LOOK ==>>

‘Felony Riot’ Charges Against Inauguration Protesters (Including Journalists) Signal a Dangerous Wave of Repression

Truthdig – Sarah Lazare/Alternet – January 22, 2017

Riot police push back demonstrators during a protest in downtown Washington Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, during the inauguration of President Donald Trump. ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Riot police push back demonstrators during a protest in downtown Washington Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, during the inauguration of President Donald Trump. ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

More than 200 people who were mass-arrested at the Washington, D.C. protests against the inauguration of Donald Trump have been hit with felony riot charges that are punishable by up to 10 years in prison and quarter-million-dollar fine. Those picked up in the sweep—including legal observers and journalists—had their phones, cameras and other personal belongings confiscated as evidence, a lawyer confirmed to AlterNet.

Demonstrators warn that the crackdown signals a new wave of repression against the protesters, whose mass mobilization was met with riot police violence, National Guard and Department of Homeland Security deployments, heavy surveillance and law enforcement snipers positioned on rooftops.

“These charges are absolutely horrifying. They are just trying to stop any resistance to the Trump administration,” Samantha Miller, an organizer with the Disrupt J20 Collective, told AlterNet. “Many of these demonstrators were showing rage and fear of what’s coming. It’s going to take a lot more than asking nicely to create change and stop the threats from the Trump administration.”

The vast majority of the roughly 230 people who were kettled and mass-arrested at the anti-capitalist bloc during Friday’s protests have been charged under the felony riot act, said Mark Goldstone, a National Lawyers Guild-affiliated attorney who has defended protesters in Washington, D.C. for more than 30 years. Washington, D.C. authorities put this number at 217. Goldstone confirmed to AlterNet that legal observers and journalists were among those detained in the sweep, explaining that, throughout his career in Washington, D.C., he has never seen mass charges of this kind.

Jeffrey Light, a Washington, D.C.-based lawyer who provided legal support to the Disrupt J20 Collective, agreed with this assessment. “I have been representing protesters for 13 years now, and I have never seen felony rioting charges in Washington, D.C. It is not one of the standard laws that they tend to use. This is unusual. It is rare to use that charge.”

“Across the board, all phones and cameras are being held as evidence, and they are also detaining gloves and cell phone chargers as evidence,” said Light. “They are giving people their wallets back generally, but that’s it. It is extremely troubling.”

According to a class-action lawsuit filed by Light on Friday, those picked up in the sweep and hit with felony riot charges already endured abuse at the hands of the police. “Our class action lawsuit charges that the police were rounding up everyone on the street without warning and putting them under arrest and using excessive force,” said Light. “There were a number of weapons we haven’t seen Washington, D.C. police use in recent memory, flash bang grenades and tear gas. In addition to chemical irritants, they were assaulting people with batons. They were beating people.”

Those kettled by police were forced to wait for hours in the street and on school buses, many of them going untreated for injuries, say supporters. “They are trying to set a tone to chill further demos of this nature, and I don’t think it’s going to work,” Bob Hayes, a Washington, D.C. resident who is helping coordinate legal support, told AlterNet. “They are trying to put pressure on individuals to collaborate with the investigations.”

Light emphasized that, while the riot felony charges are new, the mass arrests are not. Acting DC Police Chief Peter Newsham, who oversaw this weekend’s crackdown, was the assistant police chief who presided over another mass arrest more than a decade ago. In the fall of 2002, the Metropolitan police department mass arrested hundreds of people at a World Bank protest in Washington, D.C.’s Pershing Park and hogtied them for up to 24 hours while in detention, before dropping all charges. In a 2015 settlement, the city was forced to pay $2.2 million to nearly 400 protesters.

Newsham, who ordered the mass arrests in 2002, oversaw the police crackdown against inauguration protesters.

Friday’s crackdown came as mass protests erupted across Washington, D.C. and the world, overshadowing the inauguration of Donald Trump, who rose to power on a tide of white nationalism and fascism. On Friday morning, social movements including the Movement for Black Lives and groups centering Muslim, Jewish and immigrant resistance, converged at 14 different “security” checkpoints, to shut down, slow and disrupt the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump. “We stand in solidarity with everyone who challenges oppression in all of its forms, everywhere around the world, in favor of dignity, self-determination, and defending our collective well-being,” reads a statement from the anti-capitalist, anti-fascist bloc circulated ahead of Friday’s protests.

