SHARE
The beginning of the kettle of the J20 defendants in Washington, DC.

One of the undercovered stories of the year is the fact that this very minute, the following saga is unfolding:

Midway through 2016, a bunch of activists formed a loose affiliation and called it Disrupt J20, planning to cause a bit of mayhem during the Inauguration. They planned marches and various actions like blockading the entrances to the national Mall during the inauguration. (Turns out, not that many people wanted to go to the Inauguration anyway!)

Project Veritas, which you will remember as the people who just tried and failed to fake out the Washington Post, attended and secretly filmed a protest planning meeting at Comet Ping Pong — yes, that one — in which a group of protesters loosely called J20 planned to throw butyric acid at people attending the Deploraball, and failing that to possibly somehow get it into the building’s ventilation or sprinkler systems. This meeting was also attended by an undercover police officer, unbeknownst to Veritas.

Which sounds pretty fucked and terroristy for sure, but read this. It’s a stink bomb. Probably a bit choking at high concentration if a single spilled drop made a room smell horrid for two weeks or more, but not exactly life-and-limb stuff.

A man was arrested and charged in connection with the purported attack. The members of J20 in the video have claimed that they were aware they’d been infiltrated and were intentionally saying provocative things trying to force the Veritas plant out.

During this time, DC police spent hundreds of thousands of dollars equipping themselves for the Inauguration, buying gas masks, batons and what they call less-lethal munitions like smoke bombs and Stinger grenades.

“The police here always give three warnings to protesters before they give any action. In this case, there was nothing,” Thompson-Washington said in an interview. “There was no order of dispersal, no warnings. They just immediately brought out their batons and pepper spray without any warning.” – Ria Thompson-Washington, Legal Observer

The day of the protests, hundreds of people marched with J20. A lot of them were dressed in black. A few of them broke off from the main group and broke windows. They burned a limousine and threw trash cans, among other assorted property damage that was later estimated at about a hundred thousand dollars. Police eventually swept up hundreds of people in a kettle, which is a maneuver in which protesters are trapped between police lines. They arrested 217 people.

The ACLU sued police in June, alleging that protesters’ rights had been violated somewhere between the unlawful arrests, the invasive genital searches, police use of non-lethal weapons without warning, and the fact that many of the people who were arrested were refused access to food, water or bathrooms for hours. The DC Police Complaints Board issued a report that found police had violated procedure multiple times.

“They’re using whatever stuff they can drag up. It’s doubly strange that they would be taking such a discredited source.” – Erin Lemkey, J20 Defendant

In early fall, a judge lifted a gag order and it was confirmed that the government had subpoenaed Facebook data for every person who had visited the J20 Facebook page and all communications via Facebook connected to the account, as well as that of J20 leaders. The J20 website’s host was asked to turn over all the website data, and also the information of its 1.3 million visitors, though a judge later narrowed the scope of the subpoena. The data grab alarmed tech people and civil rights activists alike.

A few people pleaded out to smaller charges. The first six defendants in the trial are now waiting on the jury.

“They intend to hijack the First Amendment. And you need to remind them, ‘Whose streets? Our streets.’ These are your streets. You’re DC residents. Many of them are not.” – Prosecutor Rizwan Qureshi, to the jury

During this trial, which you will recall is over property damage, none of the defendants are accused of personally damaging any property. They are being held accountable for what was discussed at meetings they did not attend. They are instead facing prison time for being near the property damage in the vicinity of people who attended the infamous meeting.

“The defense has talked to you a little bit about reasonable doubt. You’re going to get an instruction from the judge. And you can tell it’s clearly written by a bunch of lawyers. It doesn’t mean a whole lot.” – Prosecutor Jennifer Kerkhoff, to the jury

In September, the prosecution introduced several audio and video files into evidence, including files created by the Oathkeepers. Using the video captured by Project Veritas and the recollections of the undercover officer at the Comet Ping Pong meeting — at which none of the defendants currently on trial were in attendance — the prosecution is arguing that anyone who attended the J20 protests intended to either commit or provide cover for criminal acts.

“What do you need a medic with gauze for? What do you need a medic with all the items that Ms. Kropf laid out for? I thought this was a protest!” – Prosecutor Rizwan Qureshi, to the jury

The prosecution has argued that a nurse who was acting as a medic having gauze is proof that the group planned ahead for “war,” that wearing black clothing was cause to believe that a defendant was engaged in a conspiracy to riot, and that all the defendants had ample warning to leave the situation well before they were arrested. An independent investigation has determined that not to be the case.

“How is he an up-and-coming journalist and he’s talking about a kettle? I didn’t know what a kettle was before this case. Did you?” -Prosecutor Rizwan Qureshi, to the jury

Prosecutors also say it’s suspicious that Alexei Wood, a freelance journalist who was live-streaming the protest, knew terms like “kettle,” and they argue that his approving narration of events to the people following his stream constitute a broadcast meant to encourage rioting. They argue that his borrowed press pass means that his legitimacy as a journalist is in question.

