The original post—about The Stranger's push for greater transparency from federal prosecutors in this whole grand jury/sending activists to prison and solitary confinement for not answering (arguably McCarthyesque) questions about other people's politics—is below the jump. (And can we start using "O.P.P." to mean "other people's politics"?)
But to the point: Thank you, Sloggers. We started an Indiegogo campaign asking for $500 to file in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In the first day, we met the goal and quickly ramped up to over $800.
Because of your donations, we can afford to file and keep pushing this thing.
We've got four more days to go—and though we only asked for $500, every dollar more helps. The more money we have, the more nimble we can afford to be with our legal strategy. And if we have any money left over, we'll decide what to do with it together.
But really: Thank you.
In the process of covering the grand jury, its refusers, and the recent release of two of them, The Stranger has gotten involved in a months-long legal process of trying to push the federal government to be more transparent about its legal maneuverings.
Throughout this process, The Stranger has been working with attorney Neil Fox, president of the local chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, petitioning to unseal some of the documents in this case that prosecutors have reflexively shielded. Some of those motions, for example, aren't sensitive to the investigation, but merely cite precedent and case law. We have been successful in getting some made public (such as a copy of the government's search-warrant affidavit, which [attorneys] Gordon and Kaplan say was helpful in getting their clients released), but not others (such as the full civil contempt proceedings). If we can raise the funds—including a $450 filing fee and at least $300 for printing—Fox and The Stranger will push our case for greater government transparency to the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. We plan to file soon.
The feds seems to be using a "seal-it-because-we-said-so" approach instead of a "seal-it-because-it's-actually-sensitive" approach. This is a problem because we, as citizens and as journalists, should have access to what our federal prosecutors are doing. Sealing motions should be the exception, not the rule. So we're taking this argument to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Our attorney, Neil Fox, is lending his expertise and drafting our motions pro bono, but the paperwork and filing fees ain't cheap. The Stranger will chip in some money, of course, and a few private donors have come forward. But we'll need a little help getting over the hump.
So we've started an Indiegogo campaign to make up the difference. If you want to show federal prosecutors that we are interested in how they do business in federal court, please donate here. (And remember: The more money we raise, the more nimble we can afford to be with our legal strategy.)
If we have money left over, neither Neil Fox nor I nor The Stranger will take a penny. You, dear Sloggers, will help us figure out what to do with it.