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Doctorow writes: "The DC police kettled hundreds of protesters in response, and after more than 100 escaped, they slapped the remaining 200 protesters with felony conspiracy charges, so that each protester now faces up to 70 years in prison for being in the same place as a black bloc action."

Between 400 and 500 protesters marched in Washington, DC, on the morning of January 20, 2017. The action was dispersed when police used pepper-spray on the protesters. Over 200 people were arrested. (photo: Andrew Stefan/RSN)
Between 400 and 500 protesters marched in Washington, DC, on the morning of January 20, 2017. The action was dispersed when police used pepper-spray on the protesters. Over 200 people were arrested. (photo: Andrew Stefan/RSN)


200 Trump Inauguration Protesters Face 70 Years in Prison Each Over 6 Broken Windows

By Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing

13 November 17

 

onald Trump is the least popular president to serve in US history, so it's no surprise that the call for mass, "J20 demonstrations" at his inauguration would be answered by massive crowds.

As with many protests, there was a small number of black bloc participants who engaged in minor acts of vandalism, smashing six windows. The DC police kettled hundreds of protesters in response, and after more than 100 escaped, they slapped the remaining 200 protesters with felony conspiracy charges, so that each protester now faces up to 70 years in prison for being in the same place as a black bloc action.

Among the defendants is Alexei Wood, a freelance photojournalist who had his equipment seized by police, who are able to use the pretense of his guilt to get ahold of his footage and use it against the other defendants.

It’s ultimately unclear what will happen to Wood and his co-defendants during their trial and in subsequent cases. “Nobody knows what to expect,” said Cohen, the lawyer. It seems clear to observers, though, that the case against Wood and the rest of the defendants — and the looming 70-year sentences — is meant to send a message. “I don’t know what kind of mental gymnastics they’re going to have to perform in the courtroom to make that seem reasonable,” said Stokes. “You could murder someone — if somebody walked into downtown D.C., pulled a gun out, and shot a cop in the head — and you could get less time than what these people are facing.” First-degree murder charges in D.C. carry a minimum sentence of 30 years.
Stokes said the case represented a drastic overreach in law enforcement’s response to the protests. “There are approximately 200 people facing 70 years, going to trial for six broken windows,” he said. “This is insane.” Stokes added that the protesters were not given an order to disperse.
The injustice of the arrest, the charges, and the case isn’t lost on Wood either. And while the government may be trying to turn the defendants against each other, he is maintaining a sense of solidarity that he plans to carry even after his own case ends. “Any fucking support I can give them,” Wood said, of the other defendants facing trial, “I will.”

HUNDREDS FACE CONSPIRACY CHARGES FOR ACTIONS OF A FEW DURING INAUGURATION DAY PROTESTS [Eoin Higgins/The Intercept]


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+10 # Kootenay Coyote 2017-11-13 11:56
My, my. So when a bad cop kills a black man & is charged, why isn’t his whole department charged with Felony Conspiracy as well? Seems more logical than this….
 
 
+6 # PABLO DIABLO 2017-11-13 11:57
Seems like "Black Bloc" turn up at many peaceful protests. Started with the Battle of Seattle where it was pretty certain they were cops from Portland - none were arrested for breaking windows, while peaceful protesters sitting/blockin g intersections were arrested. Showing a pattern of making peaceful protests look bad. HHHHMMMM? Am I paranoid or is something rotten going on?
 
 
+3 # kgrad 2017-11-13 21:58
Quoting PABLO DIABLO:
Seems like "Black Bloc" turn up at many peaceful protests. Started with the Battle of Seattle where it was pretty certain they were cops from Portland - none were arrested for breaking windows, while peaceful protesters sitting/blocking intersections were arrested. Showing a pattern of making peaceful protests look bad. HHHHMMMM? Am I paranoid or is something rotten going on?


You are not paranoid. Something rotten is going on! It's said that a fish rots from the head down. Is there an analogy here?
 
 
+8 # chrisconno 2017-11-13 13:10
And this is what they want to claim as our freedoms? Is this really what the veterans believe they defended? Hopefully the prosecution can't find a jury full of evangelical heartless christians who see this as god's work.
 
 
+2 # sweetbabbalou 2017-11-13 22:48
Dark times ahead - the Gestapo are next. Who is giving the orders to suppress any opposing views?
 

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