Groups Demand Answers About Police Tactics In Inauguration Protests

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By Rights and Dissent. DC National Lawyers Guild (DC NLG) and Defending Rights and Dissent, two groups who defend the right to protest, are demanding answers about the Metropolitan Police Department’s conduct during anti-Trump inauguration protests. Earlier today, the two groups filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request asking for records pertaining to police use of force against protesters, including the deployment of chemical and projectile weapons, and the use of police infiltrators leading up to the January 20 protests. “The police assault on the right to protest on January 20 is part of a broader trend of cracking down on dissent taking place across the nation,” said Maggie Ellinger-Locke, co-chair of the DC NLG Demonstration Support Committee.

Protester: ‘Is This My Last Free Birthday?’

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By Patrick Strickland for Al Jazeera. Washington, DC – When Olivia Alsip travelled to the capital to protest against the inauguration of right-wing US President Donald Trump, she didn’t imagine she would end the day behind bars and later face up to 80 years in prison. Thousands of people journeyed from across the US to Washington, DC, to protest on the first day of Trump’s presidency, January 20. During the swearing-in, Alsip was among the more than 230 protesters arrested when officers from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) blocked off a large area and hauled off nearly everyone. “I am wondering if my 24th birthday next week will be my last as a free person,” she says by telephone from Chicago. “I’ve never in my life had such a painful and stressful experience. There are no words to convey the severity of this.”

Journalist Faces 75 Years For Covering DC Inauguration Protest

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By Matt Grubs for Santa Fe Reporter – Aaron Cantú, a staff writer at the Santa Fe Reporter, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges that he participated in a riot while working as a journalist during protests in Washington, DC on Inauguration Day. Cantú faces eight felony counts—including inciting a riot, rioting, conspiracy to riot and five counts of destruction of property. The grand jury handed up the indictment last week. On January 20, a collection of DC police and federal law enforcement officers arrested more than 200 people in connection with a rally that began as a protest, but turned destructive as several people broke the windows of businesses, damaged vehicles and allegedly caused a police officer to break his wrist. Cantú was not named specifically by prosecutors as the cause of any of the destruction, as some defendants were. Instead, the indictment named him as being present while the damage happened. The arrests have been criticized by the American Civil Liberties Union, other civil rights groups and newspapers as overly broad and lacking hard evidence. Video from the conservative media group The Rebel shows glimpses of Cantú off to the side of the protests with other journalists, washing what appears to be pepper spray from his eyes.

Prosecutors File Additional Charges Against Inauguration Protesters

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By Keith L. Alexander for The Washington Post – D.C. prosecutors have filed additional charges against more than 200 protesters arrested during President Trump’s inauguration, continuing to drill down on suspects they believe smashed restaurant windows, set a limousine on fire and attacked the car’s driver. While most of the protesters were initially charged with one count of felony rioting, a grand jury on Thursday returned a superseding indictment that added new charges: inciting or urging to riot, conspiracy to riot and counts of destruction of property. On Friday in D.C. Superior Court, prosecutors also obtained their first felony conviction in the Jan. 20 riots. Dane Powell, 31, of Tampa, pleaded guilty to rioting and assault on a police officer, admitting he threw a large piece of concrete at the officer. Powell is set to be sentenced in July and faces up to three years in prison for each charge. His attorney could not immediately be reached for comment. Meanwhile, it seems the first of the trials for alleged rioters won’t be until March 2018. During a separate Friday hearing before Judge Lynn Leibovitz, several defense attorneys said trials this year would not be feasible because they need time to pore over the 650 hours of video from police officer body cameras…

D.C. Police Infiltrated Inauguration Protest Group, Court Papers Show

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By Perry Stein and Keith L. Alexander for The Washington Post – D.C. police this month searched the home of a local activist they say helped spearhead Inauguration Day protests that injured six police officers and resulted in extensive damage in downtown Washington. Dylan Petrohilos, a 28-year-old graphic designer, said officers broke through the door of his Petworth home early April 3. Police were led to the house after an undercover police officer secretly attended protest-planning meetings in the weeks before the Jan. 20 inauguration, court documents show. Authorities seized cellphones, computers and a black “anti-capitalist, anti-fascist” flag from Petrohilos’s front lawn, according to the court documents. Petrohilos has not been charged with any crimes. He says he did nothing illegal as he helped plan the protests and participated in them. The search was part of an effort by authorities to build a legal case against hundreds of activists accused of conspiring to riot and incite violence on the day President Trump was sworn in. But it also has reignited concerns from activists and others who question whether police went too far in making mass arrests Jan. 20 or in investigating demonstrators exercising their right to free speech.

