By Sarah Lazare for AlterNet – More than 200 people who were mass-arrested at the Washington, D.C. protests against the inauguration of Donald Trump have been hit with felony riot charges that are punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Those picked up in the sweep—including legal observers and journalists—had their phones, cameras and other personal belongings confiscated as evidence, a lawyer confirmed to AlterNet. Demonstrators warn that the crackdown signals a new wave of repression against the protesters, whose mass mobilization was met with riot police violence, National Guard and Department of Homeland Security deployments, heavy surveillance and law enforcement snipers positioned on rooftops.
By Sarah Cronin for Activist Post – Indiana passed a bill on Wednesday that authorizes police officers to shut down highway protesting “by any means necessary.” S.B. 285, as it is known, obliges a public official to dispatch all available officers within 15 minutes of discovering any assembly of 10 or more people who are obstructing vehicle traffic. The bill then authorizes the responding officers to clear roads “by any means necessary.” Critics are calling it the “Block Traffic and You Die” bill, an apt name for a bill that has co-opted the phrase “any means necessary,” used famously in speech delivered by Malcolm X during the Civil Rights movement, turning it into a threat against government dissent (with no apparent awareness of the irony).
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.
By Staff of Common Dreams – Follow live coverage of official events—as well as protest and dissent—as Inauguration Day unfolds. Amid growing protests and vows of resistance to his right-wing agenda and regressive vitriol, Donald J. Trump was sworn into office on Friday as the 45th President of the United States. In anticipation of a day that will likely embody the #NotNormal nature of his campaign and transition period, Commons Dreams will be providing live coverage of events in Washington, D.C. as well as updates and reactions from around the nation and the world as Trump’s inauguration unfolds. Check back for updates.
By John Zangas and Anne Meador for DC Media Group – Washington, DC–The Secret Service has denied credentialed press access to a protest space permitted to ANSWER Coalition along the Inauguration route at the Navy Memorial, according to Brian Becker, National Coordinator for the group. Becker said that the Secret Service is not granting press permits to set up stands to cover the protest area between 7th and 9th Streets NW, which falls midway along the route Donald Trump’s motorcade will pass after he is sworn in as the 45th President. An ANSWER Coalition press release condemned the action an “outrage” and “a blatant act of political discrimination and a grave threat to free speech and the right to dissent in the Trump Era.”
By Nikita Vladimirov for The Hill – Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department clashed with anti-Donald Trump protestors Thursday night outside of the National Press Club building. A reporter for NBC4 said protesters also set off smoke devices, contributing to the atmosphere of chaos ahead of Friday’s ceremonies. Police spokesman Hugh Carew said he could not confirm whether officers had used tear gas. A Hill reporter on the scene said people were dancing with music blaring amid the large police presence. The group was projecting images onto buildings, yelling “f— Trump” and taking photos with a large inflatable elephant with “racist” written on it. At one point, protesters set a small fire, according to social media reports. Police have reportedly made several arrests.
By Greg Hadley for McClatchy DC – As protesters and organizers gear up for what is likely to be a busy weekend for the presidential inauguration in Washington D.C., one man has already started his crusade against President-elect Donald Trump, and it nearly cost him his life. An unidentified man tried to set himself on fire outside of Trump International Hotel in Washington on Tuesday night. He succeeded in setting his clothes ablaze, but the Washington D.C. fire department was able to intervene and save his life, according to local media reports. “I was trying to light myself on fire as an act of protest,” the man told NBC 4. “Protesting the fact that we’ve elected someone who is completely incapable of respecting the Constitution of the United States.”
By Andrew Forgotch for ABC News – CONESTOGA, Pa. (WHTM) – Mark Clatterbuck hopes a 10-foot wooden stand in a field near Safe Harbor Park in Conestoga Township serves as a focal point. “We expect there to be a pretty large scale encampment of folks camping out here to stop the pipeline,” he said. Clatterbuck is part of the group Lancaster Against Pipelines and views the stand as a last effort to oppose the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline. The pipeline, which is essentially one step away from being built, would transport 1.7 billion cubic feet of gas from shale fields across Pennsylvania. Part of the proposed route for the pipeline runs through Lebanon and Lancaster counties.