Those arrested in Washington, D.C. faced an outpouring of public support. Ryan Harvey, an activist and musician with Firebrand Records, told AlterNet that hundreds gathered outside the jail on Saturday to show their support for those being released. “Every time people came out, the crowd would cheer and chant,” with the term “anticapitalista” an oft-repeated refrain. “For many, it was like a surprise birthday party, and their faces lit up. Street medics were on-scene, and many supporters brought food, clothes, coffee, tea and water.”

Harvey emphasized that the support is important because it “defends the rights of these people to fight against fascism” and “combats the narrative that there is something more problematic about their protest than their is about the inauguration.”

Washington, D.C. residents say that the state violence on display this weekend extends far beyond the individuals hit with felony riot charges.

“A mother carrying her toddler was pepper sprayed in the face,” said Miller. “An elder from Standing Rock was sprayed in her face. A woman with crutches tried to intervene, and she was sprayed.”

“We faced the Department of Homeland Security, the National Guard, riot police, surveillance, snipers on rooftops, and Trump supporters,” Darakshan Raja, founder of the Muslim American Women’s Policy Forum and co-director of the Washington Peace Center, told AlterNet. “Just to walk around and see that, have them watch you as a target.”

Read entire article here

Posted by Teri Perticone

Share

Comments are closed.

Listen Live with Player Below

Truth Walk 9/11
9/11: Explosive Evidence Experts Speak OutWTC7
The 911 Blockbuster--A Must See Video!!

9/11: Explosive Evidence -- Experts Speak Out
by Architects & Engineers for 911 Truth

The 43 technical experts interviewed in Experts Speak Out lay out the case for controlled demolition from their individual areas of expertise in hi-rise architecture, structural engineering, metallurgy, chemistry, physics, and controlled demolition. The seeming implausibility of the implications of the three World Trade Center skyscrapers being demolished with explosives is also handled quite skillfully in the film, as eight experts in psychology discuss the difficulties many people have in confronting the myth-shattering reality. This is a newly released DVD.
Available as a Thank-you Gift with your Donation.


Eton Radio
The Must Have Emergency Tool!

Etón FR160B Microlink Self-Powered (Hand Crank Power) AM/FM/NOAA Weather Radio with Flashlight, Solar Power and Cell Phone Charger (Black)
by Eton

AM (520-1710 KHz) & FM (87-108MHz) NOAA weatherband USB cell phone charger (USB cable not included) 3.5 mm headphone Accessories: owner"s manual, warranty card

Reviews: Excellent Item for Travel, Backpacking, Camping, Etc.

This radio is a great little investment. It does exactly everything it states it should. On a 60 second crank I got hours of play. I ran the radio completely dead by leaving the light on and the radio playing at half column. I let the radio play like this with the light on for at least an hour before it went dead. I then put it out in the sun and let it charge with the solar charger for about four hours and then turned the radio on and let it play for only about an hour and then just didn't want to complete the experiment. I am very pleased with this radio. 60 seconds of cranking for hours of play is very reasonable. Letting it charge out in the sun and getting hours of play is very reasonable. I have other brands like this in the past that you would crank for 5 to 10 and get maybe 10 minutes of play.

The USB charge does work, but know that it will not charge an iPhone 3Gs. This is more a problem/restriction of the iPhone 3Gs (a widely discussed complaint across the Internet for many-many generic charging devices) and is not because of the radio. Charging my old Samsung phone was not a problem.
Available as a Thank-you Gift with your Donation.


Donate Your Car To No Lies Radio
Capitalism: A Love StoryCapitalism: A Love Story. On the 20-year anniversary of his groundbreaking masterpiece "Roger & Me," Michael Moore's "Capitalism: A Love Story" comes home to the issue he's been examining throughout his career: the disastrous impact of corporate dominance on the everyday lives of Americans. But this time the culprit is much bigger than General Motors, and the crime scene is far wider than Flint, Michigan.
Available as a Thank-you Gift with your Donation.

Recent Listeners

Archives

August 2017
S M T W T F S
« Jul    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

User Login