People Around The World Used Bridges To Protest Donald Trump

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By Staff for IB Times. As Donald Trump’s inauguration gets underway in Washington DC, people around the world were reacting to the next president by displaying banners across landmark bridges. The President-elect, who took the place of Barack Obama in the White House on Friday 20 January, is renowned for pledging to build an “impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful, southern border wall” between the US and Mexico. A key part of his immigration rhetoric during the presidential race, Trump also insisted Mexico would pay for the border wall “100%”. The protest project, called Bridges Not Walls, has been organised by grassroots activists and campaigners in reaction to Trump’s election victory and his inauguration. The demonstration has spread as far as Australia, the US and Norway.

Inauguration Offers Preview Of Trump-Era Policing

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By John Knefel for TruthOut. As much of the United States waits in collective distress to see exactly what the presidency of Donald J. Trump will bring, it is already clear that the country is in for an unprecedented assault on ethics regulations and legal obligations from the White House. At the same time, all the signs point to a renewed era of harsh law enforcement for the rest of the country, focused primarily on already heavily policed and marginalized communities. An ominous statement posted to the official White House website today reads: “The dangerous anti-police atmosphere in America is wrong. The Trump Administration will end it.” It remains to be seen exactly how law enforcement will change under Trump, and whether he will actively pursue some of his most discriminatory campaign promises, like subjecting Muslims to increased surveillance and deporting millions of undocumented immigrants.

Newsletter: The Inauguration Of Protest

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By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. The last few days have seen a series of mass protests against President Trump and his incoming administration. This should be the inauguration of persistent protests, not just against the Trump administration but the system that has consistently put in place governments that represent big business interests and militarism while most people in the US face economic insecurity, and people around the world face US bombings. President Obama broke George W. Bush’s record for bombs deployed creating further hatred for the United States, insecurity and chaos. Trump is a symptom of a failed political system that does not represent the interests of the people or planet. Protests were varied from Black Bloc to the massive Women’s March

Trump’s Inauguration: Boycotts, Protests And Fake Entrance

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By Bill Hughes for the Baltimore Post Examiner. WASHINGTON, DC – I knew that President-elect Donald Trump was going to have his smiley face on at his inauguration as soon as I stepped into Baltimore’s Penn’s Station early on Friday morning, January 20, 2017. It was packed with Trump true believers carrying all kinds of signs and wearing red baseball caps that barked: “Make American Great Again.” There were only a few anti-Trump activists in sight. Trump supporters at Penn Station Trump supporters at Penn Station Well, the 8:30 am MARC train out of Penn Station had eight cars. I asked the conductor how many empty seats he had. He said it was only filled to “about one-third of its capacity.”Washington D.C. and federal officials were expecting close to 1,000,000 visitors for the weekend. I don’t think they even came close to making that number. The MARC line prepared for a huge turnout for the event, too, the 45th in our country’s history. It had ordered out more trains than usual for the occasion.

Climate Activists Blockade Inauguration

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By Matt Maiorana for Disrupt J20. WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, a group of over 400 climate justice activists physically blocked a security checkpoint entrance to the Presidential Inauguration for four hours as part of the distributed #DisruptJ20 protests happening in D.C. and around the country. The climate demonstrators peacefully spread out and linked arms across the security checkpoint at 3rd and D streets NW, and refused to move, physically blocking the entrance and denying access to the inauguration grounds. The protest caused a massive disruption of the checkpoint, making the line extend for a half-mile. Once Donald Trump was inaugurated, protesters chose to peacefully disperse, having accomplished their goals. The protesters held signs and large banners reading “Resist Trump: Climate Justice Now” and “Deny Trump, Not Climate.”

DC Streets Quiet Following Un-peaceful Transition

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By John Zangas of DC Media Group (on Facebook). Washington, DC – It’s quiet in DC now after a day of protests, unrest, and property damage along K Street and in some streets just North of there. Scenes of carnage were evident here and there. The burned vehicles were removed. Hundreds were arrested. Things got bad today but not so bad as things have gotten in places like Cairo, Gezi Park or Taksim Square, during changes of government abroad. Tonight there were some more of the same protests that occurred today with police and protesters clashing-the streets were still littered with debris, trash and remnants of flash bangs-their tell tale white residue from the loud explosions. Most protesters had gone home by 10:00 pm but a few remained in Franklin Square with a few police watching nearby.

Student Strikes Planned To Protest Inauguration

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By Jack Smith IV for News.Mic. College students across the country in cities like Los Angeles and Chicago are planning walkouts and marches, taking the Inauguration Day protests to the campuses where they live and work. Leftist groups like Students for a Democratic Society and the student arm of Socialist Alternative are coordinating across chapters of the University of Houston, University of Minnesota, University of Cincinnati, University of California — Berkeley and Los Angeles — various schools in Seattle and Philadelphia, and more schools as Inauguration Day approaches. And the organizers insist these protests are only the beginning of a broader resistance movement.