Leah May Have Capitulated, But I Will Still Stand With Her

It was revealed on October 19th that Leah-Lynn Plante, one of the three anarchists in the Pacific Northwest who I’ve written about before had been released two days previously. In the statement that was released by her no indication was given for why she was released so quickly, though she asked for people to refrain for jumping to conclusions. And out of respect for her I did just that. Here is the statement:

First and foremost, do not panic.

Leah wanted for us to express these points to you with this news:

  • She is extremely traumatized and experienced a lot of very, very bad things, but she is alive. The state of her mental health is also very bad.
  • She asks that people do not jump to wild conclusions about her release because they do not apply.
  • She spent her whole time in SHU / Administrative Detention (solitary confinement) and was told that that is where she would stay for the duration of her incarceration, up to 18 months. She was classified as “different” from Matt and Kteeo.
  • She received probably near 200 pieces of mail, books, postcards in 4 days (mail was not delivered to her every day) and was glad for it, and knows probably a similar amount is being returned to sender right now. She urges people to step up support for Matt and Kteeo on all fronts. Books that didn’t get to her probably go into the prison library, which is still a good thing because from what we heard their selection is limited to romance novels and religious literature.
  • More information is going to be released. At this time, Leah needs space from media. She is overwhelmed by all the publicity. Regardless of who you are, if you have her personal information, PLEASE do not call her, email her, or try to locate her in order to question her. Give her space until she asks otherwise.
  • She was released the night of 10/17. She did not make it public immediately because she did not want the “media shitstorm” to jump down her throat yet.
  • She is very moved by the amount of support and solidarity there has been for her, she expressed concern that Matt and Kteeo were not getting as much publicity. Please write them, support them, send them books.

Again, to reiterate, more information is going to be released in a few days.

Thank you all for keeping an ear to the ground and for supporting these people.

-mod

No subsequent statement by Leah has yet been made explaining the reasons for her release, though she did make a pretty good and interesting blog post on sexism in her portrayal by the media and supporters, which is worthy reading.

Then on October 30th the Campaign Against Political Repression released a statement cutting all ties to Leah saying,

The Committee Against Political Repression will be suspending support for Leah-Lynn Plante. Leah was released from prison on October 17 after appearing before the grand jury investigating anarchists. We do not know what was said at that hearing. In the time since her release, Leah has not offered details regarding the subjects of the hearing, her response, or about her release. CAPR is withdrawing support for Leah until we get information regarding her grand jury hearing.

In other words, at least according to CAPR, Leah has indeed capitulated. Hopefully Leah will soon release a clarifying statement, but seeing the short time she spent in prison and the manner of her release, her speaking before the federal grand jury seems like the most likely scenario.

[It should be noted and made clear that everything that follows is based on the assumption that her speaking before the grand jury is what indeed occurred. If this turns out to be false I shall immediately retract the statement]

Here today I want to state absolutely that I continue to support Leah Lynn-Plante and I refuse to throw her under the bus for this decision of hers (if indeed this decision took place).

Part of it is this, as I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, Leah is an old friend of mine from way back in my Vermont days, and even though we haven’t seen each other in some years, I am nothing if not fiercely loyal to my friends, through hell and high water.

But there is a deeper moral component to my refusal to demonize Leah.

Leah may have (eligibly) broke her previous commitments and capitulated to the grand jury where she may have been made to snitch on her political associates and comrades. And this decision may have even led to a fifth subpoena being issued to Matthew “Maddy” Pfeiffer , though its far far too early to tell for sure. This is all true (or at least might be).

But it must be understood that this was something forced upon her. Leah is not some scab or class traitor who at the first sign or trouble jumped ship and sold out her friends like so many before. Leah stood up to the full terrible might of the criminal injustice system through all of its stages. She put 18 months of her life on the table, was put into solitary confinement, and it was only then, under that immense pressure that she was forced, I repeat forced, to cooperate with the grand jury.

I have never had to face up to such relentless and powerful pressure by the state apparatus, led alone the torture of full solitary confinement. I like to imagine that I might be able to stand my ground, but I just don’t know for sure. Therefore I believe myself, and any other person such as myself, is in no position to pass judgment upon Leah. She is a victim of the criminal injustice system like so many others. That’s part of what this evil machine is designed to do, grind you down into dust, and few can survive it totally unscathed.

