About two dozen protesters with DC’s antifa movement gathered to support antifa-aligned independent journalist Paul ‘Luke’ Kuhn. Kuhn, who identifies as an anarchist, was sent a federal grand jury subpoena demanding “all recorded images, audio and data of protests near the White House, in Washington, D.C. on August 12, 2018, between the hours of 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., that are contained in a hand-held, Canon, flip-screen camera, with a black hand strap, that you possessed within the District of Columbia on August 12, 2018.”
At the time period described, Kuhn was filming antifa counter-protests against Jason Kessler’s “Unite the Right 2” sequel to last year’s Charlottesville protest that turned deadly.
Kuhn, whose work can be found at dcindymedia.org, stood outside the courthouse as he was originally instructed to appear inside.
“I am refusing to comply with this grand jury subpoena,” Kuhn told the press. “I will not betray my own people. To comply with this would be a negation of my entire life’s work. No how, no way.”
Many of antifa’s protesters wore masks portraying Kuhn’s face to show solidarity.
“We will not be intimidated by the state. We will not comply with grand juries,” added Lacy MacAuley, an organizer with DC’s antifa movement. “Our comrade does not intend to report for questioning or turn over any footage. The comrade does so at risk of bodily safety: The state can imprison people for an indefinite period of time for resisting a grand jury subpoena. We will not submit.”
“United States District Court federal grand jury, this is what I think of your subpoena,” Kuhn said before lighting a copy on fire.
“Fuck grand juries,” the group chanted, as they marched to a second nearby courthouse. Kuhn burned a second copy of the subpoena.
As the group began to depart, Kuhn received a call from his attorney.
“The subpoena has been withdrawn. They have given up. They have thrown in the towel. We have won. They have lost. Any questions?” Kuhn declared.
“So you just have to set it on fire and it’s cancelled?” News2Share’s Ford Fischer asked sarcastically.
“Pretty much,” Kuhn said. He went on to explain that how his lawyer argued successfully against the subpoena’s legitimacy.
While this was a victory for antifa, the subpoena shows that the Department of Justice is conducting “some sort of grand jury investigation” into antifa, said one activist. It is unclear who the precise target of the investigation is.
— Ford Fischer (@FordFischer) September 11, 2018