On January 20th, 2017, hundreds of people were mass arrested while protesting Trump’s inauguration. The State then proceeded to blanket charge everyone arrested with “conspiracy” and multiple other felonies – seeking to lock them away for upwards of 80 years. The first 6 people faced trial in November, but were acquitted on all charges after the State failed to convince a jury of their guilt. Following this defeat, the US Attorney announced in January that it was dismissing charges against 129 defendants in order to focus resources on 59 people against whom they claim to have a stronger case.
On May 14th, a new group of defendants is scheduled to begin trial. In response, people are mobilizing to demand that the charges be dropped for all remaining defendants. A rally is scheduled in DC for Friday May 11th, a call-in campaign is set for May 10th – 11th, and on May 14th, people will engage in court support.
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Friday, May 11th, @ 12:30 PM at Franklin Square, join with former political prisoner Chelsea Manning, former J20 defendants, and special guests to rally and demand that charges against the remaining group of J20 defendants who still face upwards of 60 years in prison, be dropped immediately.
In the November 2017 trials, the state argued that by simply going to a march, chanting, and dressing alike, people were engaging in a “conspiracy” and were responsible for everything that allegedly happened. The US Attorney will likely continue this line of argument in the upcoming trials, while further attempting to criminalize other aspects of political organizing including planning protests, union membership, and disruptive protest tactics. The J20 trials, along with attacks on the Black Lives Matter and anti-pipeline movement, are an attempt by the State and Trump administration to further criminalize and push protest and dissent off the streets.
“Will we stand by and watch as those who are brave enough to stand up to the Trump administration be attacked and railroaded, or will we stand with them, and refuse to allow the State to lock them away for decades?”
At the same time, the regime has given a green light to the growing violence of the Alt-Right, as police agencies everywhere have protected neo-Nazis while attacking antifascists. This reality has been exemplified during the J20 trial, as the State has relied on far-Right and Alt-Right media hacks to make their case, and local police even were found to have worked with white nationalists close to Richard Spencer to release personal information of defendants on the “Got News” website.
Across the country, things are getting worse for poor, working, and oppressed people – from Puerto Rico to Flint, Michigan. The State, along with their friends in the Alt-Right, wants to present grassroots movements fighting for change as the threat to the everyday person in the face of the deepening crisis of everyday life. But the truth is, it is the current system of profit over people and ecological destruction which is the biggest threat to all of us. Will we stand by and watch as those who are brave enough to stand up to the Trump administration be attacked and railroaded, or will we stand with them, and refuse to allow the State to lock them away for decades?
Join us on Friday, May 11th, 12:30 PM @ Franklin Square to show that we – along with so many more, stand in solidarity with the J20 defendants and will continue to call for the dismissal of their charges. This is a family friendly event: bring your voice, banners, signs, co-workers, and friends!
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