Protesters gather at White House as multiple official sources call Russiagate treason

On the 11th of July, protesters showed up outside the White House as the swirling “Russiagate” scandal took a new turn. Donald Trump Jr released emails showing he “welcomed” Russian interference in the 2016 election on behalf of his father. He released them only because newspapers were about to. Both former Watergate prosecutor Nick Akerman and Sen Tim Kaine called Trump Jr’s meeting with Russian officials “treason.”

As the Russiagate scandal grows, these protests at the White House and at Trump Hotel events are likely to grow, and to pull in participants from far outside the usual communities that one would expect to see protesting at the White House. A recent Washington Post survey claims 1 in 3 DC residents has already protested Trump at least once-with upscale whites the most likely protesters. These are exactly the kind of people Russiagate is pulling into the streets, thus it may once again become advisable for motorists to avoid Trump Hotel, the area around the White House, and anything in between as it was in November 2016.

Russiagate is nowhere near the worst thing about Donald Trump, given his gutter racism and inclusion of overt white nationalists in his cabinet. On the other hand, of all the many Trump crimes, Russiagate is the most impeachable, the most indictable, and the most likely to put Trump and some of his family members behind bars. Trump Jr used the term “opposition reseach” for his solicitation of hacking and data thefts to give his father an advantage in the 2016 election. Former Watergate prosecutor Nick Akerman and Sen Tim Kaine disagree, calling it nothing less than treason.

One wag pointed out on Twitter that Trump Jr could literally face the death penalty for treason-except that he is rich and white. Others have spoken of lesser charges but rich man’s justice may again prevail. Likely charges include computer crimes charges over the attacks on election computers, charges for violation of a Federal law concerning “collusion” with foreign governments, charges under a Federal fraud law making it a crime to “deprive another of the intangible right of honest services,” and for conspiracy to commit any of these that Donald Trump Jr didn’t do with his own hands. The meeting between Donald Trump Jr and Russian officials itself has been called enough for “collusion” or even treason charges by some.

The publicity and frankly the legal risk could force Donald Trump Jr’s father to resign from office. That would almost certainly make prosecutors lose interest in the case and would be nearly guaranteed to silence mainstream press coverage of it.

Donald Trump Junior has broken a lot more than a few windows on L St, and burned a lot more than a limo on K st. Donald Trump Junior effectively put a brick through the entire 2016 election and burned the ballots of millions whose votes were made worthless by foreign intelligence agency interference. He was also careless with electronics-and now the emails showing his guilt have been released to the world. WTOP Radio reported someone calling the emails “a smoking cannon.” Donald Trump Jr should not walk while Inauguration protesters are threatened with decades in prison or while anyone is actually serving time for opposing Trump’s Inauguration. After all, Donald Trump could not have been inaugurated at all on Jan 20 without the Russian interference his son solicited.

Politifact lists some of the laws under which Trump and Trump Jr could face charges
A Harvard Law professor calls the Trumo Jr emails “smoking gun”

Video from the protest-and of Tim Kaine calling case “potentially treason”

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Democratic Socialists of America march on Sen Murkowski’s home against Trumpcare

The 10th of July was a long day of civil disobedience against Trumpcare, with over 80 arrests in and around the offices of Senator’s Flake and Ted Cruz. That same evening, the Democratic Socialists of America marched on the home of Alaska Sen Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), who is believed to be a crucial swing vote on the current Trumpcare bill known as the “Better Care Reconcilation Act.”

The Democratic Socialists of America are demanding single-payer healthcare but said bluntly that the existing Affordable Care Act is much to be preferred to the mess that Trump is proposing. The so-called Better Care Reconcilation Act includes deep cuts to Medicaid and an at least one year cutoff of funding for Planned Parenthood. Beginning in 2021, ALL Federal funding for expanded Medicaid eligability would end. Any state wishing to continue expanded Medicaid eligability will have to pay for it themselves. Many states have legislation automatically cutting back Medicaid expansion if Federal funding dries up. Those who currently get subsidies to buy insurance from private companies will also face cutbacks, making insurance impossible for them to afford. The wealthy get a nice tax cut, while 20 million lose eligability for coverage or have to cancel due to the subsity cuts.