“We don’t believe any of the defendants personally engaged in property destruction.” – Prosecutor Jennifer Kerkhoff

All six defendants face two misdemeanor rioting charges and five felony charges of property destruction. Additional charges of felony incitement were dropped after the judge ordered an acquittal for lack of evidence. We remind you that none of the defendants are accused of destroying anything. This case should matter to you if you plan to protest anything in the future, or if you ever visit political websites, or if you sometimes attend political meetings, or if you enjoy reading the news.

Wonkette is a tiny outlet but even we’ve had reporters on the wrong side of police this year. It is not outside the bounds of presumption to think that it’s a good idea to bring basic medical supplies to a protest. It’s not strange that people in an increasingly militarized society would know tactical terms that have been printed in the New York Times. It’s not unreasonable that people concerned with the maintenance of civil liberties would go observe them being exercised and act as legal observers.

What is very unreasonable is the idea that a citizen that nobody accuses of doing more than showing up to a protest might be charged with a felony conspiracy charge and rioting based on the actions of other people and political meetings that other people hosted and attended. It is unreasonable to charge people with those things because they hosted or attended a meeting when they weren’t at the protest, much less causing damage. It is pushing the bounds of absurdity to ask to jail hundreds of people for a collective twelve thousand years because a half dozen people broke some windows and destroyed a limo.

The notion that the state gets to decide who’s a journalist based on whether they’re w-2 employees of a large enough media outlet to satisfy the prosecution’s notion of journalistic legitimacy is absolutely chilling; our very own Dom would not qualify as a journalist based on that standard, because Wonkette does not give out hard passes. Dom has a degree from a reputable institution in the field of journalism, and has gainful employment in the field – no small feat for anyone in this climate, much less a recent grad. My body of work spans 12 languages and four continents and my byline’s everywhere from the Guardian to the Financial Times to an obscure Irish academic journal; still, I would not qualify as a journalist by this standard.

It’s all fucking chilling, and that’s intentional.

The jury is out in the first round of trials. If they don’t return a verdict by Friday, deliberations will resume next Wednesday. [UPDATE: IT IS A NICE TIME! NOT GUILTY ON ALL CHARGES!]

[Huffpo]

Wonkette is ad-free, so we’re probably not considered journalism either. Click to keep us that way!

$
Donate with CCDonate with CC
  • therblig
  • W2: You are a Journalist
    1099: You are going to Jail

  • MynameisBlarney

    When the fucktard GOP politicians said “Govt. don’t work! Elect me and I’ll prove it to ya!”

    I don’t think they meant for it to be this obvious.

    https://upload.democraticunderground.com/10141944842

    • janecita

      Don’t give my daughter any ideas!

    • 🍁 Girl Guide Salute 🖖🏻

      Wow. Such well-crafted penmanship too. Canada really does have a better educational system.

      • Rags

        At least it’s not yellow.

  • Msgr_MΩment

    To use the prosecution’s logic, these people were all at COMIC SANS PING-PONG, for Chrissake! They (including the police plant and Project Vindictis) are therefore guilty of child sex acts!!

  • BadKitty904
    • Villago Delenda Est

      Everything is fine.

  • Latverian Diplomat

    A man was arrested and charged in connection with the purported attack. The members of J20 in the video have claimed that they were aware they’d been infiltrated and were intentionally saying provocative things trying to force the Veritas plant out.

    “Let’s flush out the spies by giving them everything they could hope for!”
    “Brilliant!”

    • KillerMartinis

      OTOH if you’re pretty sure you’ve been infiltrated by O’Keefe people, making up some bullshit and seeing whether it gets posted is a fairly effective outing tactic.

      that prosecutors would use an o’keefe video in court is, I think, something few would have foreseen.

      • Latverian Diplomat

        I would suggest making something up about luring Trump to boat filled with dildos then.

    • Msgr_MΩment

      Next time, J20, use the damn “/s” marker to show that it’s snark.
      Rookies!

  • Dept. of Space Tacos

    yeah, it pretty clear, YOU’RE NOT HELPING J20.

    Getting screwed is one thing – unforced errors are just stupid.

  • Scooby

    Telling a jury to ignore jury instructions alone will get any conviction overturned.

    • Latverian Diplomat

      Ignoring the instructions can also get Ikea furniture overturned.

      • Msgr_MΩment

        They come with instructions?

        • kilgoretrout

          And meatballs

        • Dept. of Space Tacos

          They come with instructions?

          “You’re on your own, good luck”

        • Latverian Diplomat

          Yes, but the pictures are in Swedish.

