-on-the-throat intimidation is part of a crime-prevention strategy.” Meaning, simply frightening off potential “offenders.” However, Potter also suggests that one goal may be “social mapping,” or the gleaning of information, contacts, and connections between activists via obtaining “address books, cell phones, and hard drives.”

Yet Potter also points out the distinct differences between what law enforcement is told they are being trained to combat and what they are really being trained to combat. “There’s a huge disconnect between what the FBI and local police are being told and trained for, and what the reality is,” he says. “There are presentations about ominous, nihilistic, black-clad, bomb-throwing, turn-of-the-century caricatures – the reality is that many anarchists are just organizing gathering spaces, free libraries, free neighborhood kitchens.”

Indeed, Potter is largely correct. Much like how law enforcement was once trained to violate the Constitution based upon the fear of Muslim al-Qaeda terrorists, law enforcement is now trained to take on “white al-qaeda,” Christians, and Constitutionalists as well as animal rights advocates and environmentalists.

Yet, when law enforcement confronts these individuals, with few exception, the reality is much different from the perception held by the agents of the state who rush in with reckless abandon to deal death and destruction upon their unsuspecting victims.

Plante’s case, in this context, is not surprising. After all, police have been trained for some time that literature which questions the legitimacy of the state or even the mere manifestation of that legitimacy is grounds for search, seizure, or even arrest. For instance, one need only take a look at the now famous video of police conducting a post-arrest car search where, upon discovering “anarchist” literature in the back seat, they ponder as to whether or not the book is legal.

Nevertheless, in the face of potential loss of her liberty, Leah-Lynn Plante is taking a very courageous stand in regards to the federal grand jury proceedings. Beyond providing her name and birth date, Plante is refusing to testify to the grand jury for reasons of personal conviction. In short, Plante says she is refusing to cooperate with an FBI that has repeatedly violated the rights of innocent people.

Prior to her second appearance in front of the federal grand jury, Plante issued a statement explaining her position and her refusal to cooperate. She said:
This will be the second time I have appeared before the grand jury, and the second time I have refused to testify. The first time was on August 2nd. I appeared as ordered and identified myself. I was asked if I would be willing to answer any questions. I said, 'No' and was dismissed after being served a second subpoena. Over a month later, my answer is still the same. No, I will not answer their questions. I believe that these hearings are politically motivated. The government wants to use them to collect information that it can use in a campaign of repression. I refuse to have any part of it. I will never answer their questions, I will never speak.
She continued:
I know that if I am taken away, I will not be alone. We have friends and comrades all around the world standing behind us, and even though this has been one of the most traumatizing experiences of my life, I have never felt so supported or loved. I can only speak for myself, but I have every faith that the others subpoenaed to these hearings will likewise refuse. And I know that hundreds of people have called the US Attorney demanding that they end this tribunal. Hundreds of organizations, representing thousands of people, signed onto a statement expressing solidarity with those of us under attack and demanding an end to this sort of repression. I know that those people will continue to support me, the others subpoenaed, and the targets of the investigation. That spirit of solidarity is exactly what the state fears. It is the source of our strength, yours and mine. And that strength shows itself in every act of resistance.

Unfortunately, if Plante is found guilty of civil contempt for refusing to answer the jury’s questions, she faces a possible lengthy prison sentence -- theoretically life behind bars. Considering the paranoia and iron-fisted nature of the judicial system ever since 9/11, Plante undoubtedly faces more than a weekend in jail.

In the end, Plante’s case is emblematic of the now standard operating procedure of law enforcement agencies like the FBI. That is to say, heavy-handed, aggressive tactics which target political activity and thoughtcrime justified by an increasingly questionable sequence of events. Whatever one thinks of the political tenants of anarchy, the fact is that Plante appears to be just another victim of an increasingly free speech-resistant police state. We should certainly be watching her case closely.

Read other articles by Brandon Turbeville here.

Brandon Turbeville is an author out of Mullins, South Carolina. He has a Bachelor's Degree from Francis Marion University and is the author of three books, Codex Alimentarius -- The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, and Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident. Turbeville has published over one hundred articles dealing with a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville is available for podcast, radio, and TV interviews. Please contact us at activistpost (at) gmail.com. 


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Anonymous said...

Neither of the two major parties represent us. Voting for either of them is throwing your vote away.

Vote for a candidate that represents you. Be a Libertarian Republican. Vote for Gary Johnson.

Anonymous said...

I have one objection to this post - you write as if this kind of behavior by the FBI and government in general is new. I know from experience that it's at least 50 years in the making now.

I was at Kent State in the years prior to when the National Guard massacred peaceful students for an anti-war protest. They tear-gassed the assembly first, and when they were in disarray, fired upon them, killing 4.

The FBI (mostly) did things then like this event with Ms. Plante regularly. There is a difference - then there was no internet, so it was difficult to hear about events like this and to realize how ubiquitous and frequent it was. Also, back then they usually covered their actions by claiming it was a 'drug bust' because pretty much everybody smoked pot. The police state is more open about it's behavior now, but, it was essentially the same damned thing then as now.

