Saturday, June 15, 2024



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

In the US, anyone refusing to cooperate with a Grand Jury can be held in jail with a civic, “non-criminal” charge for the duration of the Grand Jury (usually 18 months). In practice, the US uses the Grand Juries as a form of “political internment” to punish activists for their opposition to US government policies and practices. The US and the FBI have been using Grand Juries to imprison Puerto Rican independence activists starting in the 1930s with the Nationalist Party. In the 1970s and 80s theJustice Department convened several grand juries to investigate organizations of Puerto Ricans, US Black and Mexicano organizations, and white anti-imperialist groups. Subpoenas were issued for independence leaders in Chicago, New York, and Puerto Rico; as well as to Mexican activists in the US. Citing the principle of “non- collaboration,” many refused to cooperate and were then charged with criminal contempt and sentenced to five years in prison.

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