          • kilgoretrout

            The instructors are blonde but dour

          • Snark Tank Full of Resistance

            …and no one can find the damn Allen wrench.

        • DrBigHead

          Only in Swedish

  • Ellie

    I am extremely confused. Can someone help me out? Does the word “kettle” have some obscure meaning that I don’t know about? Am I somehow under suspicion for owning a kettle? How about the Salvation Army? Or various orchestras who have KETTLE drums? Am I misreading?

    • Crank Tango

      Probably a sex thing.

    • Latverian Diplomat

      Not sure if you’re kidding or not but:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kettling

      • Ellie

        No, I was perfectly serious. Thank you.

        • Latverian Diplomat

          I first learned about it on a British sitcom where a person didn’t want to go to London because a protest was going on and they were afraid of being kettled.

      • Well, I learned something today. Time to go back to bed.

      • 3FingerPete

        How do you know about that article if you and the article’s editor are not actively conspiring to engage in violent demonstrations and the destruction of property?

      • Evidence-based Ugly Dude

        Thanks! I never knew that term before. But now that I do, I’m probably a suspect.

        • Historicat

          You’re reading Wonkette; of course you’re a suspect.

    • BadKitty904

      (the Kettle Korn industry waits breathlessly)

  • Evidence-based Ugly Dude

    Prosecutor Jen Kerkhoff? More like Ken Jerkhoff, amirite?

    • Msgr_MΩment

      What a cupid stunt.

  • Michael R
  • janecita

    Welcome to the United (sort of) States of New Russia.

    • Cogswell – Overlord of Barsoom

      rUsSiA
      rUsSiA
      rUsSiA

  • Ray in VT

    So they’re being charged with felony counts regarding property destruction, even though the prosecution acknowledges that they don’t believe and don’t have evidence that the defendants actually destroyed any property?

    This sounds like they’re being tried for the actions of others, while even being present in a peaceful manner is being regarded as making them criminally liable. That sounds not at all legitimate.

    • Oblios_Cap

      Because it’s not.

      • Ray in VT

        Some of it almost reminds me of the prosecutions in the 1920s of the Wobblies, where membership was essentially deemed to be enough to try one for crimes or allegations against the organization as a whole.

        • Oblios_Cap

          And HUAC.

          • Ray in VT

            Which needed no convictions to ruin the lives of people who were alleged to hold certain views or to have known or associated with certain people. The fear even spread to overseas libraries maintained by the U.S. government, where books deemed “controversial” due to their authors or content were removed and perhaps destroyed https://newrepublic.com/article/119516/report-book-burning-under-huac-and-eisenhower.

        • 🍁 Girl Guide Salute 🖖🏻

          Replace “Wobblies” today with “Democratic Party.” Or even just “Never-Trump Republicans” (all, what, six of them).

          First they came for the slightly-left-of-Hitler people…

    • KillerMartinis

      Yup, on felony conspiracy to riot charges.

    • BadKitty904

      Yeah, that!

    • Rags

      Like all the Charlottesville Nazis were charged with murder….? Oh, never mind.

  • BadKitty904
  • Dept. of Space Tacos

    ““The defense has talked to you a little bit about reasonable doubt. You’re going to get an instruction from the judge. And you can tell it’s clearly written by a bunch of lawyers. It doesn’t mean a whole lot.” – Prosecutor Jennifer Kerkhoff, to the jury

    Uhhhhh, wut?

    • Oblios_Cap

      Using the anti-lawyer bias trick. Of course, he’s a lawyer, too. He just forgot to mention it.

      • Dept. of Space Tacos

        right? And a lawyer writing instructions for a judge, who is also a lawyer, to deliver to a jury in a criminal case against people who are guaranteed a constitutional (legal) right to due process before being (legally) deprived of freedom or property…where do they think they are, a cattle auction?

        FFS everything about this case is stupid.

    • Daniel

      Remember- the best people to do anything are people entirely untrained in that thing. This is why Trump is a great politician- he isn’t a politician.

      • weighmaster

        I wish I could have found a plumber to operate on my ankle :(

        • Lascauxcaveman

          My accountant did a lousy job on my Subaru’s clutch replacement.

  • Oblios_Cap

    The Constitution is just spare toilet paper to the group in charge these days.

  • Zippy W Pinhead

    Funny how the Feds can manage to have a competent prosecution when they want to. I guess the lesson here is that those “rioters” should have stuck to illegally grazing cattle

    • Lefty Wright

      Yeah, I wonder how hard the prosecution pursued cases with the Bundy Klan. Or the cops killing unarmed black people. There are way too many not guilties. Hung juries I can see, but not this many not guilties unless the prosecutors are sandbagging. Especially in jury selection. Which may be why the victims win so many civil trials. The plaintiff’s attorney is working for the victim.

