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. 214 of these arrestees were charged under the Federal Riot Statute. On April 27th, multiple additional felony charges were added. The 211 remaining defendants could now face up to 75 years in prison.
The prosecution's case rests on a broad interpretation of the Federal Riot Statute, which could make a participant in a political rally guilty for any property damage that takes place during that time. A superceding indictment added addtional charges of urging to riot, conspiracy to riot, individualized property damange, and for over half the group, assaulting an officer or resisting arrest. These additional charges were given with no new group evidence or individual particulars.
The DC Attorney's Office is trying to set a repressive precedent for political expression under the administration of Donald Trump with Attorney General Jeff Sessions. It is incumbent upon anyone who values dissent to stand in solidarity with the defendents in this case. This case in many way ressembles the 800 water protectors in the midst of Grand Jury processes in North Dakota, and other individual resisters arrested throughout the country.
Defend J20 Resistance is a platform to support and amplify the voices of those who are working together to fight this case.