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May 9, 18

May 10th-14th: Take Action in DC to Stand in Solidarity with J20 Defendants

The next round of J20 trials is starting. If you are in the DC area, please consider coming out to these upcoming events. On May 10th and 11th, please also take part in the call-in campaign for J20 defendants no matter where you are.

May 10th:

The Green Scare & the J20 Case with former Political Prisoner Daniel McGowen
May 10th @ 7 PM, 1525 Newton St, Saint Stephens Sanctuary

In the early 2000s we saw the US government crack down against environmental and animal activists/movements in what was known as the Green Scare. The Green Scare was an intensive period of repression that sought to impede a growing radical environmentalist movement.

On May 10th, Daniel McGowan, a former political prisoner from the Green Scare will be coming to Washington DC to speak about his experiences facing repression and being a political prisoner.

Daniel will be joined by those doing support work for the J20 case; in which 59 people are still facing decades in prison for counter-inaugural protests. They will speak about the J20 case’s happenings, significance, current state, and attempt to connect the Green Scare to J20 and a broader history of repression.

All are welcome!

May 10th and 11th:

Call-In Campaign to Drop the Charges

On December 21st, a jury returned a not-guilty verdict on all charges for the first six defendants in the J20 case. Subsequently, on January 19th, 2018, the prosecution dropped charges against 129 defendants. This is a huge victory! But the fight isn’t over yet: 59 people still face decades in prison. The next round of trials is set to start on May 14th, 2018. The prosecution intentionally delayed the April trials for lack of an “expert witness,” essentially conceding that they can’t win the case as is. We know this is a case of political targeting, and we must demand that the remaining 59 defendants get their charges dropped! We are asking that everyone call the US Attorney’s office from 9am-6pm on 5/10/18 and 5/11/18 and tell them to DROP THE CHARGES against ALL the remaining defendants!

Now is the time to keep up the pressure! The U.S. Attorney’s office can decide to drop these charges any time. Let’s make sure they can’t get any work done, show them they can’t get any work done while we let them know we are watching these cases. We’re asking you to keep the following people busy listening to our demands all day long on May 10th and 11th:

    • Jennifer Kerkhoff – Lead Prosectuor on the case, Deputy Chief of the Felony Major Crimes Trial Section (202) 252-7380
    • Lisa Greene – The Deputy Chief of the Superior Court Division, Kerkhoff’s direct supervisor (202) 252-7485
    • Richard Tischner – The Chief of the Superior Court Division, Kerkhoff’s direct supervisor (202) 252-7274
    • US Attorney for DC Jessie Liu – The person in charge of the US Attorney’s office, a Trump appointee (202) 252-7566
    • Rizwan Qureshi – Assistant J20 prosecutor (general line – use directory/operator) (202) 252-7679
    • John Gidez – The Chief of the Felony Major Crimes Trial Section, Kerkhoff’s colleague (202) 252-6752
  • John Borchert – Assistant J20 prosecutor (esp. Dreamhost and Facebook warrants) (202) 252-7679

For maximum impact: make it personal. Why are you upset? How do you feel about limits on street protest? Tell them your opinion about police infiltration of anti-capitalist and anti-fascist communities. Perhaps you want to discuss private property destruction as symbolic political action. Whatever topics you select, you should use the opportunity to make sure that for the duration of this phone zap they will hear from us all the two days long. Please be aware your calls are likely recorded and we do not advise answering questions about your identity. Please use your best discretion if referencing anything that occurred on January 20th so as not to negatively impact the ongoing case.

Call-in Script

Here’s a sample script to get you started!

Hello. My name is __________. (first name is fine)

I am calling about the inauguration day protesters still facing trumped up criminal charges. Your office needs to drop these remaining charges. There is no good reason your office should be pursuing these charges when six people have already been found NOT GUILTY on all counts in the first trial. Again, your office should drop the remaining charges.

Over the last year these prosecutions have pushed all limits:

  • Intimidation to coerce plea deals by making inflated charges.
  • Shielding law enforcement from public accountability by issuing gag orders.
  • Disrupting people’s lives by making overblown charges and using those to justify intrusive, extensive investigations meant to build those cases.

This overall strategy to intimidate activists, disrupt social movements and silence dissent by weaponizing the use of trumped up charges is not going unnoticed. Your office has the power to end the repression and intimidation. Drop the charges now.

N.B. Some callers to AUSA Kerkoff in January found her to be argumentitive, and may treat the call similarly to her courtroom presentation. You are welcome to expand this script to include opinions about the limits placed on street protest, the infiltration of anti-capitalist and anti-fascist communities by the police, or private property destruction as symbolic political action. Please be aware that your calls are likely recorded and we do not advise answering any questions about your identity. Please use your best discretion if referencing anything that occured on January 20th so as to not negatively impact the ongoing case.

May 11th:

Drop the Charges! Rally with former political prisoner Chelsea Manning and former J20 Defendants
12:30 PM Franklin Square, Washington DC

Join us on Friday, May 11th, 12:30 PM @ Franklin Square to show that we – along with so many more, stand in solidarity with the J20 defendants and will continue to call for the dismissal of their charges. This is a family friendly event: bring your voice, banners, signs, co-workers, and friends!

May 14th:

Pack the court! Drop the charges!
500 Indiana Ave NW, Washington DC, 8 AM

Please arrive by 8am so that you have lots of time to get through security; don’t bring anything that they won’t let through; wear snazzy court support clothes if you have them (black if possible, but we’ll have black blazers to borrow for folks who want/need that to be able to ).

The jury will sit at 10:30am on Monday morning and we need everyone seated and situated long before then because the judge will take the bench at 9:30am to handle preliminary matters. Ideally, we’d like to have the courtroom packed by then.

Expect a full day in court on Monday and Tuesday. Be prepared to listen attentively to the proceedings, to show love to our friends on trial (as they hear the government try to vilify them), and to show respect to the jurors.

The central utility of your presence in court is to provide loving support for the defendants. Being present in the courtroom space so that they are able to observe that loving support, and draw energy from it, is incredibly important.

Please share our fundraiser page with everyone you know! We’re raising $250k to support the J20 defendants through trial starting this month through October 2018:

While you’re here, we need your support. To continue running the website, we need support from community members like you. Will you support It’s Going Down, and help build independent media? donate?

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It’s Going Down is a digital community center from anarchist, anti-fascist, autonomous anti-capitalist and anti-colonial movements. Our mission is to provide a resilient platform to publicize and promote revolutionary theory and action.

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