  • Lefty Wright

    Reminds me of the Mayday demonstration in DC in 1971. Almost 13,000 protesters were arrested, most in set ups like the kettling described here. They were locked in RFK Stadium with no food, water, or operating sanitation. Less than 80 of them were convicted of anything, and congress ended up paying a financial settlement to most of the people arrested. Obviously, this was related to the Vietnam war and shifted sympathy to protesters. Particularly since many of the people arrested were simply going to their jobs.

  • Latverian Diplomat

    “Next time, we plot our conspiracy in a place with a decent sex dungeon! Or any sex dungeon at all really. Honestly, even just an actual basement. Like my parent;s house.”
    — A prominent J20 leader

  • OrG

    Funny,these prosecutors seem different somehow than the vanilla isis prosecutors.

  • Everrett Fanuelli

    Why is MSNBC running with Uranium One stories all morning?

    • OrG

      Liberal Media.

    • Daniel
    • Anna Rompage

      Because Sessions needs to distract the people from the Russia investigations, and the tax scam congress just passed?

      Or, the Russia investigation has evidence there was collusion, and the Republicans are trying to create a scenario where they can say “but dems do it too”

    • BadKitty904
    • Skwerl the Taco Hunter

      Because Hillary must be hated on every 20 days.

      • Zippy W Pinhead

        The Cillizza rule

    • jesterpunk

      Because Sessions is investigating it now too. Its all because republicans are looking into anything they can find to distract from Trump even though even Fox debunked the story already.

      http://www.newsweek.com/uranium-trump-justice-fbi-clinton-755066

    • Dr. Rrrrrobotnik

      Because the other two big stories are the tax cut and net neutrality, and the telecom conglomerates that own NBC don’t want people to know much about them/how much they’re jizzing themselves over the money they’ll make.

      • Zippy W Pinhead

        network owned by Comcast says what?

    • Anna Rompage

      Oh oh oh, I know…

      News about Hillary’s corruption is great for ratings and makes these lame stream news media outlets seem “fair & balanced”?

  • Oblios_Cap

    I’m sure glad I didn’t get charged for laughing at Jeff Sessions during his hearings while I was at home watching my TV.

    • OrG

      You just implicated yourself.

      • Dept. of Space Tacos

        conspiracy to disrupt government hearings via interstate communication lines.

        • MynameisBlarney

          Really.
          Don’t help them come up with ways to throw us in prison.

      • Oblios_Cap

        Gitmo, here I come!

  • TJ Barke

    Are stink bombs against The Rules?

    • Ghenghis McCann

      Stink Votes should be OK.

    • MynameisBlarney

      Not pungent enough.
      Use “Liquid Ass”.
      I think it’s just “water” from a hog shit lagoon.

      • Arolpin

        Or from a bong that hasn’t been cleaned in a few years.

        • Mormos

          I am such a pothead: the bong should be boiled in water (assuming it is glass) to soften and disloge the accumlated resin from inside. This cleans the bong and allows the resin to be scooped from the top of the water, which can then be rolled into a ball and smoked. The resin will be harsh, but very strong.

          • Arolpin

            I don’t even have a bong anymore, but I used to use bamboo skewers to clean it out, because with a little warm water and some elbow grease you could recover a couple grams of really sticky resin. I still use the skewers to clean out the 1-hitter, but 1-hitters are so cheap now that I generally just replace one when it starts to clog ($2 at the gas station).

  • Martini Ambassador 🍸

    Freeze peach is only OK if you are a chino-wearing tiki torch Nazi.

  • UncleTravelingMatt

    The defense has talked to you a little bit about reasonable doubt. You’re going to get an instruction from the judge. And you can tell it’s clearly written by a bunch of lawyers. It doesn’t mean a whole lot.

    Suggesting that a jury instruction is irrelevant would be grounds for a mistrial anywhere I’ve ever tried a case.

    • Anna Rompage

      Welcome to the New AmeriKKKa….

    • Dept. of Space Tacos

      also, kind of…well…a great big lie, no? What I’ve learned about it is it’s basically a step by step guide for deciding a legal question but written for non lawyers.

      (Neligence means x, y, and z. Do you find defendant was negligent? If so, do you find plaintiff shared some fault? If so, please assign a percentage of fault for both parties.)

      • UncleTravelingMatt

        Sure, the whole purpose of lawyers is to explain the law to non-lawyers. Anybody can pick up a volume of statutes and read it. A lawyer’s job is to be able to make sense of it. That’s why law schools teach people how to read rather than what to read.

        • Rebel Scum with permit

          Same thing with urban planners. I spent a 35 year career trying to humanize various cities’ zoning ordinances.

    • Latverian Diplomat

      “Now I’m just a simple, country lawyer, but to me, due process is just for libary books!”

