[Marxism] NYC anarchist jailed for refusing to speak to grand jury

Andrew Battle andrew.battle at gmail.com
Wed May 22 12:41:44 MDT 2013

NYC anarchist Gerald "Jerry" Koch was taken into federal custody
yesterday after a civil contempt hearing where he again refused to
answer questions in front of a grand jury investigating a 2008 crime.
The whole story can be found at


but in a nutshell, Jerry was called in front of the grand jury in 2009
and refused to speak to them at that time. Prosecutors told his
lawyers they believed he had overheard something in a bar related to
the 2008 attack on the army recruitment center in Times Square, which
broke a window but injured no one. Jerry says he has no information
about the 2008 incident and does not recall any bar situation
prosecutors seem to be referring to. Nothing came of it until he was
subpoenaed again this year.

This situation is similar to the one in the pacific northwest where
anarchists were hounded and jailed at the end of last year
(http://nopoliticalrepression.wordpress.com/). The grand jury is
ostensibly investigating a 2008 case but this has the hallmarks of a
vindictive and politically motivated prosecution. Jerry has become
something of a public face for NYC anarchists through his extensive
legal work on behalf of people arrested during demonstrations or
otherwise targeted by the state, particularly during the recent
OWS-related events in New York. We believe his imprisonment is
simultaneously a scare tactic meant to intimidate radicals and a
fishing expedition for prosecutors to glean information on his family,
friends, and political associates. It is important to note that Jerry
is not a target of the investigation and is not charged with any
crime. Nonetheless he is in prison for as long as the grand jury
continues, which could be more than a year from now. He can get out by
agreeing to cooperate with prosecutors but he is refusing to be made
an accomplice to red scares and witch hunts.

There is plenty more on the case and a list of ways to support Jerry
on the website listed above. Those of us supporting him are eager to
spread the word about this so please feel free to be in touch and
thank you for listening.

Andy Battle

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