Collective Action Behind Bars

collective action behind bars zine cover

Sub-titled “A History of Jail Solidarity and its Importance for Today’s Social Change Movements,” this zine explores the use of jail solidarity as a tactic by resistance movements. While written with the idea of resistance at the 2016 presidential conventions in mind, this essay offers a helpful overview of jail solidarity tactics ranging from the (somewhat) well-known examples from the Seattle World Trade Organization (WTO) protests in 1999 to its use at subsequent mass convergences in the early 2000s. It broadens this focus to a longer range historical look, going back to the Industrial Workers of the World’s (IWW) “Free Speech” fights in the early 1900s and the civil rights movement of the 1960s. It’s a good mix of practical advice mixed with theoretical and strategic analysis.

Criminal Legal System for Radicals

criminal legal system for radicals zine cover

Sub-titled “Setting and Balancing Personal, Political, and Legal Goals” this zine by the Tilted Scales Collective offers a helpful collection of insights for radicals coming up against the legal system. The discussion – excerpted from an upcoming book – focuses on the need to balance personal, political, and legal goals and how these different considerations often intersect with each other. It is important reading for all radicals and its detailed analysis offers many helpful tips for navigating the legal system and preparing for encounters with it.

Topics covered include subpoenas, going underground, staging “political” defenses, taking plea agreements, snitching (don’t do it), making public statements, and much more. It is both very thorough and highly readable.

For the Pacific Northwest Grand Jury Resisters

This zine was released in 2012 for the anarchists who were caught up in a grand jury investigation of anarchy in the Pacific Northwest. While to some degree that investigation has run its course with the grand jury resisters being released from jail, the overview of their cases presents an important look at how grand juries function. The zine collects statements from the resisters, news articles, primary source documents, tips on what to do if you are subpoenaed by a grand jury, and a detailed history of how grand juries have been used as a tool to stifle political struggle. This is one of the most comprehensive zines on grand juries and is essential reading.

Grand Jury Investigations, FBI Harassment, and Your Rights

Grand Jury Investigations, FBI Harassment, and Your Rights

This zine is a compilation of articles from the animal liberation magazine No Compromise designed to help activists better understand and resist grand jury investigations. The topics addressed include tips for dealing with FBI and other law enforcement, an explanation of subpoenas and how to deal with them, protocol for dealing with snitches and informants, and how to organize against grand juries. While the texts are aimed at the animal liberation movement, the information is helpful for a wide range of activists. Guide to Federal Grand Jury Investigations Guide to Federal Grand Jury Investigations

From the introduction: “This Guide presents a summary description of what a federal grand jury is, what to do if you get served with a grand jury subpoena, the Fifth Amendment right not to testify against oneself and how the government can compel you to testify by granting you immunity, what happens when you testify, and what a joint defense agreement is and how it can be useful to people who are being investigated. Many political activists have read “Know Your Rights” and “What To Do If The FBI Shows Up” pamphlets distributed by the National Lawyers Guild, the ACLU, and/or radical legal collectives, but most folks are not very familiar with the grand jury process. So, this Guide is designed to demystify that process a bit, and to offer some thoughts about how to protect your rights if you get drawn into a grand jury investigation.”

Know Your Rights! What You Need To Know

This is a very comprehensive “know your rights” zine published by JustUs NYC. It covers a broad range of legal topics that are of interest to anarchists and other political radicals. It begins by explaining what is and isn’t allowed under the First Amendment by providing helpful examples of scenarios and situations you are likely to encounter (i.e. at a protest or publishing a zine). From there, the zine moves on to discuss the Fourth Amendment and searches, warrants, etc, outlining your rights in various situations (i.e. in a car). There is a discussion of the Fifth Amendment and questioning by the state (including an overview of grand juries). This is followed by a section titled “Other Steps to Protect Yourself” that looks at high-risk groups, cyber rights, rights of people who are non-US citizens, gender, etc. There is also a helpful “Glossary of Terms” that defines basic legal concepts, terms, and phrases. This is essential reading!

Resist Grand Juries: The Front Line is Everywhere

resist grand juries zine

This zine explores the Grand Jury that was convened in response to the Standing Rock encampment. It consists of an interview from The Final Straw with an anarchist legal worker who was involved in providing legal support for the hundreds of people who faced legal consequences in the aftermath of Standing Rock. The zine does a good job of talking about the importance of never cooperating with a Grand Jury, establishing a cultural of non-cooperation and refusal, and providing a clear explanation of how that can be done. This particular conversation breaks down the attempted veil of secrecy that grand juries cast while highlighting the many forms of resistance to this particular grand jury at Standing Rock.

Resist the Grand Juries

Resist the Grand Juries

This zine looks at Grand Juries in the context of the “Green Scare” harassment of environmental activists and provides an overview of that harassment combined with good, practical advice on what to do if you are subpoenaed to appear before a Grand Jury and/or approached by the FBI. This is basic, nuts-and-bolts information that everyone should know!

Surviving A Grand Jury

surviving a grand jury cover

Sub-titled “Three Narratives from Grand Jury Resistors”, this zine collects stories from three people who dealt with the consequences of a Grand Jury investigating their communities. These include 2 people who chose to resist the Grand Jury and chose not to cooperate (one went to jail and one went on the run) and a partner of the person who chose to go to jail rather than cooperate. It’s a powerful set of stories that does an excellent job of exploring the human consequences of what happens when people chose to resist a Grand Jury. It’s essential reading for anyone in radical communities of any kind as we’re better able to both collectively and individually resist these forms of repression when we have thought about them ahead of time.

Untitled, or What to Do When Everyone Gets Arrested

Untitled, Or What To Do When Everyone Gets Arrested

This huge zine by the CRASS collective provides a very detailed overview of their work providing support for arrestees at the 2008 Republican National Convention (RNC) protests in the Twin Cities. It provides an overview and analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of their approach, talks about how they did things (from running meetings to providing court support and everything in between), and provides examples of various forms they used (for arrestee intake, police misconduct report, etc). This is a very important zine that should help expand our collective knowledge-base as anarchists.

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