Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Tell the DOJ: drop the bogus riot charges against Trump inauguration protesters

When a group of over 200 people, including journalists and legal observers, attended a protest of Trump’s inauguration, D.C. police indiscriminately swept them up and arrested them. Now they’re facing up 70 years in prison for taking part in – or even just being near – a political protest.1
Trump’s DOJ is trying to throw the book at Trump resisters by charging a group of over 200 people who attended or participated in an inauguration protest with felony counts of rioting and conspiracy to incite a riot.
Their goal is simple: Criminalize dissent and undermine Americans’ First Amendment right to protest.2 The DOJ is using the DisruptJ20 case as a test of the legal system to see how far they can go. If we can’t stop their overreach here, we can be sure they’ll have more Trump resistance figures in their sights next.
At every turn, the DOJ has over stepped its bounds in trying to bring any sort of charges against these anti-Trump protesters. Back in August, they demanded the disruptj20.org website hand over the IP addresses of 1.3 million people who visited the site leading up to Inauguration Day.
Then they asked for a search warrant against Facebook to release the personal data – including friends lists – of DisruptJ20 organizers.
In both cases, the D.C. rejected the DOJ’s requests. But riot charges are still hanging over the heads of almost 200 people.
-Reuben, Demand Progress

1. The Intercept, "Hundreds Face Conspiracy Charges For Actions Of A Few During Inauguration Day Protests," October 25, 2017
2. The Nation, "The Prosecution of Inauguration-Day Protesters Is a Threat to DissOctober 20, 2017

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