Target: Mr. Channing D. Phillips, U.S. Attorney for District of Columbia
Goal: Drop charges against more than 200 people arrested at Trump Inauguration in Washington, D.C.
Thousands of people gathered in Washington, D.C. to express their opposition to Trump’s hateful agenda. At an intersection close to the authorized rally sites by the White House, militarized police units swept in on a crowd and had over 200 people arrested. These people were kept in a kettle for around eight hours and exposed to tear gas and pepper spray. Hours in precarious outdoor settings were followed by a 36-hour detention, with phones and other electronic being confiscated. Those arrested now face a felony rioting record, up to 10 years in jail, and $25,000 in fines. They are journalists, legal observers, medics, and committed activists whose legal and legitimate right to protest is being smashed.
Donald Trump ran a sexist, racist, xenophobic campaign. He bullied opponents and the media, and since his victory in the electoral college, the country has witnessed an upsurge in resistance. For months, democratic coalitions from all around the country had planned demonstrations and protests for Inauguration Day, and their efforts relied on the guaranteed right to free speech.
The prospects of Trump government drove thousands to the streets, and those detained in Washington, D.C. have done nothing but express their views. The fact that every arrestee received the same felony charge raises doubt about the evidence collected by the police and prosecutors. Furthermore, such grave charges represent a chilling move by the administration and show that it is willing to push hard to silence the growing movement opposing Trump. Sign the petition below to drop the charges faced by protesters and show your concern with our democratic rights.
Dear Mr. Phillips,
More than 200 people were recently arrested for protesting at the Inauguration of President Donald J. Trump. Hazardous arrest, with hours of isolation within barricades and exposure to chemical agents, preceded lengthy custody and confiscation of cellphones and other electronic devices. Arrestees now face a felony rioting record, 10 years in prison, and $25,000 in fines. They are journalists, legal observers, medics, and citizens whose legal and legitimate right to protest is being violated.
The U.S. is a country of free speech. The prosecution of more than 200 people who participated in democratic, popular activities threatens the very foundations of this nation. Pressing serious charges in the face of legal actions will do nothing but foment an authoritarian environment. I urge you to drop the charges against those arrested in Washington, D.C. and hold the American constitutional grounds.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: AFP