After five months in prison, Matt Duran and Kteeo are finally free. They were released February 27th, after a long legal battle, being held in detention without actually being charged for a crime, and living through over two months in solitary confinement.
Grand Jury Update: Three Olympia activists are being held in solitary confinement at the SeaTac Federal Detention Center despite that they have not actually been charged for a crime. Kteeo Olejinik, Matt Duran, and Maddy Pfeiffer are in prison for civil contempt of court after refusing to testify before a grand jury they argue is targeting them for their political associations. At the time of print, none of their attorneys have been told why their clients are in solitary or when they can be expected to be removed.
For many Americans, the day after Christmas is spent recovering from over-indulgent holiday feasts, returning ill-fitting sweaters or relaxing with family. But for local activist Matthew “Maddy” Pfeiffer that day was anything but festive: on December 26, 2012 they were taken into custody at the SeaTac Federal Detention Center for refusing to testify before grand jury.
Maddy is the latest in a string of activists imprisoned on charges of civil contempt for not complying with the grand jury.
Since grand juries are secret by law, the government cannot disclose information about their proceedings. According to statements from the US Attorney’s Office however, this grand jury is investigating damage of the William Kenzo Nakamura U.S. Courthouse that occurred at the May Day protests in Seattle earlier this year by a group of “black bloc” protesters. But temporarily unsealed documents obtained by The Seattle Times have revealed that the FBI and Joint Terrorism Task Force were monitoring a group of activists prior to the May Day rally.
Becoming an investor is predicated on the fact that you have extra money to invest; this of course precludes many lower-income folks who would otherwise support local economic development. But Aslan Meade of Sustainable South Sound pointed out that a local investment movement needs organizers in addition to investors.
Downtown jeweler Precious Metalsmiths may be one of the small businesses that could benefit from an Olympia investment network. They were one of at least five businesses who attended the initial LION event. Precious Metalsmiths got its start selling artistic jewelry at the Farmer’s Market 13 years ago and has since expanded into a new location on 5th Ave.
Area investors consider putting their money into Olympia’s small businesses
A new group of Thurston County residents is gearing up to take the “buy local” concept to a new level. Working off of a model pioneered by a Port Townsend group called LION (Local Investment Opportunities Network), the Olympia cohort is forming a network of investors interested in funneling funds into the local economy. Instead of investing in bonds or stock in the formal market, investors in the new network would work directly with local small businesses to provide private loans or financing from anything to stocking supply, expanding capacity, or refinancing credit debt.