Video of the march on Sen Murkowski’s home

Youtube video-Trumpcare Protesters Storm Senate Ted Cruz and Jeff Flake Targeted

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KKK 45 min late to own rally in Charlotteville before being chased away

On the 8th of July, the city of Charlottesville, VA turned out riot cops in force to defend a KKK rally from anti-Fascists. There were so many antifascists the KKK could not get in until 45 minutes of their hour permit had expired. Shortly therafter they left, with antifascists pursuing them back to their parking garages.

Before the Klan could even enter their protest pen, cops had to force a passage through anti-Klan protesters blocking access in a form of civil disobedience. The cops then brought the KKK in by what appears to have been the same route they got some of the arrestees out. By that time, 45 minutes had expired out of the hour alloted in the Klan’s permit.

There were a number of arrests orginally for “felony masking” reported. On Monday, July 10 three people were reported to have been charged with this. There were also the earlier civil disobedience style arrests.

There were two sets of arrests altogether. The first was of protesters blocking the Klan’s access to the area by what appear to be the city police. At least some of those were of protesters not wearing masks. The Klan members wore everything but their masks, as that extreme mask law was supposedly aimed at the Klan itself. Presumably the KKK didn’t want to call out the hypocrisy of their police buddies. On the other hand, several Klan members were wearing pistols in holsters at their belts. The second set of arrests was after the KKK left, by Virginia State Troopers in riot gear and with at least one dog.

After the KKK had run the gauntlet back to their cars, Virginia State Troopers showed up in armored vehicles and riot gear. They were not visible in the early arrests that cleared the way for the Klan to enter the scene. These riot cops attacked the counterprotesters and threw what appeared to be some kind of pepper spray grenades that dispersed a yellow powder.As of 7PM three people were still being held and about 20 people were outside the courthouse for jail support. None of the police violence could change the fact that the KKK could not start their rally on time, lost three quarters of their alloted time, and got harassed all the way back to their cars.

Video compilation showing CD that delayed the Klan, the faceoff against the KKK, then Va State Police riot cop attack

Here’s a section of Lacy MacAuley’s Twitter feed of these events

Multiple arrests, much pepper spray. I caught it in the eyes. Friends were arrested. Another day, US

Groups block chasing outside parking garage.

Klan has exited. Groups pursuing and dogging them at their parking garage.

The Klan was 45 minutes late to their own rally. Only had permit for 1 hour. “Racists go home!” Is new chant.

The Klan finally arrived (heavily protected by the police). All 30 of them. Many hundreds of anti-racists

Stray racists inside park, but none actually identifying as Klan. Huge anti-racist crowd.

Huge number of anti-racists block park.

Police violence and four arrests at west side of enclosure. Small number racists (~4) made it into barrier.

Some #KKK supporters starting to wait by fence for their 3 PM racist-rally start time.

Huge anti-racist crowd here in #Charlottesville to #BlocKKK. So far almost no #KKK supporters to be seen.

Racist confederate-flag hat guy gets interview. Meanwhile, there are about

Stray confederate flag fans are on this side of fence having verbal altercations with our anti-racist crowd.

Large group of people are here to oppose #KKK. So far no klan on the other side of fence, just stray racists.

Real deal #KKK members are expected to arrive but so far the police are the only fascists here.

Meanwhile, only #KKK supporter here shut down by protesters, calls for police to protect him but won’t leave park

Heavy police presence in #Charlottesville, VA #BlockKKK. Many roads blocked by police.

Photo by Lacy

Photo by Lacy

Photo by Lacy

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Dane Powell gets 4 months jail for protesting Trump, rescuing child from police

On the 7th of July, DisruptJ20 defendent Dane Powell received 4 months in jail for protesting Trump on Inauguration day and rescuing several people including a young child from violent, out-of-control police. The child had been pepper sprayed. Before Dane was sentenced, his supporters held a rally outside the courthouse, then went inside to pack the courtroom.

One Twitter report from inside the courtroom reads “Tears shed in court today when support letter was read. Mother detailed how Dane Powell protected her child from police brutality”

Dane was not arrested in the kettle on the 20th of January, the out-of-control police violence he rescued the child and several others from occurred after the kettled protesters had been trapped. Instead, cops yanked him out of another activist’s car well after the fact.

Jail time for any defendent in the over 200 Inauguration cases bodes ill for the future of any kind of open protest under Trump’s brand of fascism. Most of the 208 remaining cases involve people being charged with mulitple felonies simply for being present while others did something for which charges were possible. Under this standard, any person attending any protest in the US risks going to jail or prison if anyone anywhere in the protest damages property or resists police. This and the out-of-control police violence on J20 are both the hallmarks of dictators like Erdogen in Turkey, a man some say Trump wants to emulate. interview with Dane Powell

Video of the protest outside the courthouse and Dane’s rescue of a young child from police brutality.