Yes, KteeO and Matthew have apparently so far stood their ground and they remain in prison. And they should be commended for this. But not in a way that puts them as the “good” resisters against Leah the “bad” resisters. They deserve support in and of themselves, independent of judgments passed on others actions.

My big concern at this moment is what may be facing Leah in the weeks and months ahead. Radical and anarchist communities tend to be rather cliquish, and with this statement by CAPR as just the beginning, its not hard to imagine that cliquishness being turned with a vengeance against Leah. She has committed a cardinal sin and must be excommunicated. She will be marginalized, excluded and thoroughly ostracized by all activist and affinity groups, friends and comrades will turn on her, and that is a terrible position for a person who has just gone through what she has to be in.

I sympathize and empathize with Leah. I don’t judge and I won’t turn on her.

But in the end she is not some bad example that we can learn from, she is not a sob story, she is no a anarchist version of Judas, she is not a poor weak willed woman who couldn’t stand the pressure and has lost her ways, or any other sorts of insulting narratives. She is a human being in terribly difficult circumstances and we should not forget that.

As always, please send your kind words and support to KteeO and Matthew:

Katherine Olejnik #42592-086

FDC SeaTac,

P.O. Box 13900

Seattle, WA 98198

Matthew Kyle Duran #42565-086

FDC SeaTac,

P.O. Box 13900

Seattle, WA 98198

You can donate to the grand jury resistors legal fund at: http://nopoliticalrepression.wordpress.com/donate/

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About redpleb

I'm a socialist, an activist, a worker and an all around troublemaker here in New Jersey. You can find me on twitter @RedPleb
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13 Responses to Leah May Have Capitulated, But I Will Still Stand With Her

  1. Some Dude says:

    I still support her too. I hope she comes back soon, online. Simply put, there are way too many variables going on in the entire situation. Although most usually default to a black or white decision, I enjoy remaining in the intelligent shades of grey. She did resist. It’s all about a push and pull. Who knows what she said to the grand jury; she said herself not to assume. She expressed being bullied online, and that is valid and serious; I can’t turn my back on that and it has nothing to do with anarchy events. Get real, tons of anarchists avoid things and fear the thought of being imprisoned; she showed more guts than all those who talk the talk but discreetly step backwards if it came down to it. I have a different perspective being both knowledgeable of yet remaining outside the anarchy culture. It is not an end-all be-all sector though important indeed. Leah can still promote/stimulate great change/awareness via other sectors or other approaches. Her anarchy involvement is not the total Leah, I assume. I don’t immediately reject people if they make changes, exits, or tweaks of their interests…. simply because people have so many interests, hobbies, goals, etc. She also said she suffers from depression. Only those who suffer as well can understand. Even if you are a hero, being locked up can be extremely terrifying and traumatic. The grey areas, by the way, if ignored by any organization, literally become their ultimate downfall, while at the same time can be their most important asset. In the case of Leah, I’m retaining the element of compassion, helpfulness, encouragement, and nurturing. She appears to have a fire in her, creativity, and a love of human life, animal life, and life beyond Earth. And with the guts to stand up to the lords and defend her rights. Seems like key ingredients; curious as to how it will pan out in 10 or 20 years. To any readers of my comment who are concerned what she told them: Do ya really think it should be of concern to anybody, as if it can harm the group? I’m sorry, but it’s all at a childs-play level. If the govt (or secret govt) really wanted to destroy the anarchy movement, it could be done with a snap of their fingers. They don’t need Leah’s info. Or any participant’s info. There is literal industrial toxic waste and forced medication coming out of your water taps to slowly poison you; they are way more sneaky than you realize. Just watch Mr. Dawes Sr’s sneaky approach himself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxyB29bDbBA. Note the psychotic glimmers? And no acknowledgement of the hungry birds? I’ll still support Leah. Whomever she is. Matt and KteeO too, currently and if they opt for the same.

  2. You’re all so fucking stupid. Leah is not a resister. Leah had agency in her decisions. Just because some privileged asshole has never been to prison and it’s “hard” does not make cooperation any less of betrayal. You sicken me.