      • Oblios_Cap

        Even a caveman lawyer would know better.

        • Hesavebread!

          That’s why you’re the judge and I’m just the law talkin’ guy . . .

        • spric

          That’s really condescending.

    • jesterpunk

      Would that get the lawyer making those arguments in any kind of trouble?

      • UncleTravelingMatt

        The Bar tends to be fairly forgiving when it comes to things said in the heat of the moment. I would never say anything like that — you are demeaning the judge. I would have expected a severe rebuke from a judge.

    • KillerMartinis

      You should look at this one, it’s a masterclass in shitty prosecution

    • OutOfOrbit

      they should hire Bundy’s lawyers, what they got is probably drunk 24/7

    • Beelzebubba

      That was my first thought: defense attorney should have jumped a foot, screaming “OBJECTION!!!”
      Hard to believe a judge would let this go.

      • UncleTravelingMatt

        I have had closing arguments interrupted for less.

    • WotsAllThisThen

      Is he telling the jury they can disregard anything coming from lawyers?

      • puredog

        Worse than that, she’s telling the jury that the Court’s instructions “don’t mean much.” Mr. Matt is spot-on.

      • UncleTravelingMatt

        No. The usual instruction given is that “what the attorneys say is not evidence; it is intended to help you understand the evidence” or some such thing. It is generally given prior to closing but is not intended as a prophylactic measure to protect against one of the lawyers challenging the validity of a jury instruction.

    • georgiaburning

      “Those warnings on the bottle of Drano are clearly written by chemists and don’t mean a whole lot. Go ahead and have a swig.”

    • Rebel Scum with permit

      Every time I’ve been dragged in to jury duty, there’s always a mini civics lesson from the judge and the defense attorneys, to make sure that jurors understand the concept of “reasonable doubt”
      “Oh you can just ignore that, it’s legalspeak”. I can’t even.

    • Swampay

      even I was wondering about that and not only am I not a lawyer, or play one on tv, I don’t even watch people playing lawyers on tv.

  • MynameisBlarney
  • OT: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/12/20/exclusive-us-making-plans-bloody-nose-military-attack-north/?WT.mc_id=tmg_share_tw

    America is drawing up plans for a “bloody nose” military attack on North Korea to stop its nuclear weapons programme, The Telegraph understands.

    The White House has “dramatically” stepped up preparation for a military solution in recent months amid fears diplomacy is not working, well-placed sources said.

    One option is destroying a launch site before it is used by the regime for a new missile test. Stockpiles of weapons could also be targeted.

    The hope is that military force would show Kim Jong-un that America is “serious” about stopping further nuclear development and trigger negotiations.

    Three sources – two former US officials familiar with current thinking and a third figure in the administration – confirmed military options were being worked up.

    So millions of people are going to die in Seoul, South Korea, maybe Japan, maybe even my family and myself and the other residents of Los Angeles County.

    But her emails…

    • Oblios_Cap

      What could possibly go wrong?

      • BadKitty904

        China’s mutual-defense pact with North Korea? NOTHING would make Putin happier than a war between the U.S. and China, esp. while
        America doesn’t have a functioning government…

    • OutOfOrbit

      and once that starts, the mueller investigation will be a forgotten passing breeze

      • MynameisBlarney

        I don’t think Mueller will forget.

        • WotsAllThisThen

          He’s in DC, right? Does he have access to a nuclear-hardened bunker?

        • OutOfOrbit

          he will remember a lot, but there will be nothing he can do about any of it — he has waited too long, seeking the perfect case when something lesser would suffice

      • Once that starts, it’ll be the end of civilization as we know it.

        • 🍁 Girl Guide Salute 🖖🏻

          Time I had some time alone…

          • DiveUrsityBearDeLaOursistance

            Woulda-had-a-Hillary
            GODDAMN JILL STEIN!!!!

    • jesterpunk

      Oh good we will get a nuclear war for Christmas. Also Guam and everyone else can thank Trump for making them famous, more and more people are talking about them now.

      • Old Man Yells at Cloud

        Nuclear Winter should take care of that pesky Global Warming.

        • WotsAllThisThen

          It will also undo tax cuts for the rich. Probably.

      • 🍁 Girl Guide Salute 🖖🏻

        That’s what you get, Hawai’i, for being a so-called island in a bigly ocean with so-called judges who wouldn’t stop a Kenyan Muslim from blowing everything up! In Soviet America, “Mele Kalikimaka” is Obama’s way of not-saying Radical Islamic Terrorism to YOU!

    • TJ Barke

      What diplomacy?

      • MynameisBlarney

        Bad, bad VERY FUCKING BAD diplomacy.

