Activists from Anonymous Seattle will be meeting on Jan 26th to bring awareness about their fellow anonymous members and the Grand Jury Resisters, who are currently incarcerated by the federal government, in hopes of gaining support for those they feel no longer have a voice.
Anonymous, a large worldwide group best known for its 'hacktivism' and strong opposition to Internet censorship and unwarranted surveillance, recently made national news after obataining and releasing footage of an Ohio football player bragging about rape, after a August 2012 rape and kidnapping case involving a teenage girl.
On May 1st, 2012, a peaceful protest in Seattle turned violent when several protesters engaged in damage to city and private property, leading to multiple arrests for vandalism and assault. Soon after on July 10th, Seattle's SWAT team raided a Seattle home belived to be in connection to the protest violence, although according to the resident's at the home, the search warrant described looking for anarchist material, which lead them to believe they were being targeted for their beliefs, not for any connection to the violence. Then on July 25th, the FBI raided three homes in Portland, Oregon, again looking for “anti-government or anarchist literature or material,” black clothing, flags, and large sticks, according to one of the search warrants.
Leah-Lynn Plante, Katherine Olejnik, Matt Duran and Dennison Williams, have been subpoenaed to testify in front of a secret federal grand jury about any information they had regarding other anarchist activists and the May 1st violence. According to reports, the group was already under surveillance before violence broke out on May 1st in Seattle, leading many to believe the violence was used to justify going after political activists that were already being watched, like Leah-Lynn Plante, who was not even in Seattle on May 1st.
The federal government has never accused the group of committing any crime but instead each of the subpoenaed Anarchists were given immunity. Many believe this was done since removing the possibility of prosecution allows the groups 5th Amendment right to remain silent in order to avoid self-incrimination disappear, thus remaining silent results in contempt of court, which can bring an 18 month sentence.
Another Anarchist Kerry Cunning has recently be subpoenaed to go before the grand jury as well. She has firmly stated that she "will not cooperate with this grand jury" nor will she "in any way aid the state in its efforts to imprison people." At this time Matt Duran, Kteeo Olejnik, and Maddy Pfeifer are incarcerated for refusing to testify.
Information on people specifically involved with Anonymous who are facing legal action in the US and abroad, such as Christopher Weatherhead, Peter Gibson, Ashley Rhodes and Jake Birchall, from the UK, who were involved with "Operation Payback," will also be mentioned.
Operation Payback started as retaliation to distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on torrent sites by anti-piracy groups. Anonymous quickly returned the favor to pro-copyright and anti-piracy organizations, individuals, and law firms. After the United States diplomatic cables leak in December 2010 from WikiLeaks, a group known for releasing state secrets, Anonymous unleashed DDoS attacks on websites of banks and sites such as Paypal, who had withdrawn banking facilities from WikiLeaks. Anonymous felt it hypocritical that groups like the KKK and the Westboro Baptist Church could continue to receive donations but WikiLeaks could not.
Anonymous Seattle will be at Westlake Park on the 26th at 2 pm, handing out roses and more information about the Grand Jury Resisters and Anonymous members who are currently in federal custody or battling court cases in what they have deemed "Operation Rose Awareness."