    • Disgruntled says:

      Thank you. All of the snitch apologizing going on here was making me really angry. If she snitched she should not be welcome in the community, period. Putting others at risk for your own comfort and convenience is betraying the community and assisting the state in their witch hunt.

    • Disgruntled says:

      I also think she owes everyone who wrote her checks and mailed her letters an explanation about why she was released.

  3. pinbalwyz says:

    by Jay Taber
    October 31, 2012 at 1:22 pm
    While you are correct in noting the psychological warfare strategy of fostering distrust within the resistance community, it is also true that prior to her incarceration, Plante stated she was terrified and depressed. Any psychologist or astute human being would recognize that she was unlikely to hold up in a federal detention facility. Either she would talk, or she would have a nervous breakdown. And that is something federal prosecutors knew going in. So regardless of what transpired, the lesson must be taken to heart by those who have anything at risk. Communications security is not to be taken lightly.

    by pinbalwyz
    November 2, 2012 at 2:56 pm
    Leah was a vulnerable young woman. Her tattoos amounted to a prayer to be left unharmed and to regain control over her life. She cried going into that courthouse. Nobody (other than her attorney) walked through those courthouse/jailhouse doors with her! She denies being in Seattle on May Day. Nobody has contradicted her. She denies planning/conspiring to promote those activities. In fact, she publicly denounced the street violence. An anarchist needn’t subscribe to vandalism/violence. She’s since angrily declared she doesn’t *owe* anybody anything, while admitting her mental health had been compromised and her PTSD had been exacerbated, that she’d had nightmares and panic attacks.

    It’s a fool’s errand to expect this fragile young well intentioned woman to bear all the sins of her peers like she was some Christlike figure on the cross. She deserves control over her own life without being pressured or 2nd guessed. Shame on it!–the CAPR, that is. (amicuscuria.com/wordpress)

  4. Mike says:

    Unconditional love is different than solidarity. If it turns out she ruined someones life over 18 months of hers, you’ll be eating your words.

    Once again I reiterate “if.”

  5. Or perhaps Leah simply grew up a little bit. Refusal to testify about crimes one has witnessed is a very old mafia and white-collar-criminal tactic. Indeed, that’s part of the reason grand juries exist. How happy would all you anarchists be if a street gang decided to murder your mom or friend, then refused to talk to the grand jury on the grounds of interpersonal loyalty and/or a claim that the law is nothing but oppression? Bet you’d be irate or worse.

    I realize scoffing at the rule of law is part of being an anarchist, but it is certainly not an obvious principle of all resistance to injustice. Indeed, some might say it’s a way of throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Consider Gandhi’s and MLK’s views on the topic, for example. Those are nothing to sneeze at.

    “Resisting the grand jury” is a harebrained idea, at best. Our main problem is capitalism.

  6. butts says:

    “eligibly” though? What?

  7. ir says:

    I’ve read her blog for a long time and I feel for her. I’m really wondering how she’s doing/where she is and if she’s ok.

  8. emateapot says:

    Nobody really knows how they will react in the kind of situation she was till they’ve been there. And I kind of suspect that those people who don’t have any empathy for her have never been there themselves. Either with the state or ptsd.

  9. it’s impossible to know hat happened – our minds jump to conclusions. it’s true nobody knows how they will react to these types of situations, but… well, that’s not true – there are a lot of people who have successfully resisted grand juries – the truth is if you have an affinity group that is planning on doing something illegal people need to be screened for these types of mental health problems – they should even be put into empty rooms for a few days to see how they are going to react. it’s not a bad idea. no smokes, no drugs, no contact, no touch – just to see… there’s an old addage – if you can’t do the time don’t do the crime. it’s just that easy – if you can’t do the time don’t do the crime.

  10. don't talk says:

    You guys are actually pitying her and wondering how she’s doing? She’s fine, I assure you. She’s fine because she’s not in prison. And you know why she’s not in prison? She sang like a bird.

    She also stole hundreds of dollars from her and Pax’s combined legal funds so she could skip town and start a brand new life. Fuck that snitch. She is a traitor, and a thief as well. I wonder how long it’s going to take for her to cover up all those anarchist tattoos.

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