The case of a Portland man accused of throwing a flaming PBR bottle at a marked Portland police car last year took an interesting turn, according to the Oregonian last night, when Sergey Turzhanskiy was ordered released by a federal judge—but told not to associate with known anarchist groups.
Apparently, it's because Turzhanskiy has received public support from anarchist groups protesting a federal investigation into May Day vandalism at a Seattle courthouse that's turned into something of political witchhunt.
In particular, he must have no contact with members of a group that a federal prosecutor called the Resist the NW Grand Jury....
A post on the Resist the NW Grand Jury's Facebook page Dec. 5 said, "Our friend Sergey has been in jail for a full month now (unrelated to the grand jury)," and asked if readers have written to him yet.
"Our concern is the defendant is a flight risk because of his serious involvement with anarchist activity, which is a threat to the community," [Assistant US Attorney Stephen] Peifer said.
Turzhanskiy's case is not directly tied to the Seattle investigation, in which the feds, right now, have three people locked up—in solitary confinement, despite facing no charges—because they refuse to answer questions about their political ties and associates. But it's another example of how concerned law enforcement has become over the word "anarchist" and, let's not forget, "Occupy." And, interestingly, the feds' anarchism hunt is, itself, spurring other reported criminal acts—like a smashed window at a Portland bank this morning.
Our siblings at the Stranger interviewed two of those three uncharged prisoners just before the holidays.
Olejnik says the prosecutor only asked her four questions about May Day, which she answered truthfully: Was she in Seattle on May Day? (No.) Where was she? (Working at her waitress/bartending job in Olympia.) Had she been in Seattle a week before or a week after May Day? (No.) Had anybody talked to her about May Day? (No. In fact, she says she learned most of what she knows about the smashup while she was in court.)...
Then, she says, the prosecutor began rattling off names and showing photographs of people, asking about their social contacts and political opinions. Olejnik guesses he asked "at least 50 questions" in that vein, compared to the four about May Day. That's when she shut down, refused to answer, was found in contempt of court, and was sent to SeaTac FDC.
The whole thing is worth a read.