Update on Scott DeMuth
Thursday, May 13 2010
Recently, the FBI visited David Pellow, Scott's advisor. David has been a
vocal supporter of Scott and of academic freedom. When the FBI got wind of a
freedom-loving individual in town, they just had to come a knockin'. David
decided not to speak to them—and that's good! Remember, never speak to the
FBI or any law enforcement officers. Speak to your lawyer instead. Update on
Scott DeMuth: FBI Visits, National Day of Solidarity, Road Tour, and
In this update:
1. FBI visits David
Pellow (Scott's advisor) and others
2. Call out for a National Day of
Solidarity with Scott DeMuth...start planning now!
3. Call out for road
tour stops in July/August
4. May 25: Community Dinner to benefit SCSC in
5. June 6: Ssshh! Secret Café to benefit SCSC in Minneapolis
6. June 22-26: People's Movement Assembly at the US Social Forum in Detroit
7. August 23: Scott's pre-trial hearing in Davenport
8. Donations still
needed for the legal defense fund
It's been a
while since we're written. Sorry. It's not that we don't love you...we've
just been busy organizing grand things for the future... Thanks for sticking
1. FBI visits David Pellow (Scott's advisor) and others
Recently, the FBI visited David Pellow, Scott's advisor. David has been
a vocal supporter of Scott and of academic freedom. When the FBI got wind of
a freedom-loving individual in town, they just had to come a knockin'. David
decided not to speak to them—and that's good! Remember, never speak to the
FBI or any law enforcement officers. Speak to your lawyer instead.
The FBI has also visited two other people recently and attempted to question
them about Scott. Have we mentioned that it's never a good idea to talk to
If you're visited, remember not to talk to them but to your
lawyer. And let us know too at scottandcarrie [at] riseup [dot] net.
Below is a statement from David:
“Scott DeMuth is one of my advisees
here at the University of Minnesota. He is a bright, hard working graduate
student who has become ensnared in a federal investigation that has left him
with the possibility of facing several years in jail related to conspiracy
and terrorism charges (his trial begins this fall). The federal government
is building a case against him because they believe he has knowledge of at
least two Animal Liberation Front actions that occurred in Iowa and
Minnesota in 2004 and 2006, respectively. The U.S. Attorney prosecuting the
case has also made it clear that he believes Scott is guilty because he is
an anarchist and is believed to be associated with activists who are earth
and animal liberation advocates. Scott has indeed worked to educate the
public about issues concerning eco-prisoners and other political prisoners
in the United States. He has also worked for years advocating for the rights
of Dakota peoples, who have been dispossessed of their homelands by military
force. And he has done impressive sociological research on these social
movements and presented his work at professional conferences. He and I have
recently begun collaborating on a research project that focuses on many of
these issues. So when the government came knocking on my door I took notice.
“Monday, April 6, 2010: This morning when I arrived at my place of
employment—the University of Minnesota—I went straight to my mailbox. There
was the usual pile of academic junk mail—catalogues from publishers,
invitations to receptions, etc. But there was something else this time: a
business card with a post-it attached to it that read: “re: student, Pellow,
04/06/10, 9:15am.” The business card was for a Steve Molesky, Special Agent,
Federal Bureau of Investigation, Minneapolis Division. He also left a voice
message for me in my office that stated that he wanted to “interview” me in
the next day or so. He didn’t say about what, but the post-it from the
receptionist offered an indication (“re: student”).
called several trusted lawyer colleagues, read the NLG’s “Operation
Backfire” guide, and spoke with activists here in the Twin Cities community,
all of whom suggested I not talk to the feds. My view on the matter is that
I am Scott’s advisor and as such, I should be looking out for him and
advocating for him, so talking to people who are trying to build a case
against him is probably not in his best interest. One person also pointed
out that given Assistant U.S. Attorney Clifford Cronk’s characterization of
me during Scott DeMuth’s arraignment in November 2009 as someone who left
him a voice mail message protesting Scott’s detention and criticizing grand
juries, it’s likely that they already have formed a certain opinion of me.
One of my lawyer colleagues told me that by law I have the right not to talk
to the FBI, but if I do then be courteous. My own attorney added that if
they persist then I might ask them to send me their questions in written
form and that I would run them by counsel.
“Wednesday, April 8, 2010:
Agent Molesky called my home phone today and left a message that clearly was
directed toward asking questions about Scott’s research and my own research.
He stated: “I’d like to ask you a couple of questions about one of your
students you are the advisor for at the University, Scott DeMuth. I’d like
to ask you a couple of questions about the research that you do and the
research that he does for you.” I then followed up with a request for a
detailed list of questions.
“Thursday, April 9, 2010: Agent Molesky
replied, 'I recognize and understand your request, however, I will probably
be unable to satisfy it; not because I don't want to but because I can not.
I have been asked to interview you by our office in Cedar Rapids, IA. With
their request they did not include a specific list of questions. When we
conduct interviews, it is more an art than a science, meaning that except
for a few questions, I never have scripted questions for an interview--the
answers, demeanor, and posture of the interviewee normally dictate the
questions I ask and the direction in which the interview moves.' He
continued, 'I will be asking you about any human research studies that you
are conducting in which Scott DeMuth may be participating as study
personnel. I will also be querying you on your contacts and relationship
with Peter Young that may be relevant to the DeMuth investigation.'
“After receiving Agent Steven Molesky’s email message today, I spoke with my
attorney and we decided that Molesky was firmly within the realm of
infringing upon academic freedom. Thus I have decided not to grant the
interview request. To speak to Agent Molesky about my research at the level
of detail indicated above would very likely violate the American
Sociological Association’s Code of Ethics, which states: 'Sociologists have
an obligation to protect confidential information and not allow information
gained in confidence from being used in ways that would unfairly compromise
research participants, students, employees, clients, or others.'
