Criminalizing the act of protesting

The criminalization of dissent is escalating. Legal attacks against social movements are not new, but the current scale of what we are seeing is deeply troubling. Here in the Bay Area, there are three cases of protesters being taken to court, and nationally there are deeply disturbing cases including 211 people each facing 8 felony charges and up to 75 years in prison for participating in Inauguration Day (J20) protests in Washington DC, as well as a horrifying lawsuit holding leaders who called for a Black Lives Matter rally in Baton Rouge accountable for the injuries inflicted by a lone-gunman who killed 3 police officers. Criminalizing dissent is meant to instill fear, drain resources, and otherwise disrupt our movements. We can and must respond to this repression by building awareness and build even bigger and stronger movements. Below you will find information about three local cases:

On January 20th, While tens of thousands took to the street in San Francisco and Oakland to protest Donald Trump’s inauguration, the “J20 Resisters” took action to point out the tech industry’s complicity with the Trump administration. Five months later San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon continues to use the city’s resources to prosecute a group of 11 protesters.

“San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon has filed unjust charges against the group, despite global opposition to the inauguration of Donald Trump and the important history of political resistance in the Bay Area,” a statement from supporters reads.

For more information listen to an interview with one of people charged here.

J20 Resisters Need Your Support

Come to the next court date:
August 31, 2017 at  9:00am
SF Courthouse Steps, 850 Bryant Street

Follow J20 Resisters on Facebook for updates and more requests for support

Stand up to fascists in Oakland:

Thursday August 10, 8am
Renee C. Davidson Courthouse, Department 7
1255 Fallon St in Oakland

Eric Clanton was arrested in connection with the anti-fascist counter-protests on April 15th in Berkeley​​. ​This is not just a trial against one person​ — police persecution of people resisting fascism is growing across the country.​​ Berkeley Police also appear to collaborated with far right extremists, using information supplied by them in order to make the initial arrest. ​At ​Eric’s first two court dates, hate groups showed up flying nazi inspired flags and intimidated families going into court.​ Eric and his supporters are ​asking anyone who opposes racist, sexist,​ fascists and their growing movement of hate to come out ​and support. ​

Unfortunately, showing up can carry some risk. These groups have been known to try and video anyone who opposes their xenophobia and misogyny, and then try and identify those people online in order to harass, intimidate, and spread false information in an attempt to incriminate people. We want people to come out, but we want folks to know there is some risk in doing so and to decide how to be supportive accordingly.

Catalyst collective member, Dylan Cooke, and CRC Liberation Logistics member, Samir Shtha, were arrested during the police’s violent response to protests against Urban Shield on June 20th at a Berkeley City Council meeting. After five hours of community testimony against Urban Shield, the Council rushed through a vote to continue participating in the racist and highly militarized trainings. After the questionable vote, police escalated, brutalized, and arrested community members that were there to speak against that very violence. Dylan and Samir were arrested after being attacked, and many other people there were injured as police used batons through the crowd.

Charges against Dylan and Samir were all dropped as we were writing this email! While these charges were dropped, the fight to Stop Urban Shield continues, stay tuned for campaign updates.

With Love and Rage,
Rahula Janowski
On behalf of Catalyst

PS. Join us for our event Building a Culture of Resistance to State Repression on August 8th about state repression and the many ways we can collectively resist it. We’ll talk about how the state has historically tried to disrupt left movements, especially those led by people of color, and what our responsibility is as people fighting for racial justice.

This is a launch event for Catalyst’s new pamphlet: “A Troublemaker’s Guide: Principles for Racial Justice Activists in the Face of State Repression.”