Call-in Campaign to #DROPJ20: May 10th-11th
By Defend J20 Resistance
On December 21st, a jury returned a not-guilty verdict on all charges for the first six defendants in the J20 case. Subsequently, on January 19th, 2018, the prosecution dropped charges against 129 defendants. This is a huge victory! But the fight isn’t over yet: 59 people still face decades in prison. The next round of trials is set to start on May 14th, 2018. The prosecution intentionally delayed the April trials for lack of an “expert witness,” essentially conceding that they can’t win the case as is. We know this is a case of political targeting, and we must demand that the remaining 59 defendants get their charges dropped! We are asking that everyone call the US Attorney’s office from 9am-6pm on 5/10/18 and 5/11/18 and tell them to DROP THE CHARGES against ALL the remaining defendants!
Now is the time to keep up the pressure! The U.S. Attorney’s office can decide to drop these charges any time. Let’s make sure they can’t get any work done, show them they can’t get any work done while we let them know we are watching these cases. We’re asking you to keep the following people busy listening to our demands all day long on May 10th and 11th:
- Jennifer Kerkhoff – Lead Prosectuor on the case, Deputy Chief of the Felony Major Crimes Trial Section (202) 252-7380
- Lisa Greene – The Deputy Chief of the Superior Court Division, Kerkhoff’s direct supervisor (202) 252-7485
- Richard Tischner – The Chief of the Superior Court Division, Kerkhoff’s direct supervisor (202) 252-7274
- US Attorney for DC Jessie Liu – The person in charge of the US Attorney’s office, a Trump appointee (202) 252-7566
- Rizwan Qureshi - Assistant J20 prosecutor (general line - use directory/operator) (202) 252-7679
- John Gidez – The Chief of the Felony Major Crimes Trial Section, Kerkhoff’s colleague (202) 252-6752
- John Borchert - Assistant J20 prosecutor (esp. Dreamhost and Facebook warrants) (202) 252-7679
For maximum impact: make it personal. Why are you upset? How do you feel about limits on street protest? Tell them your opinion about police infiltration of anti-capitalist and anti-fascist communities. Perhaps you want to discuss private property destruction as symbolic political action. Whatever topics you select, you should use the opportunity to make sure that for the duration of this phone zap they will hear from us all the two days long. Please be aware your calls are likely recorded and we do not advise answering questions about your identity. Please use your best discretion if referencing anything that occurred on January 20th so as not to negatively impact the ongoing case.
Here’s a sample script to get you started!
Hello. My name is __________. (first name is fine)
I am calling about the inauguration day protesters still facing trumped up criminal charges. Your office needs to drop these remaining charges. There is no good reason your office should be pursuing these charges when six people have already been found NOT GUILTY on all counts in the first trial. Again, your office should drop the remaining charges.
Over the last year these prosecutions have pushed all limits:
- Intimidation to coerce plea deals by making inflated charges.
- Shielding law enforcement from public accountability by issuing gag orders.
- Disrupting people’s lives by making overblown charges and using those to justify intrusive, extensive investigations meant to build those cases.
This overall strategy to intimidate activists, disrupt social movements and silence dissent by weaponizing the use of trumped up charges is not going unnoticed. Your office has the power to end the repression and intimidation. Drop the charges now.
N.B. Some callers to AUSA Kerkoff in January found her to be argumentitive, and may treat the call similarly to her courtroom presentation. You are welcome to expand this script to include opinions about the limits placed on street protest, the infiltration of anti-capitalist and anti-fascist communities by the police, or private property destruction as symbolic political action. Please be aware that your calls are likely recorded and we do not advise answering any questions about your identity. Please use your best discretion if referencing anything that occured on January 20th so as to not negatively impact the ongoing case.