Brooklyn’s 24-year-old Gerald Koch is not charged in the 2008 bombing of a Times Square military recruitment center, which injured no one, but he’s still at the center of the case. Prosecutors believe Koch may have heard something about who did it in a bar back in 2008 or 2009, and have subpoenaed him to testify in front of a grand jury for the second time. He claims to have “no recollection of any such incident,” and so, like last time, he’s refusing to testify, calling the situation “a ‘fishing expedition’ to gain information concerning my personal beliefs and political associations.” For this, he’s willing to serve eighteen months in jail.
“I accept this recompense, understanding that in doing so I will reinforce a tradition of defending individual rights in the face of state repression,” Koch wrote in a statement available at the Jerry Resists website. Demonstrators are encouraged to “pack the court” during his appearance on Thursday.
Koch’s story made it all the way to the New York Times today, a spotlight that will come in handy and maybe raise some hackles should the ridiculous case result in him being held in contempt of court. The self-identified anarchist activist, a former philosophy student at the New School who has worked with Occupy Wall Street, calls the grand jury process “a fruitless exercise of fear-mongering and government intimidation,” as well as “a witch hunt against anarchists and political radicals.” Even if the language is predictable or induces eye rolls, that doesn’t mean he’s wrong.