Panagacos V Towery
Organized by: Julianne Panagacos
Welcome to my 26th birthday fundraising page! In 2007, I sat in the streets of Olympia to protest the illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I was arrested but did not hear anything from the city- I never could have predicted the legal battle that would follow. Almost a year later in 2008, I was prosecuted for "attempted disorderly conduct", then the next year the stakes got higher.
In 2009, it was revealed through public records requests that over a 2-year period beginning in 2006, Army intelligence analyst John J. Towery (under the alias “John Jacob”) infiltrated and spied on the Olympia antiwar group Port Militarization Resistance (PMR) as well as several other organizations, like SDS and IVAW. The effects for hundreds of Olympia based activists were drastic. Many people were illegally arrested and prosecuted, some people were followed by the police and listed on the FBI domestic terrorist watch list, some loss trust in a friend, and many suffer from isolation and doubt and no longer participate in activism.
In the begining of 2010 we filed a federal suit against John Towery, his boss Tom Rudd and the City of Olympia and Tacoma. In 2012 we won at the 9th circuit, we got past a 40 year old United State Supreme Court precedent that ruled domestic data-gathering by the military was not actionable if it "only" chills political speech and activities. Laird v. Tatum, 408 U.S. 1 (1972).
In mid 2013 depositions started, since then we have collected a lot of information to power the case forward. We got more than 10,000 pages in discovery from the army and police departments, and took depositions of 20 people that were part of the network set up to monitor and sabotage activists. In time, we hope to make much of this information public to show the extent of what has become common place in law enforcement; currently, most of these documents cannot be shared because they are confidential.
This June, we were dealt a low blow by the federal district court judge when he decided to throw all four of our claims out of court without issuing a statement. We are now on the defensive, appealing the summary judgement decision to the 9th circuit court, where it will be heard by a panel of judges sometime in the next year. We won at the 9th circuit before and feel confident that we can do it again but we need help. Funding will go to support the appeal and pay court reporters from depositions over the past year. Thank you so much for your support!