On Monday November 20, 2017, prosecution and defense gave opening arguments in the trial of the first of the six people–one journalists, two medics, and three protesters– swept up in the mass arrest of Inauguration Day Protesters. What was startling was how many of the key facts were not in dispute. Neither prosecutors nor defense attorneys purport that any of the six people on trial personally engaged in any destruction.
Aaron Cantú and Alexei Wood journalists who were covering a protest march on Inauguration Day 2017, in Washington, DC. They face a number of charges, including engaging in a riot, conspiracy to riot, inciting a riot, and property damage. Since some of the charges are felonies, they face potentially decades in prison. Cantú and Wood were arrested and charged for simply doing their jobs as reporters. Their prosecution endangers press freedom in the United States
Two piglets, near death before being rescued by two animal rights activists and nursed back to health. This may not seem like something within the FBI’s jurisdiction, yet the FBI is carrying out an interstate pursuit to find these two rescued piglets.
A WhiteHouse.Gov petition asking for Antifa to be declared a terrorist organization has exceeded the number of signatures that in theory mandates the White House to respond. It is riddled with misunderstandings of the First Amendment and US anti-terrorism law.
The bizarre assertion of blue racism is a new low, but it plays on a similar theme we’ve seen time and time again.
On Thursday, August 24, 2017 Chief Judge Robert E. Morin issued a ruling from the bench that DreamHost must turn over information from DisruptJ20.org to prosecutors. This warrant stems from the unconstitutional prosecutions of J20 protesters. As a result, it has the potential to broaden an ongoing witch hunt. Even if this weren’t the case, given the chilling effect the government’s request will have on speech the warrant should have been rejected.
Lawmakers who push bills removing liability for “accidentally” running over political protesters do so with a wink and a nudge. Responding to a nonexistent problem, these bills are about communicating a murderous disdain for political protests. While given the seriousn nature of the charges against Heather Heyer’s murderer, it is unlikely that bill protecting those who unintentionally run over protesters would have offered him much protection. It is also impossible to deny what message singling out those who injure or kill protesters for special protections sends.
Both the FBI and Trump have a troubling intolerance for dissent. Trump during his campaign called for widespread surveillance of mosques and the FBI already has confidential informants crawling throughout the Muslim community.
Although the “Israel Anti-Boycott Act” was first introduced in March, in the last 48 hours it has spawned widespread media attention and outrage.
Many of the Senators were concerned with the eroding of public trust in the FBI and how to restore business as usual to the agency. But it is precisely business as usual at the FBI we should be concerned about.