Statement of Support


Sign on to a Statement of Solidarity with #DisruptJ20 Defendants


The following statement was drafted by supporters of those arrested at Inauguration protests in DC on January 20th, with the intent of providing a public platform for organizations around North America to express their collective opposition to these charges.

To add your organization to the list of endorsers, email J20endorsements@protonmail.com.

On January 20, 2017, tens of thousands of people converged in Washington, D.C. for the #DisruptJ20 protests to oppose the inauguration of Donald Trump. A combination of blockades, marches, and festive demonstrations shattered the spectacle of a peaceful transition of power, and made it clear around the world that people do not recognize Trump’s authority. What could have been a day signaling resignation and defeat became a moment of defiance and resistance. As such, the protests on J20 set a tone and precedent for the events that unfolded shortly after, including the notably successful, mass direct actions at airports against Trump’s Muslim ban, as well as ongoing resistance to deportations. While Trump and his alt-right footsoldiers have encountered few meaningful obstacles from liberal politicians in the halls of power, grassroots resistance has continued to prove a substantial force.

Unfortunately, however, with resistance comes repression. In addition to shooting pepper spray and concussion grenades indiscriminately at protesters, including children, the elderly, and people with disabilities, DC police cordoned off an entire block and mass arrested more than 230 people in an attempt to stop an anti-capitalist and anti-fascist march. While mass arrests are not unheard of, in this case arrestees were originally charged with felony riot, a charge that potentially carries ten years in prison. On April 27, the prosecution announced additional felony charges against the entire group -- inciting to riot, rioting, conspiracy to riot, and five counts of property destruction.

With these heightened charges the state is trying to set a precedent for harsh crackdowns of disruptive protest in the future, so that Trump can proceed with his agenda unimpeded by anything but symbolic hand-wringing. This strategy corresponds with a broader wave of repression and reaction, from the arrests and grand jury investigations of Indigenous water protectors at #StandingRock to backlash against #BlackLivesMatter and black-led uprisings against police. The arrests at J20 also inform local strategies for repression, including anti-protest laws that have been proposed in 18 different state legislatures, which further criminalize commonly used tactics like highway takeovers and in some cases make it legal for drivers to knowingly hit protesters marching in roadways.

The charges against J20 defendants are an experiment. If the courts are able to successfully prosecute those arrested at J20, this will send a green light to the forces of repression seeking to contain, control, and eliminate social movements around the country. Just as all of our struggles are connected, we understand these arrests to represent a real threat to all efforts towards true freedom, dignity, and autonomy. We call for the immediate dropping of all charges, and express our sincere solidarity with and support for those arrested, and encourage others to do so as well.

Signed:

AK Press

Albany Food Not Bombs

Anti-Racist Action LA / People Against Racist Terror

Athens 4 Everyone

Aztlan Media Kollective, Los Angeles

Back Pocket Press

Bay Area Anti-Repression Committee

Beyond Extreme Energy

Black Lives Matter Cincinnati

Black Rose - Rosa Negra Chicago

Bloomington Solidarity Network

Capital Area Against Mass Incarceration

Cargo Bike Collective

Camp White Pine, PA

Certain Days - Freedom for Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War Calendar

Chicago General Defense Committee, Local 3

Cincinnati DIY

Climate Defense Project

Dayton Anti-Racist Action

Denver Anarchist Black Cross

DC National Lawyers Guild

Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) - Santa Fe

Downtown Boys (Band)

Evansville Critical Thought Collective

The Final Straw Radio

Firestorm Collective, Asheville NC

Brent del Gaizo, EsQ

Grand Rabbits Support Crew

Grand Rapids General Membership Branch of the Industrial Workers of the World

Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee

Indiana University - Students Against State Violence

Inside Outside Alliance (Durham, NC)

Institute for Advanced Trouble-Making

Institute for Global Education

It's Going Down

IWW NYC

Kansas City IWW

KilledbyPolice.net

Kos Collective, NYC

La Casa de Conciencia y Salud (Colombia)

La Horde (France)

Lutherans for Justice in the Holy Land , Portland, OR

M@'s House NYC

Michigan Abolition and Prison Solidarity

Michigan People's Defense Network

Minnesota Break the Bonds Campaign

Monkeywrench Books

MOVE.org, Ramona Africa

Nancy Lowental, Esq.

National Lawyers Guild: University of Texas School of Law

NCJ20Defense Crew (North Carolina)

NYC Anarchist Black Cross

NYC Anarchist Book Fair

Occupy Grand Rapids

Orlando Antifa

Chris Purdoms

Queer Detainee Empowerment Project (QDEP)

Racial Justice Allies of Sonoma County

Realicide Youth Records

Resist This! (DC)

Rising Tide North America

Rose City Antifa

Scuffletown Anti-Repression Committee, Richmond, VA

Sheer Mag

Shout Your Abortion

Socialist Alternative - Grand Rapids

SoFlaExit

Solidarity & Defense

Students4Justice, University of Michigan

Tampa Bay IWW General Membership Branch

Tilted Scales Collective (Minneapolis, MN)

UNControllables (Chapel Hill, NC)

Undocuhoosiers

Up Against the Law Legal Collective (Philadelphia)

Carla Wallace

WESPAC Foundation

Phil Wilayto, editor of The Virginia Defender

Warrior Publications

Workers World Party



This statement also appears on It's Going Down.