This is a really great piece by Natasha Lennard on how the arrests on J20 are being used to criminalize dissent and chill resistance.
“Government action, like the mass J20 arrest, could make the tired “good protester/bad protester” narrative obsolete, if presence, proximity and chanting are sufficient to “bad protester” make. While radical leftists would banish the “bad protester” label to collapse the dichotomy, the state seems keen to erase the concept of “good” protest. In recent weeks, as the preliminary hearings J20 defendants began, Republican lawmakers in at least 18 states introduced legislation to increase the severity of charges for traditionally non-violent protest tactics, like blocking highways.
The government has already proven its willingness to set what Goldstone called “a monstrous trap” for protesters, by leveraging high risk trials against paper-thin cases. At this point, unsurety hangs over the remaining J20 cases. With 213 remaining defendants, and nearly as many separate lawyers defending them, it is unknown whether better pleas will be offered or taken, how many protesters will take their case to trial, and how many, if any, convictions will stick. The process may well bleed into 2018, with the threat of lengthy sentences weighing on the defendants every day as it goes on.”
Check the full article here.