All J20 Charges Dropped!


Fifth Estate # 402, Winter 2019

In July, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Washington DC finally gave up on its eighteen-month effort to prosecute people protesting the inauguration of Donald Trump as President.

The 217 people indicted on felony charges of conspiracy to riot, engaging in a riot and property destruction, related to the events of January 20, 2017, came to be known as the J20 defendants.

After failing to convince jurors of the guilt of several defendants, and a string of judicial rulings against the prosecutors in other cases, the government finally dropped all remaining charges.

But rightist politicians at all levels of government have continued their crusade against dissent.

As of this writing, over 60 anti-protest bills have been introduced in more than 19 state legislatures, drastically increasing penalties for protests, broadening police powers. In North Dakota, North Carolina, Florida, Tennessee and Texas, bills have been introduced making it legal to run over protesters blocking roads. So, the neo-Nazi who killed Heather Heyer with his car in Charlottesville, located in a state with the proposed legislation would face no consequences.

A recently proposed National Park Service rule would greatly restrict peaceful protest in parks and even on sidewalks within the District of Columbia.

Solution? Bigger demos, more frequently!

Whose streets? Our streets!