So don't be surprised, don't feel special about it, don't give them squat to work from. This is SOP for the FBI and the entire government. Hell, they used to visit your boss and get you fired if they found out you were a 'radical' - which in those days meant anti-VietNam war demonstrator.

Anonymous said...

Do not vote at all!
BE THE POWER - do not delegate your political issues to others:
-plant FREE wiki-trees, wiki-vegis.. = free food to all = SOVEREIGNTY
-use & create FREE STUFF (use linux instead microsoft)

Anonymous said...

I hate when people say; "do not vote at all". This is the problem! The majority of Americans don't vote because they haven't a clue with what's going on. My advice is to educate yourself, and then VOTE.

Anonymous said...

Don't fight the system, replace it.

Learn to provide/sustain yourself (especially food) as the government/system is poisoning you through GMOs, fluoride, chemtrails, vaccines, BPA, cancer, and the list goes on... all part of the depopulation agenda.

It's not a 'conspiracy theory'... it's just a case of be aware of the real enemy... and they come dressed in $3000 suits and have smiles on their faces.

Anonymous said...

Emperor Norton 2012 -- Yes We Can!


david llewellyn foster said...

Leah-Lynn's case needs to be flagged up large, by all parties who want change: maximum publicity, 'blogs, Amnesty, petitions. It should be escalated into a just "cause celebre," a massive symbolic example of what is deeply wrong and what can go right!

Anonymous said...

Even though we vote in an election, it is the Electoral College who really votes in a candidate. This is sad because, these few people are more easily intimidated than the millions of so called voters in this country. Today's political rhetoric is just a front to distract We The People while the controlling party's paramilitary can instill fear and oppression to the masses. Do we have to install iron doors on our homes in order to stay safe from those who disagree with our views? We are now called anti-American if we speak out against the totalitarian regime. This story shows that they now must manufacture evidence and crimes to instill fear and intimidation. Submit or be jailed (or worse). Reminds me of Communist Germany before and during WWII.

Anonymous said...

if this woman lived in syria, she would have by now: lots of grenades, lots of guns, lots of weapons, lots of layers, lots of usa dollars, lots of buddies superiors to the ones who are trying to incriminate her, lots of friends world-wide, and the list goes on...

the so called 'freedom' is so real like santa claus...

Anonymous said...

Is the BIBLE not ALSO "anti-government"?! Many, many People have chosen to defer to "A Higher Power"

Anonymous said...

Not at all surprising. When Mayor Bloomers' private army raided Zucotti Park last year, the first thing they did was destroy the People's Library and haul the books away in garbage trucks. Knowledge is power and dangerous. I suppose that next, they'll start sending in the fire department and burning not only the books but the buildings were they are contained.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous September 18, 2012 7:06 PM said...

"Neither of the two major parties represent us. Voting for either of them is throwing your vote away.

Vote for a candidate that represents you. Be a Libertarian Republican. Vote for Gary Johnson."


LOL! Like voting for Gary Johnson (whoever the f*ck that maybe) is not throwing a vote away. Amerikans are funny creatures indeed, the ways in which they mentally masturbate themselves are creative to say the least.

Anonymous said...

"Yes we can" backwards is "Thank you satan".

Anonymous said...

Having no sense of responsibility to participate in the national community the national community has turned on this miscreant. If you are a nazi like this woman and wish to subvert the democratically elected government then there should be no mercy shown. People like this Plante took over in Germany during the 1930s and it took a world war to dislodge them. Thankfully our government is more protective of the democratic process and moves burtally against such people.

david llewellyn foster said...

"When Mayor Bloomers' private army raided Zucotti Park last year, the first thing they did was destroy the People's Library and haul the books away in garbage trucks."
IF that is true, we've already crossed the final line and the US is the real heir to the Nazi Reich.
Better corroborate that fact, but if it is a big tick, be very worried and prepare for a long resistance struggle...

Anonymous said...

This is most definitely an important story to follow, as are the cases of American soldiers being dragged away for psychiatric "evaluations" simply for exercising their first amendment rights to criticize government corruption. This is most definitely a test in the long slide to fascism. Too bad foreign and domestic knuckle draggers don't get it and share their simian attitudes on the comment board.

Anonymous said...

I think I hear banjo music. Squeal America, squeal like a pig ...

Anonymous said...

Obama or Romney, It does not matter the deck has already been stacked against us and the hands have been dealt.

I am removing my name from the voter registration rolls. By doing this, not only do I withdraw my consent, I will cease trading with the enemy. I will no longer support terrorism financially or by voting for its hierarchy.

Let the cards fall where they may. We will be prepared.

Anonymous said...

Poor baby. Americans are always quick to play the victim role. Here in Europe we would love to have a realistic progressive like Obama influencing and setting public policy while in the US many cannot even distinguish the difference between Romeny and Obama. The extent of your 'revolutionary' zeal is to not vote. You are spoiled brats and shaming yourselves in front of the world.

corruptico said...

Niel Fox is a dirty Jew Criminal, trust me, I have been badly set-up by his Jewish Ass!

corruptico said...

Realistic? Progressive? Have you seen "Dreams From my Real Father"?


Fascist, is the word - "Brity".

Anonymous said...

Divide and conquer , that is the plan keep the people from uniting to change the world , read kline's works it lays it all out .

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