'Confidential information provided by research participants, students,
employees, clients, or others is treated as such by sociologists even if
there is no legal protection or privilege to do so.' (Section 11.01). The
Code of Ethics also states, 'Sociologists do not disclose confidential,
personally identifiable information concerning their research participants,
other recipients of their service which is obtained during the course of
their work.' (Section 11.06).
“I appreciate Agent Molesky’s polite
and cordial approach to this process, but I cannot and will not violate the
trust relationship that I have with my advisee and colleague Scott DeMuth
and with the participants in my research study.
“- David N. Pellow,
Professor of Sociology, University of Minnesota”
2. Call out for
a National Day of Solidarity with Scott DeMuth...start planning now!
* When: Friday, July 23rd
* Where: Your town
We're putting out a
call for events around the nation to show solidarity with Scott as he
prepares for trial in September. Host a fundraiser...a concert, a house
party, a movie screening, a brunch, a play. Do something creative...street
theater, a puppet show, an art auction. Stage a rally. Convene a panel of
speakers. Whatever you want.
Anything you can do to raise awareness
of Scott's case and to help us raise money for his legal defense will be
amazing and ever so greatly appreciated. Email us at scottandcarrie [at]
riseup [dot] net to let us know what you have planned!
out for road tour stops in July/August
Some SCSC members will be
hitting the road in the second half of July through the first half of August
to help raise awareness of Scott's case, grand juries, and other forms of
state repression. And they want to visit you!
The tentative plan is
to start in Minneapolis, head out to the East Coast, down towards the South,
across the continent through the Southwest, up the West Coast, and then back
home to the Midwest. Stops are needed along the way! If you can help host an
event in your town, let us know! You can email us at scottandcarrie [at]
riseup [dot] net to let us know you're interested.
The people going
on the tour can give presentations on or facilitate discussions of Scott's
and Carrie's situations. They can also facilitate Know Your Rights trainings
and grand jury resistance trainings. Let us know what would benefit your
community and we'll work with you to make it happen.
4. May 25:
Community Dinner to benefit SCSC in Minneapolis
* When: Tuesday, May
* Where: PPNA Building, 821 E. 35th St., Minneapolis
It's time for a pizza dinner! SCSC members will be hosting a delicious pizza
dinner (vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options will be available) to
raise funds, awareness, and full belly feelings to support Scott. All
donations will go to the legal defense fund.
Mark your calendars now
and plan on bringing friends!
5. June 6: Ssshh! Secret Café to
benefit SCSC in Minneapolis
* When: Sunday, June 6, 10am-2pm
Where: That's the secret part! Ask yer friends...
Word on the street
is that a scrumptious brunch will be served on Sunday, June 6th. Pancakes,
waffles, tofu scramble, bloody marys, mimosas, coffee, tea, various kinds of
bread, live music could all be there waiting for you, but you didn't hear
that from us.
All donations will go to the legal defense fund.
6. June 22-26: People's Movement Assembly at the US Social Forum in
* When: Sometime between June 22-26, exact date TBD
Where: Social Forum, Detroit
Heading out to the US Social Forum in
Detroit this June? Look for us there! We're proud to join a number of other
organizations around the nation to host a People's Movement Assembly (PMA)
during the Forum. The Forum organizers recently highlighted our PMA in one
of their announcements:
“Prison Justice Movement Assembly
number of vibrant and diverse organizations and networks are struggling to
end the US prison empire and its state violence by resisting the drug war
and new modes of criminalization; challenging the incarceration of youth,
women and queer and trans people; fighting against prison expansion,
solitary confinement, torture, and the death penalty; and working to free
political prisoners and establish civil and human rights for formerly
“The U.S. Social Forum and the Prison Justice
Movement Assembly is the time to build greater coordination in regional
campaigns around shared issues and develop a national strategy of action
that unites our diverse campaigns against imprisonment and repression.
“Sponsored/endorsed by (list in formation): California Coalition for
Women in Prison, California Prison Moratorium Project, Free Mumia Abu Jamal
Coalition, Freedom Archives, Human Rights Coalition, International Concerned
Friends and Family of Mumia Abu-Jamal, Jericho Amnesty Movement, Malcolm X
Grassroots Movement, Resistance in Brooklyn, RNC8 Defense Committee, Scott
and Carrie Support Committee, The Ordinary People’s Society, War Resisters
We'll provide you with more information as we have it. More
information on the Forum can be found at
http://www.ussf2010.org. See ya in Detroit!
7. August 23:
Scott's pre-trial hearing in Davenport
Mark your calendars now! We're
not sure if this hearing will be in person or over the phone yet, but we'll
let you know as soon as we do. Unless Scott's pre-trial schedule changes,
this will be his last hearing before trial in September. His legal team
expects to argue several important motions at this hearing—including the
motions to dismiss the indictment because of prosecutorial misconduct and
8. Donations still needed for the legal
Can you tell that we're still scrambling to raise money
to cover the enormous legal fees we're expecting from Scott's defense? Yes,
it's true. Every dollar helps us support Scott. You, your friends, your
enemies, and everyone else can donate to the legal defense fund online or
through the mail.
To donate online, visit
http://davenportgrandjury.wordpress.com and click on the “Donate” button
on the right side of the page.
To donate by check or money order,
make the check or money order out to Coldsnap Legal Collective with “EWOK!”
in the subject line and mail it to SCSC c/o Coldsnap Legal Collective, P.O.
Box 50514, Minneapolis, MN.
Much love and solidarity,
SCSC (Scott and Carrie Support Committee)