In “Resistance to Political Repression,” Local Activist Katie Yow Will Refuse Grand Jury Order | News
News
INDY Week's news blog

Archives | RSS

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

In “Resistance to Political Repression,” Local Activist Katie Yow Will Refuse Grand Jury Order

Posted by on Tue, Jul 25, 2017 at 3:26 PM

Katie Yow doesn't know why she has been subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury next week. But she has no doubts about refusing the order, although it could land her in jail.

"I have been an anarchist for nearly half my life. My convictions as an anarchist inform every part of my life, and being part of the anarchist movement gives me all the strength I need to resist this subpoena," says Yow, an activist and former teacher and bookstore proprietor.

Yow, in a statement, says she received the subpoena July 10, ordering her to appear before a federal grand jury on Monday in Greensboro. As of Friday, her lawyer had not been able to reach the U.S. Attorney's Office to ask about the subject of the grand jury.
click to enlarge Katie Yow
  • Katie Yow

Yow's action is part of a larger movement rejecting the broad powers and secretive nature of grand jury proceedings, which opponents say are used to intimidate and surveil dissidents.

"I cannot begin to explain what defending the land and the people I call home means to me, but I want to express that my resistance to this grand jury comes from my fierce love for them. I was raised in movement by bold and resilient elders, inheriting histories of resistance that taught me what it means to fight from where you stand," Yow's statement reads.

Grand juries are different from trial juries in that they do not determine whether a person is guilty, only whether there is probable cause that a person should be tried for a particular crime. Proceedings are kept secret in part to avoid a person being tipped off about an impending indictment.

Proceedings are closed, which means a witness can't have his or her attorney in the room while being questioned by an attorney for the government and the grand jury. A witness can leave the room to consult with his or her attorney, as long as doing so doesn't impede the hearing. A witness can invoke the Fifth Amendment to avoid incriminating herself and be given immunity in exchange for testimony.

But that's not really the point of intentionally defying a grand jury.

"As state repression escalates, I know that all of us are struggling with the trauma and the grief that comes from the forces we fight against, and the vulnerability that we feel to the state in its despicable efforts to attack us," says Yow. "What I also know, what I believe with all my heart and everything I have, is that we have the strength we need to take care of each other and to fight back until we win."

Refusing to comply with the subpoena could mean Yow is held in civil contempt of court (as a means to compel her to testify) and fined or imprisoned.

Yow's supporters will gather on the steps of the federal courthouse on Market Street in Greensboro at nine a.m. Monday. Tomorrow, The Pinhook in downtown Durham will host an informational workshop on grand juries at seven p.m.

Tags: , , , , ,

Pin It

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in News



Twitter Activity

Comments

According to every report, he mishandled provisional ballots during the 2016 primary in NC, but he had no nefarious reasons …

by marksa23 on Durham Elections Worker Indicted for Mishandling March 2016 Primary Ballots (News)

To this day, that the South dare stand between
the YSA and their dreams of world conquest,
yet sticks …

by Jaddy Baddy on Duke University Removes Robert E. Lee Statue (News)

Most Recent Comments

According to every report, he mishandled provisional ballots during the 2016 primary in NC, but he had no nefarious reasons …

by marksa23 on Durham Elections Worker Indicted for Mishandling March 2016 Primary Ballots (News)

To this day, that the South dare stand between
the YSA and their dreams of world conquest,
yet sticks …

by Jaddy Baddy on Duke University Removes Robert E. Lee Statue (News)

We held a Town Hall for Mr. Holding, told him over a month in advance and it was while he …

by Andrea Biondi on Constituents to Congressman George Holding: You Suck (News)

@SLAKFAC there is nothing fringe about the death of Heather Heyer. She's not fringily dead. She's smack dab in the …

by George Greene on Durham City Council Member: White Supremacists Rallying in Durham at Noon (News)

Couldn't they have issued a statement that said "don't be an idiot"?

by JohnNC on No Funny Stuff During Monday's Solar Eclipse, North Carolina Officials Tell State Workers (News)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation