Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Political Internment is Happening in the US! Stop the Grand Juries!


Caption and poster credits: Fireworks.
Additional documentation thanks to Freedom Archives

In the United States, anyone refusing to cooperate with a Grand Jury investigation can be jailed without a specific criminal charge for the duration of that Grand Jury. Starting in the 1930s, the US used Grand Juries to imprison Puerto Rican independentistas, starting with leaders of the Nationalist Party. In the 1970’s and 80’s the US convened several grand juries to investigate clandestine independence and anti-imperialist organizations. Subpoenas were issued for leaders in Chicago, New York, and Puerto Rico; as well as to Chicano/Mexican activists in the Southwest.  Building on the Nationalist principle of non-cooperation, most refused to testify and thus were jailed. Pictured in the Poster, Ricarte Montes Garcia, a leading member of the Liga Socialista Puertorriquena, was expatriated and imprisoned in New York for resisting a federal grand jury in Puerto Rico. The US continues to use grand juries as a tool of repression.  

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