My name is Katie Yow. On Monday, July 10th I was served a subpoena to a federal grand jury, being held in Greensboro, NC, and ordered to appear on July 31st. While many things about what will happen next are developing and uncertain, one thing is absolutely clear: I will never comply with this or any subpoena.
I have lived in so-called North Carolina for my entire life. I am a social worker and an artist who works in mental health and advocacy with young folks whose lives are impacted by courts and incarceration. I spent years before this as an elementary school teacher, a high school librarian, and running a bookstore and community center. I have been an anarchist for nearly half my life. My convictions as an anarchist inform every part of my life, and being part of the anarchist movement gives me all the strength I need to resist this subpoena.
I am resisting this grand jury with the benefit of the example of decades of committed and courageous grand jury resistance by comrades across our movements. I am resisting this grand jury with the considerable support and wisdom of many people who work every day to combat state repression. I am resisting this grand jury in solidarity with all those resisting the unforgivable daily violence of the state.
While we do not yet know the subject of the grand jury, we do know that it follows a spike in FBI harassment across the state. We also know that grand juries are used to intimidate communities of resistance. Whatever the specifics of this situation, our response to this grand jury must be defiance.
I want to express how moved and fortified I have been by the outpouring of support I have already received in the several days that we have been spreading the word about this subpoena. If there is anyone else who may be in the same position that I am with this grand jury, I want to urge you to make it public and resist this grand jury, with me and with all of us. If you have been contacted or subpoenaed, you can email NoRepressionNC@protonmail.com.
I cannot begin to explain what defending the land and the people I call home means to me, but I want to express that my resistance to this grand jury comes from my fierce love for them. I was raised in movement by bold and resilient elders, inheriting histories of resistance that taught me what it means to fight from where you stand. I know people here will respond to this as we do the many other challenges we face: with care, creativity, joy, humor and resolve. Our struggle is long, and our lives are spent in commitment to it. I have spent over a decade organizing and building family with some of the bravest and kindest people I could imagine knowing. I have known, long before now, the depths of our strength, and it is with honor to that strength that I say that there is nothing on this earth that could compel me to degrade my integrity by testifying in a grand jury.
The state demeans everything that we hold dear when they threaten us in this way. The most free and wild thing we have in this world is our love for each other, and we know that our health, our safety and our liberation can only exist in a world without their cops, their courts and their cages. Our strength lies in knowing that we can provide that for each other, and that nothing they offer or threaten is worth betraying our commitment to our communities.
As state repression escalates, I know that all of us are struggling with the trauma and the grief that comes from the forces we fight against, and the vulnerability that we feel to the state in its despicable efforts to attack us. What I also know, what I believe with all my heart and everything I have, is that we have the strength we need to take care of each other and to fight back until we win.