Defend J20 Resistance October Newsletter
By Defend J20 Resistance
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On January 20th, 2017, over 200 people resisting Trump’s Inauguration in DC were kettled and arrested by police. Over the next couple of months, they have received multiple felony charges, and currently face the possibility of being sentenced to decades in prison. This newsletter is meant to keep supporters updated on the case, and plugged in to support and solidarity initiatives as they arise. To get in contact with us, you can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
In this newsletter:
- November 15 & December 11 – Upcoming Trials
- New Fundraiser
- Dane’s Getting Out (post-release fundraiser)
- Dreamhost Victory
- Government Demands Data on 6,000 Facebook Users, Then Drops Demand
- Office of Police Complaints Investigating MPD for conduct on J20
November 15 & December 11 - Upcoming Trials
The first J20 trials are rapidly approaching. The first round of defendants had their dates moved up in an unusual proceeding, making November 15 the opening day of court. They’ll need lots of support, personal and political. Now’s the time to brush up on the details of this important case and strategize with your friends and neighbors about how to push back against the dangerous, repressive precedent being sought by Jeff Sessions’ Justice Department. Consider how to spread the word and build broad solidarity in the face of repression, particularly since the outcome of this first round of trial can set the tone - for better or worse - for all 200 defendants.
The second round is also following closely afterwards. The next crew of defendants start trial on December 11. Remember that all the defendants are facing decades in prison and that if Trump’s administration scores a win against them, it will mean harsher future persecution of other grassroots resistance. And since the defendants can’t stop till this is over, neither will the rest of us!
Funds are only one element of a collective strategy based on solidarity, care and resistance. But it is an important part since defendants are facing tens of thousands of dollars in legal costs each. DCLP has created a new fundraiser to address this problem. Check out the link here:
Please share this with people in your circles. We can’t let the government intimidate us and make us afraid to show our support. An injury to one is an injury to all!
Also, check out this fundraiser for NYC arrestees. In addition to supporting them, the wealth of links on the page is a great reference for staying updated on the vast range of solidarity initiatives underway.
Dane’s getting out (post-release fundraiser)
Dane Powell, the first of the J20 arrestees to be sent to prison, is getting out on October 31st. While this is exciting news, it’s notable that he will be spending the next two years on probation and forced to observe restrictive release conditions. This will be costly and burdensome on him and his family, especially as he adjusts to life after prison. If you have a few bucks to spare, please consider donating to his post-release fund, which can be found here:
For the last couple of months, the Department of Justice has been trying to get identifying information about people who, prior to J20, visited the website disruptj20.org, as part of their prosecution strategy. This court order targeted the company Dreamhost, which hosted the disruptj20 website. If this court order went forward unchallenged as the DOJ originally worded it, over one million peoples’ IP addresses would have been handed over to the government for viewing this website. That said, we are happy to report that a judge has ruled that the DOJ “does not have the right to rummage through the information contained on DreamHost’s website” to “discover the identity of…individuals not participating in alleged criminal activity.” While Dreamhost is still required to hand over some information, they have redacted all identifying information regarding people who have viewed the site.
Government Demands Data on 6,000 Facebook Users, Then Drops Demand
Recently, the Department of Justice issued warrants to facebook regarding the names of 6,000 facebook users who had ‘Liked’ the DisruptJ20 facebook page, in addition to more detailed information and communications about three J20 arrestees. After a short period of time, a gag order about the case, and the request for the data about the 6,000 people, were both dropped. Unfortunately, the government is still demanding information from two J20 arrestees’ facebook accounts.
This is evidence that the state can easily access information through our social media activity and use it against us. Consider thinking critically about your social media usage, and looking into good practices using the anonymizing Tor Browser when accessing websites. The Electronic Frontier Foundation is a good resource: https://ssd.eff.org/
Office of Police Complaints Investigating MPD for conduct on J20
In February a report was filed with the DC Office of Police Complaints accusing some cops of abusing their power and violating procedures during the anti-Inauguration demonstrations on J20. Money for this investigation became available on October 1st, and the department has since begun its investigation. Information gathered from this could be helpful to J20 Defendants, but it is unlikely that anything will come up by November 15, the day of the first round of trials. For more information: http://wjla.com/news/local/office-of-police-complaints-investigates-mpd-response-to-inauguration-weekend-protests
As always, for more information check out the Support J20 Resistance website at www.defendj20resistance.org.
-Defend J20 Newsletter Crew