MEDIA ADVISORY JULY 26: DC Community Rallies Thursday as Lawyers Argue that Charges against Inauguration Day Protesters Should Be Dismissed
By PRESS RELEASE
Sam Menefee-Libey (Dead City Legal Posse)
Defend J20 Resistance and The Dead City Legal Posse
For Immediate Release: July 26, 2017
DC Community Rallies Thursday as Lawyers Argue that Charges against Inauguration Day Protesters Should Be Dismissed
Hearing on motion to dismiss comes as groups demand US Attorney Channing Phillips drop the charges
Washington, DC – Defense attorneys for Inauguration Day protesters go to court on Thursday to argue that their charges should be dismissed. Oral arguments for a motion to dismiss will be heard by Judge Lynn Leibovitz this Thursday at 11am in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The motion was filed last month on behalf of more than twenty Inauguration Day protesters but now includes the vast majority of defendants currently facing charges.
What: Hearing on a motion to dismiss charges against Inauguration Day protesters
When: Thursday, July 27, 2017 at 11am
Where: H. Carl Moultrie Courthouse, 500 Indiana Ave NW, Washington, DC, Courtroom 215
Before the hearing, several local DC community organizations, including Stop Police Terror DC, and the DC chapters of The National Lawyers’ Guild, Black Lives Matter, Democratic Socialists of America, and the Industrial Workers of the World, will rally outside the courthouse demanding that the cases be dismissed. A press conference will be held by supporters at 10am Thursday in advance of the hearing outside of the H. Carl Moultrie Courthouse.
On January 20, Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officers indiscriminately attacked hundreds of protesters, journalists, legal observers, and bystanders with chemical and projectile weapons, then “kettled “ more than 200 people before arresting everyone. All of those arrested were charged with felony rioting, followed in April by a superseding indictment that charged all defendants with at least eight felonies each, punishable by up to 75 years in prison.
“The Trump administration is suffering from a crisis of legitimacy which extends to the outrageous charges levied against all of us, “ said Elizabeth Lagesse, one of the Inauguration Day defendants who filed the motion to dismiss. “More than six months after we were rounded up and violently arrested, the government has failed to make its case but continues to waste the public’s money by maliciously prosecuting us. “
Defense attorneys will argue at Thursday’s hearing that the current indictment violates the Inauguration Day protesters’ constitutional rights and fails to establish a basis for the charges. According to the motion to dismiss, “The government’s unprecedented theory of non-individualized, ‘group’ criminal liability has produced an Indictment that is overrun with fatal defects.”
Defense attorneys will also argue Thursday for disclosure of the government’s legal instructions to the grand jury, which are typically secret and hidden from public scrutiny. Defense attorneys claim that the indictment issued in April “misconstrues the relevant law,” and accuse the government of “improperly instruct[ing] the grand jury on the law.”
Trials are scheduled to begin in November 2017 and will continue into the fall of 2018. Meanwhile, more than 130 defendants are working collectively together to fight their charges, and have agreed to ‘ Points of Unity ,’ including a refusal to cooperate with the prosecution or testify against each other.
Defend J20 Resistance is a large group of felony defendants arrested on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC and their supporters who have all agreed not to testify against each other and are working together to collectively defend themselves. DefendJ20Resistance.org _is a product of their work.
The Dead City Legal Posse is a collective of DC activists formed in response to the January 20, 2017 arrests working to provide support to those facing charges._