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Nov 20, 17

Call-In Campaign to #DropJ20

194 people are still facing 60 years in prison after being mass arrested by police at Trump’s Inauguration and charged with multiple felonies. With the first trial starting on Monday, November 20th, we need supporters to light up the phones of the Mayor’s Office and the US Attorney. This is an important thing you can do to help keep up the pressure while supporting the 6 defendants going first in a long battle against unreasonable charges. It is our task to challenge the government’s effort to re-animate the Riot Act and attach conspiracy charges to protest movements. There is an effort nationwide to distinguish between “acceptable” and “unacceptable” protest, which includes never before seen felony charges for protest activities.

We call on US Attorney Jessie Liu to immediately drop the charges against everyone arrested on January 20.

Call US Attorney Jessie Liu at 202-252-7566.

You can also send a letter to the Judiciary Center Building, 555 Fourth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20530.

There is also an online version here.

We call on DC’s Mayor Bowser to denounce bad police tactics and prosecutorial overreach.

Call Mayor Bowser’s Office at 202-727-6263.

You can also send an email to [email protected] or tweet @mayorbowser.

Promote the Campaign

Here is an informational flyer on the #DropJ20 campaign as well as a flyer with the call-in script.

Tell others you know to call on November 20th and 21st. We will have more call-in days in the future, and it’s easy to do whether in DC as a supporter or outside it, wanting to do something to help.

#DropJ20 Call in Script

Make the below script your own. You want this to be a human interaction. If you live outside of DC, emphasize that people from all over the country came to DC to protest, and that the actions of the police represent DC to everyone who may come here to make their voice heard.

If you cannot call in, there is an online version here.

Hello, my name is _____ and I live at _____.

I’m calling [writing] to demand that the charges against the protestors who were mass arrested on Inauguration Day be dismissed.

The conduct of the DC Metropolitan Police Department was unacceptable, and more importantly, it was unlawful. They unleashed chemical agents and concussion grenades against the crowd without provocation, they used police lines to cut of an entire city block, and then indiscriminately arrested over two hundred people after holding them in the kettle for hours.

A report from the Office of Police Complaints notes that in doing so, the MPD broke multiple sections of the First Amendment Assemblies Act, in addition to several sections of their own Standard Operating Procedures. As you know, the ACLU has also filed a civil lawsuit over the MPD’s actions including allegations of harsh treatment of arrestees.

These policies were put into place after Peter Newsham ordered the mass arrest of over 400 people in 2002, an arrest which was deemed illegal in a civil lawsuit that cost the District millions of dollars. Now the exact same officer has violated the policies put into place specifically because of his prior misconduct. I understand that the MPD is refusing to release documents to the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund regarding Newsham’s conduct on Inauguration Day, which is also required by law under the First Amendment Assemblies Act. I believe that is because the MPD know it will reveal more details about their unlawful behavior.

I believe that it is abundantly clear this mass arrest was illegal. Consequently, these charges should be dropped. People come from all over the country to make their voices heard in DC, and police here should be held to the highest standards when it comes to the rights of protesters. Should this case continue, it could set an unacceptable precedent of drag-net arrests against protestors that violates numerous constitutional rights to assemble and demonstrate.

Thank you for your time. Please drop these charges immediately.

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On January 20th, 230 people were mass arrested during demonstrations against Donald Trump's Inauguration. The arrests were made by use of a "kettle" technique of individuals on the corners of L and 12th Street, without orders to disperse. 214 of these arrestees were charged under the Federal Riot Statute. On April 27th, multiple additional felony charges were added. The 211 remaining defendants could now face up to 75 years in prison.

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