      • NotReallyHere

        Maybe when Mike Pence went over there and glared at everyone. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/604f7b33bc9381e960c075a967dc31c1f570498dedb883ec1ebd57fb9223b98b.jpg

        Very diplomatic.

        • WotsAllThisThen

          But if there are women at the negotiating table he’ll be forced to walk out.

          • NotReallyHere

            Uh oh. Guess we better start a nuclear war instead then. Don’t want Mother to get upset.

          • Hesavebread!

            Maybe they should send Frederick Douglass, I’m hearing he does an amazing job.

        • 🍁 Girl Guide Salute 🖖🏻

          [glares Evangelically]

    • MynameisBlarney

      They are far more fucking clueless than I imagined if they think that will work.
      JFC, they really are fucking willing to start WWIII and get millions killed as a diversion from the russia investigation.

      • It’s a good thing the Constitution says Congress has to declare war before he can attack…. HAHAHAHAHAHA… yeah…. we’re all fucked. Drink. Enjoy your Xmas. Next year you won’t have to put up lights to get your houses to glow.

        • DrBigHead

          Completely off topic, but I have a depression glass cake stand that I recently discovered contains uranium in the pigment. Glows under black light.

      • DrBigHead

        Why yes, yes they are.

      • TakingAmes

        War profiteering is the new black.

    • jesterpunk

      Oh and its great timing since they threatened every country in the UN that doesnt agree with us about Jerusalem. So if we do go to war with North Korea China has to help them and we have no backup from any other country.

      • Rags

        Next will they threaten countries that continue to adhere to the Paris Agreement? That is, AOT,K?

        • jesterpunk

          I wouldn’t put it past them.

    • WotsAllThisThen

      Oh boy, just in time for the winter olympics.

      • 🍁 Girl Guide Salute 🖖🏻

        Well, that’ll teach the IOC to mess with Rooskie ‘roidheads!

    • 🍁 Girl Guide Salute 🖖🏻
  • Wuulf
  • SayItWithWookies

    Really, any sort of group gathering is conspiracy — just arrest everyone, and the guilty ones will be the ones who plea bargain. Or else they’ll be the ones who fight the charges. See how easy that is?

    • Spotts1701, Not Poisonous

      Sort of the same strategy we used against the Viet Cong – “Anyone who runs is a VC. Anyone who stands still is a well-disciplined VC.”

  • Spotts1701, Not Poisonous

    “What do you need a medic with gauze for? What do you need a medic with all the items that Ms. Kropf laid out for? I thought this was a protest!”

    “How is he an up-and-coming journalist and he’s talking about a kettle? I didn’t know what a kettle was before this case. Did you?”

    So the prosecution’s case is basically the defendants were too well-prepared and too well-educated to be up to anything but no good? And the judge is letting them proceed with this farce?

    • Evidence-based Ugly Dude

      OK, but the prosecutor also knows the definition of kettle. It’s like the pot calling the kettle’s armband black.

    • Hesavebread!

      I’m guessing the courthouse has a number of trained first aiders: what are they there for? Tell me that! What are they planning?

      • Dept. of Space Tacos

        ours has a nurses station – still haven’t figured out why.

    • UncleTravelingMatt

      Just askin’ questions. Always a solid strategy.

  • BadKitty904
    • Bananas Foster

      Eh, kinda anti fed propaganda wanking.

    • UncleTravelingMatt

      Uh, the Constitution — if that is even a thing — was clearly written by a bunch of lawyers. I wouldn’t worry too much about what it has to say.

    • Daniel

      “Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve a slave to rape.”

      • WotsAllThisThen

        You get an extra 3/5ths vote for that!

    • Bananas Foster
      • Rags

        thank you for upholding the quality of these non-comments.

  • Spurning Beer

    I was going to write a limerick about this, but I couldn’t think of a rhyme for Jennifer Kerkhoff.

  • Baconzgood

    How do you “hijack” the right to ensemble?

    • Spotts1701, Not Poisonous

      Show up with an accordion?

      • Baconzgood

        Damn auto-cowrecks. I’m not editing it.

      • Not Gonna Be Quiet Linda

        Or bagpipes.

        • OutOfOrbit

          YOU GO TOO FAR!!!

          • Shan

            I like bagpipes!

          • OutOfOrbit

            do you eat them with your fingers or separately?

          • Hesavebread!

            Bagpipe libelz!1!1

          • Old town Urbandale

            You always eat the fingers separately.

        • Rags

          My little brother, when asked by my father if he would like to learn to play the saxophone, said “Eww why would I want to play that thing from Scotland?”

        • Teto85

          Och, aye, Lassie. Where and when?

        • Ellie

          I think I have to go and put on my Christmas bagpipe music.

      • AmazingProfessionalCrastinator

        You make Judy Tenuta proud.

