Donate to Dane Here
On Friday, July 7th, Dane Powell became the first victim of the #DisruptJ20 arrestees to be struck with a jail sentence. Dane is a father, veteran, water protector, and active community member, but will now forever be known as the first political prisoner of the Trump era. Today, he needs your support more than ever.
On January 20th, police across the United States celebrated the inauguration of Trump, confident they would be empowered to terrorize communities with fewer consequences than ever. They wasted no time testing the limits of their new power: on Trump’s first day in office, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) attacked thousands of demonstrators and bystanders with pepper spray & flash grenades, kettled and mass arrested hundreds of them, seized their cell phones, sexually assaulted some behind bars, and later raided an activist’s home.
An emboldened prosecutor is now pursuing charges that threaten to keep these activists imprisoned for decades, and Dane Powell represents the first attempt. Dane is a hero who famously brought a child to safety while MPD attacked children and the elderly in the supportive crowd on J20. Later, he would be pulled out of a car, held in jail for days without almost anyone realizing it, and charged with 14 felonies. He pled to two of those in April and was sentenced to 4 months in jail on July 7th.
Dane is a soft spoken and loving individual. In his interview on It’s Going Down, he explained why he came out to J20: “I could have let other people do it. I let [my daughter] know that we can’t live our lives hoping for someone else to come and fix things for us. When we, or anyone else, is faced with insurmountable oppression we must use our own two feet and hands to dismantle it.”
Please support Dane by donating to his commissary and stand with all the J20 defendants. All of us who are fighting for our lives, communities, and the people we love could be in his place.The tactics deployed throughout this process are a reflection of the terror that MPD puts DC residents through every day via jump squads and the murder of innocent black people like Terrence Sterling.
Only by standing together can we combat police and prosecutorial abuse. Four months in jail can feel like a lifetime when you have almost nothing to relieve the boredom, depression, and loneliness. By writing him letters (details coming!) and contributing generously to his inmate relief fund, we’ll make sure that he bounces back from this ready to continue this struggle at our side.
Will you support Dane? Donate here.