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Video-anarchists burn US flags on July 4

Furious with efforts to imprison comrades for up to 80 years each for the DisruptJ20 protests, anarchists burned US flags on the 4th of July. The USA flag now stands for Trump, for the alt-right, and for prosecutors like Jennifer Kirkhoff and cops like chief Newsham. It has always stood for racism, and the US is notorious around the world for long prison sentences that violate international standards.

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“Save our System” rally demands no more Metro fare hikes or service cuts

On the 29th of June, Metro bus and rail riders gathered outside the Columbia Heights Metro station to demand an end to fare hikes and service cuts, and that big developers and businesses that depend on Metrorail to make their billions pay their fare share of the cost of keeping the system running. A specific demand was a flat $2 fare for both bus and rail, and the restoration of late-night service.

Metro’s riders were backed by ATU Local 689, which represented Metro’s workers, the folks without which Metro does not run at all. Without them, and the people who ride on Metro bus and rail, the flow of money to major shopping areas, lobbyists, and even the big corporate law firms just stops. Combined Metro’s riders and unionized workforce wield a great deal of power.

If Metro’s workers were to respond to reductions in subsidies from local government by refusing to provide service to major shopping areas, that would force the jurisidictions to the table. It would be a simple matter of not opening train doors and not stopping busses at the offending shopping zones. Along the same lines,the Pentagon could be denied service if the Federal government won’t pay their “fare share,” so to speak.

Instead of making developers, shopping centers, K st, et all pay for the money they make because of Metro, existing proposals are for things like sales taxes or even residential property taxes, almost as though the proposals for a consistant Metro funding source were intended to be so unpopular they would never pass. A gas tax would be another option and still leave gas cheap compared to 2008, but politicians consider raising gas taxes the kiss of death.

This year WMATA has increased Metrobus fares to $2 from $1.75, plus an additional $2 on some “express” routes. Another $0.10 has been added to the baseline Metrorail fare during already high-priced peak hours, and another $0.25 to the off-peak base fare. Meanwhile 33 bus routes are getting reduced service or being eliminated entirely, rail service is getting 25% fewer trains in rush hour, and no late-night service for at least two years.

Metro does in fact have the assets to offer 24-7 service between the rail stations, BTW. Between 11Pm and 6AM there is very little traffic on most roads. If during those hours busses ran over each Metrorail route, they could make nearly as good time, and better time than rail delayed by single-tracking around work. A few routes would have to be modified to deal with road realities, like transferring the Ft Totten and Catholic University stations from Red to Green Line service during these bus service hours due to east-west traffic conditions. It would still be possible to get from any Metrorail station to any other in reasonable time 24-7, and it would solve the problem about when to do track work on a two-track railroad.

Video highlights of the the Save Our System rally

What WMATA has to say about the hardships of SafeTrak

What some had to say about the nearly worthless SafeTrak McD’s coupons good only for coffee

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Trump $35K/plate fundraiser for own re-election draws protesters

On the 28th of June, Donald Trump held a fundraiser for himself at Trump Hotel, drawing protesters on very short notice. Protesters invoked everything from Russiagate to Trump’s war on women and the environmental record of his EPA chief Pruitt. Inside, dinner was $35,000 a plate, some paid as much as $110,000, and ABC News reported Trump raked in $10M from his very wealthy donors.

Just ONE of those $35,000 plates could buy a $4.75 dinner for every one of the 8,000 homeless people the Washington Post admits to existing in Washington DC. Places were set for dining outside, but few of them were used because of the protesters. There were rounds of “shame, shame,shame” and similar chants. Lots of potential for donors to get $35,000 worth of heartburn at Trump Hotel this time around.

Speaking of re-election campaigns, while Richard Nixon was committing the crimes that led to Watergate, his re-election campaign was called Committee to re-elect the President, or CREEP for short.

Video from a few minutes after Trump’s motorcade arrived

Sign over plastic bare ass: You won’t be covered

People had to show up on essentially zero notice

Lots of cops, Trump was reported present for about two hours

Stephen Spauding photo of the protest just after Trump arrived to a chorus of booing

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