#DefendJ20 Letter to U.S. Attorney for Washington D.C. from the D.C. Industrial Workers of the World
On Friday December 1, 2017 the Washington, D.C. General Membership Branch of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and Mid-Atlantic General Defense Committee (GDC) Local 21 issued a letter to the United States Attorney of the District of Columbia demanding the prosecution drop the charges against all arrested in connection with the inauguration protests on January 20, 2017.
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Dear U.S. Attorney Liu: On January 20, 2017, thousands of people took to the streets of Washington, D.C., to protest and document the presidential inauguration. Shortly after the protest began, hundreds of participants and bystanders were illegally kettled, bombarded with pepper spray, stun grenades, and some were beaten with batons. As a result of the kettle, over 200 people were detained in a sweeping mass arrest. Among the people arrested were over two dozen members of our union, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), and its affiliated legal defense and community organizing body, the IWW General Defense Committee (GDC). The IWW and GDC supports our members’ right to express their politics through protest. This is a union-wide tradition that dates back to the battles over free speech and human rights in the early 20th century led by the labor movement. We are deeply concerned about the severe repression against all those facing charges for exercising their First Amendment right on January 20, 2017 in Washington, D.C. The charges the prosecution are pursuing are indicative of a disturbing pattern of repression against political dissent in this country and around the world. The Washington, D.C. General Membership Branch of the IWW and Mid-Atlantic GDC Local 21 demand you drop the charges against all those arrested in connection with this case.
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