    • TundraGrifter

      Remember in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” when the Sheriff is trying to organize a posse to go after the Hole in the Wall Gang and a bicycle salesman comes on stage?

  • puredog

    I heard about this trial in an alarming, but mostly detail-less, piece on NPR yesterday, and searched the online WaPo for any writeup on it. The only stuff of any length I could find was at the beginning of the trial, where the following appeared: “[Judge] Leibovitz ruled that to secure guilty verdicts on the rioting
    counts, the government will have to do more than show a defendant took
    part in the protest. There must be proof that he or she helped organize
    or incite the mayhem, the judge said. Prosecutors said they will rely
    heavily on digital evidence, including social media postings, Internet
    mes­sages and video from cellphones and police body cameras.” That made me less alarmed. I’m afraid this piece in Wonkette — while it sorta sounds alarming — relies mostly on prosecutorial in-trial bombast, rather than describing what the defense is saying or, more importantly, what the court is holding. So I still don’t really know what’s going on, and I am used to Wonkette pieces that tell me exactly what is going on. I infer from the time that the jury is taking that they may be having trouble with the charges, too, but don’t know that. If the judge’s ruling above is still the law of the case, then it represents a pretty conservative approach to conspiracy prosecution, which can be all that KM fears, and more.

  • Show of hands… who suspects that police provocateurs destroyed the property?

    • Marja Erwin

      If the prosecutors had won this time, provocateurs could certainly do that the next time.

  • Baconzgood

    “…you can tell it’s clearly written by a bunch of lawyers. It doesn’t mean a whole lot.”

    What? Did this guy attend the Lionel Hutz school of Law Talking Persons at Upstairs Hollywood University?

    • Rebel Scum with permit

      “The Constitution was clearly written by a bunch of lawyers. It doesn’t mean a whole lot”.

  • TundraGrifter

    “‘And you can tell it’s clearly written by a bunch of lawyers. It doesn’t mean a whole lot.’ – Prosecutor Jennifer Kerkhoff, to the jury…”

    One could pretty much say the same thing about the Constitution of the United States regarding this case.

    • House0fTheBlueLights

      By that standard they could disregard everything the prosecutor says as well (and it looks like they did)

    • sincarne

      What that tells me is that she was being exceptionally patronising to the jury. “Oh, you regular folks, you don’t like lawyers. I gitcha. Lookame with my Dunkin Doughnuts. No elitist cappuccino for me. CostcoHootersBudLight.”

  • tomamitai
    • puredog

      I bet the Bundys will be pissed off that these crinimals walked.

    • House0fTheBlueLights

      The end game was not the conviction. The end game was scaring people away from protests.

  • Mormos

    the police are not your friends. they never were.

    • 🍁 Girl Guide Salute 🖖🏻
      • JustDon’tSayMoore

        A song Sting himself once described as “pure evil.”

        • LeighBowery’sLuxuryComedy

          I once knew someone who would perform a cover of this at open mic nights. Wearing, if memory serves, a scary clown mask, lab or butcher coat, and possibly wielding a large knife. I’ve never been able to listen to it in the same way since.

  • KillerMartinis

    Y’ALL I HAVE NEWS. NOT GUILTY ON ALL CHARGES.

    • Dept. of Space Tacos

      yay!

    • puredog

      Linkie?

      • KillerMartinis

        happened literal minutes ago, I’ve got people in the courtroom telling me what’s up. It’s all over twitter.

        • puredog

          Ah.

    • Rebel Scum with permit

      The good news is they’re not guilty. The bad news is that they bankrupted themselves paying for their legal defense, lost wages, etc. Is there a GoFundMe for them somewhere I wonder?

      • puredog

        Don’t forget, there are 200 more defendants out there, some of whom are probably demonstrably guilty of the charges against them.

      • KillerMartinis

        A ton of them, and legal funds, and all sorts. None of which come close to covering it; one of the defendants that was just cleared lost her job.

    • WotsAllThisThen

      Another swing and a miss for Project Veritas.

  • Bananas Foster

    TWO NICE TIMES THIS MORNING?

    Passes out happy.

  • House0fTheBlueLights

    Let’s get the Bundy prosecutors for these guys.

  • Stulexington

    And in hardly any time too. I don’t know who the prosecution thought would buy this crap, but there’s not very many people smart enough to follow the prosecutors through the legal hoops necessary to charge someone with something they weren’t even there for and stupid enough to fall for this crap.

    • Amy!

      This looks a lot like a Jeff Sessions Special. The thing is, this sort of “law-n-order” appeal used to work, especially for minority defendants in racist areas, with juries full of resentment and hostility.

      It appears that he misjudged the DoJ’s ability to roll back to 1969. Good.

  • 🍁 Girl Guide Salute 🖖🏻

    OT: Fuddle duddle. Rideau Cottage has a nuclear bunker, right?

