Defend J20 Resistance Newsletter, September 2017
By Defend J20 Resistance
On January 20th, 230 people were mass arrested during demonstrations against Donald Trump’s Inauguration. The arrests were made by use of a “kettle” technique of individuals on the corners of L and 12th Street, without orders to disperse. After multiple rounds of charges, the 194 remaining defendants could now face up to 75 years in prison on 8+ identical felony charges.
This e-mail newsletter exists to keep supporters updated about the case and plugged in for when support and solidarity initiatives are being organized. The first trials are scheduled for this fall, so now is the time to stand up in solidarity. If you know someone who’d like to be added to our newsletter, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know or sign-up here.
In this newsletter:
- #Defend J20 Week of Solidarity
- Motions to Dismiss & Reveal Grand Jury Instructions
- Petition to Drop the Charges
- Police investigation
- DreamHost Updates
- Support Dane!
#Defend J20 Week of Solidarity
In response to a call for a week of solidarity with J20 Defendants from July 20 - July 27, a number of events and actions took place in dozens of cities internationally to publicize the case, generate support, and demonstrate solidarity with the defendants.
Banners with messages demanding the charges be dropped were hung in public spaces. Benefits and events where information was spread about the case were organized in multiple cities. Flyers, stickers, and posters were put in public areas around the US. For more information, and to see all the posters and banners, check out this report back:
Motions to Dismiss & Reveal Grand Jury Instructions
On July 27, a motion to dismiss the charges for all the defendants was presented in court. In addition, a motion was argued to compel the court to release the instructions given to the grand jury which led to the charges being filed. The motions to dismiss the charges were built on a number of different grounds, including constitutional rights and challenges to case law related to the case. On September 14, Judge Lynn Leibovitz issued an order denying all the motions to dismiss except for one count- an additional misdemeanor charge of assault of an officer that included some but not all defendants. In light of this denial, we are continuing to stand in solidarity with each other and take these charges to trial.
Please visit the Support J20 blog for a statement on the judge’s order and a link to the order itself:
Drop the Charges
Looking for a way to help out with the case? Check out this petition addressing U.S. Attorney Channing Phillips demanding all the charges be dropped: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/dropj20-end-the-repression/
Or visit our “Drop the Charges” campaign and call or write U.S. Attorney Channing Phillips and demand directly that they drop all charges against J20 protesters:
Investigation of Police Misconduct on J20
Earlier this year, the District Council approved $1.5 million in funding for an investigation of police misconduct on J20. The call for an investigation stems from a critical report issued after the Inauguration Day protests by the Mayor’s Office of Police Complaints (OPC), detailing how police were indiscriminately violent and used unlawful tactics to mass arrest more than 200 people. Funds for the investigation become available on October 1, 2017. Please urge the OPC to begin investigating the police as soon as possible, before the first trial in November: http://defendj20resistance.org/investigate-the-mpd.html.
Call Rochelle Howard at the Office of Police Complaints at (202) 727-3838 or e-mail: email@example.com
The DreamHost Case: Mass Surveillance by the Department of Justice
In early August, the Department of Justice subpoenaed the webhosting company DreamHost for all data they had on the hundreds of thousands of visitors who viewed the disruptj20 website, which had publicized the demonstration before the inauguration. This data grab led to public anger and to pushback by a judge. The DOJ pared down its request to target only defendants and alleged DC organizers in response, but as the Electronic Frontier Foundation documents, the subpoena remains a threat to internet and general freedoms. DreamHost announced in early September that they plan to appeal the ruling.
Our condolences go to the family and comrades of Heather Heyer, murdered by a Neo-Nazi during the clashes in Charlottesvile, Virginia, and to all those who were injured and arrested fighting back against white supremacy. The Charlottesville clashes demonstrate that the movement kicked off on J20 - against Trump’s chauvinistic aim to “Make America Great Again” continues across the US. This article highlights where the police fall politically in this context, as they move to repress anti-fascist and anti-capitalist demonstrators in DC, while they actively ignore Neo-Nazi gunfire against unarmed anti-fascist protestors in Charlottesville:
Dane Powell, the first of the J20 Defendants to see jail time, was recently transferred to a federal prison in Florida, where he’ll likely be until November. After this four month sentence, he will be on probation for over a year. In the meantime, check out this page for more information on how to support him with commissary, sending books, and writing him letters. http://defendj20resistance.org/blog/
He can be written to at this address:
BOP Register number 82015007
Federal Correctional Institution – Low
PO Box 1031
Colman, Florida 33521
The first two trials are scheduled for November and December. Defendants are going to trial in groups of 8 at a time and could last for weeks. We are in need of money for travel, housing, and other associated costs. Support is needed in terms of fundraisers, info-nights, and donations directly to the website. Please click the link below and donate to trial costs:
As always, for detailed information about the case, check out http://defendj20resistance.org. We greatly appreciate all supporters out there who are paying attention to this important legal case. More updates coming soon!
–Defend J20 Newsletter Crew