Petitioning US Attorney for the District of Columbia Jessie Liu and 4 others

Drop the Charges Against Trump's First Political Prisoners

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On January 20, 2017, tens of thousands of people converged in Washington, D.C. to oppose the inauguration of Donald Trump. A wide variety of demonstrations countered the spectacle of the inauguration, making it clear to the world that many of us reject Trump's cruel and divisive leadership. 

A day of defeat became a moment of resistance, and set the stage for the travel ban protests that followed. While Trump and his army of trolls have encountered few meaningful obstacles in the halls of power, grassroots resistance has persisted.

Unfortunately, with resistance comes repression. After terrorizing protesters with pepper spray and ‘stinger’ grenades, DC police cordoned off an entire city block and mass-arrested more than 230 people.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Kerkhoff (under the authority of U.S. Attorneys Channing Phillips and Jessie Liu) later sought an indictment charging more than 200 people with at least eight felonies each—for rioting, inciting a riot, conspiracy to riot, and property destruction—punishable by up to 75 years in prison.

(Read more about the prosecutions here: story.dropj20.org)

With these unprecedented, excessive charges, the state is cracking down on dissent - allowing Trump to pursue his agenda challenged only by symbolic hand-wringing. This strategy corresponds with a broader wave of repression, from arrests and grand jury investigations of Indigenous water protectors at #StandingRock, to the demonization of #BlackLivesMatter.

Just as our struggles are connected, these arrests represent a threat to all people fighting for true freedom, dignity, and autonomy. 

Join the ACLU, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Partnership For Civil Justice Fund, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and other civil liberties advocates in standing with the J20 defendants.

Call on the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia to immediately drop all charges.

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Learn more at dropJ20.org

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This petition will be delivered to:
  • US Attorney for the District of Columbia
    Jessie Liu
  • Chief - USADC Felony Major Crimes Section
    John Gidez
  • Head - DOJ Office of Professional Responsibility
    Robin Ashton
  • DOJ Inspector General
    Michael Horowitz
  • Director, Department of Justice Public Affairs
    Sarah Flores


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