By Staff of Reuters – Dozens of protesters gathered outside of Goldman Sachs Group Inc headquarters on Tuesday to rally against President-elect Donald Trump’s picking several former executives of the Wall Street bank for top jobs in his administration. Some of the 50 or so protesters wore swamp-monster masks in reference to Trump’s pledge to “drain the swamp” that he said Washington has become and get rid of special interests. About 20 of them brought sleeping bags, intending to camp outside 200 West Street until Trump’s inauguration on Friday. Goldman Sachs security guards sent employees and guests to entrances on the north side of the building on the rainy evening as protesters unrolled green sleeping bags on the southwest corner.
By Candice Bernd for Truthout – Marfa, Texas—A new Indigenous-led direct action campaign is gaining momentum with two more lockdown actions targeting Energy Transfer Partners’ (ETP) twin pipeline projects in far West Texas. An Indigenous Water Protector and an Alpine resident were arrested Saturday, January 14, after locking themselves to pipe-laying equipment at an ETP easement and work site in Presidio County, Texas. The lockdown disrupted construction on the company’s 148-mile Trans-Pecos pipeline that, if completed, would carry 1.4 billion cubic feet of fracked gas from West Texas to Mexico every day.
By Tyler Durden for Zero Hedge – Yesterday we noted Part I of a new Project Veritas undercover series that exposed the efforts of several protest groups to disrupt the Trump inauguration by deploying butyric acid (aka “stink bombs”) at the National Press Club during the Deploraball event scheduled for January 19th. Part II of that series was just released and exposes further plotting by a group know as “DisruptJ20″ to completely paralyze various modes of transportation on inauguration day. Among other things, the protesters in the video plot to shut down surface traffic with “checkpoint blockades” and “a series of clusterfuck blockades” intended to shut down “all the major ingress points in the city.”
By Mia Summerson for Niagara Gazette – AMHERST — Locals who have been vocally opposed to the construction of a natural gas pipeline and related structures in Niagara Country attempted to get their message to Gov. Andrew Cuomo during his State of the State address on Monday. Despite frigid temperatures, protestors stood outside the University at Buffalo’s Center for the Arts to request that the governor take action by denying the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s water permit for the project. The Northern Access Pipeline, proposed by National Fuel, includes constructing a pipeline between Wheatfield and Pendleton…
By Yessenia Funes for Colorlines – Her action was in direct opposition to the Comanche Trail Pipeline, a 195-mile long natural gas pipeline in the Texas town of San Elizario. Local opponents to the Comanche Trail Pipeline in San Elizario, Texas, took direct action against the 195-mile long natural gas pipeline today (January 12). The pipeline is a project of Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline. One water protector who has chosen to go unnamed locked herself to an excavator around 7 a.m. MST on a construction site for the pipeline, a tactic also used during the #NoDAPL battle in Standing Rock, North Dakota.
By Sharon Kelly for Desmog Blog – President-elect Donald Trump’s nominees for the Cabinet began appearing before the U.S. Senate to start their confirmation hearing process on Tuesday — and some of the slots to be filled will have major implications for American climate change policies. Rex Tillerson, who announced his retirement as CEO of ExxonMobil, is scheduled to appear before the Senate on Wednesday, as is Elaine Chao, Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Transporation. On Monday, environmentalists nationwide organized protests at senators’ home offices, with organizers calling on their representatives to refuse to confirm Cabinet nominees hostile to combating climate change.
By Traci Yoder for NLG Director of Research and Education – When independent media collective Unicorn Riot filed a records request to the North Dakota Department of Corrections related to the indigenous movement against the Dakota Access Pipeline, they received the updated Field Force Operations Manual produced by the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA’s Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP). The 135-page federal training manual is designed to provide local law enforcement with “the knowledge and skills required to manage and control crowds and demonstrations.” References in the manual to the Occupy and Black Lives Matter Movements indicate that it has been updated recently, although the policing tactics will be familiar to those who have taken part in social movements for the last several decades.