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Jan 21, 20

A Statement from Some J20 Defendants in New Orleans 3 Years Later

Statement from former J20 defendants from so-called New Orleans looking back on the case and the impact of State repression.

Three years ago, to those of us arrested, J20 seemed like a defeat. Despite the camaraderie and joy of being together in the streets, the fascists had won. Their boy was in the White House and the police had his blessing to brutalize us rowdy discontents. As we tried to sleep that first night in jail the judiciary and the media sharpened their swords and measured them to our necks. The second night—after the arraignment—we did the math on our fingers: 5 years? 10 years? 20? 40?

But it turns out there’s something more powerful than the dread of the state: our friends and our communities. They bailed us out and picked us up, and held us when we cried, and told us it would be okay, and helped us work together to beat those trumped up charges. Some of those bonds were strengthened , and others were shattered, but what’s become clear these last three years—if it wasn’t clear already—is that we can’t count on the state, or the police, or the ballot box, or the Army Corps of Engineers to save us. Indeed, they can’t even count on themselves, so used to breaking their own laws that every single one of us went free! All we can count on is each other.

J20 was not our final battle. Since then, some of us have defended the swamps, marched down Bourbon Street when the pigs raided strip clubs, kicked Nazis out of New Orleans, wrote hundreds of letters to comrades behind bars, held workshops, and made new friends—all in spite of the felony charges hanging over us and the dread, doubt, and self-policing they were meant to inflict.

While the world around us seems more hostile everyday, the flames of resistance will not be easily extinguished. In Chile, Lebanon, Kurdistan, El Norte—from the streets of Hong Kong to the cells of Angola—the message is clear: We will not go quietly! There are more of us than you can ever hope to control!

So let’s make the lessons of J20 a daily practice, rather than just a yearly reflection.

Fuck the state, fuck the police, fuck capitalism! Solidarity forever!

Rest in power Nathan!

Til’ Next Time…

a few J20 defendants

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