    Report: Trump’s U.N. threat backfires after Canada changes its vote to avoid being seen as his “puppet”

    Je ne suis pas une marionette. -Justin Trudeau

    https://i.imgflip.com/21hgth.jpg

    • Daniel

      LEADERSHIP!

      WINNING!

      • 🍁 Girl Guide Salute 🖖🏻

        Poor President Pièce de Merde, he was Just Not Ready™ to be the leader of the free world. Nice tardigrade toupée, though.

        The Trude Abides.

        https://i.imgur.com/oLhN9Km.jpg

        • AmazingProfessionalCrastinator

          Tardigrade LIBULZ!!!!1!!1!!1!!! Tardigrades are cute.

    • puredog

      NO PUPPET! NO PUPPET! YOU’RE THE PUPPET!

      • Daniel

        NO POUTINE! NO POUTINE! YOU’RE THE POUTINE!

        • 🍁 Girl Guide Salute 🖖🏻

          Jedi Justin vs. Darth Cheddar and Emperor Vlad Poutine.

          Still a better love story than the Star Wars Holiday Special.

          • george lastrapes

            Yo! The Strumpet and la Putaine. Justin would of course never appear in their dreary dicktater porn.

          • JustDon’tSayMoore

            Or Twilight

        • Tishalicious

          Vlad Poutine?

          • Tishalicious

            And then I scrolled down….*bows to GGS*

    • Laser

      PAS DE MARIONNETTE! PAS DE MARIONNETTE! VOUS ÊTES LA MARIONNETTE!

  • James Baskin

    !!!!!!!!! F you anyway sessions.

  • President in Exile Firefly

    Two words: Haymarket.

  • Angela Ruzzo

    There aren’t many occasions when I wish I was a member of a jury on a prominent trial, but this is one of them.

  • kareemachan

    Wonder how much the gummint is spending on these trials….

    • BadKitty904

      “…how much of OUR tax-dollars the gummint is spending…“

      • Old town Urbandale

        It’s okay, they’ll take it out of some bloated, wasteful program, like Medicare or Medicaid. /snark

    • DiveUrsityBearDeLaOursistance

      “Not enough!!” — The Red State Choir

  • weejee

    / makes note to self to re-check becoming expat retiree

    • BadKitty904

      Two words: British Columbia

      • Natalie Au Natural Hedonist

        It’s lovely there, I lived there during the W. debacle.

  • Nockular cavity

    wearing black clothing was cause to believe that a defendant was engaged in a conspiracy to riot

    (Looks at clothes) Uh-oh.

    • Rags

      (Looks in closet) Double Uh-oh.

    • Unmutual Tetsu Kaba

      About half my wardrobe is black. Uh oh.

    • Somewhat Damaged Ron

      Practically everything I own is black. When you’re my size the clothing manufacturers think you want to blend into the background.

  • darnyoudarnyoutoheck

    Good jury! Have a hug and a donut each.

    • Jonny On Maui

      Can we send them to the next Bundy trial?

  • Ninja0980

    Even though they were acquitted, the goal here was to intimidate others who will even think of exercising their first amendment rights.
    And I sadly fear they have accomplished just that.

    • Paperless Tiger

      Loading the courts and suppressing dissent, gee, I wonder what they’re up to.

    • JustDon’tSayMoore

      Might be time to brush up on our German. Or Italian.

    • Mike

      Maybe, my guess is the harder prosecutors go after protesters the more juries will vote to acquit.
      There’e something apple-pieish about the right to speak out against the government.

      • Hesavebread!

        This happened in England about twenty years ago, they kept trying to get obscenity convictions and juries kept saying “LOL nope” even when it clearly was. Eventually they gave up.

  • Rags
  • Bitter Scribe

    Sweetest last line I’ve been in a while.

    This was the kind of legal logic used against Sacco and Vanzetti. A says something political; B, who subscribes to those political beliefs, commits a crime; A is guilty of B’s crime. That’s chilling, in every sense of the word.

  • Grumpy Twat

    Police “kettling” demonstrators of any kind has been going on for years in the UK. Almost everyone, here, would be familiar with that term.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11963274

    • disqus_lWwzrwNaw6

      I know the term, have done for years, and I’m a major nobody from absolutely nowhere, so yeah: this is not an unknown verb, except I suppose to Fox viewers, for whom everything is unknown except whatever it is they’ve just been told. Of course every jury of the American future will consist entirely of Fox viewers, so all right then.

      • Grumpy Twat

        Bit odd that the Prosecutor claims never to have heard it, then, eh?

  • Opiwan

    Woooooooooooo! Not guilty!

  • efoveks

    Polly put the kettle on, Suzy took it off… :D

  • amrak63

    The jury was composed of DC residents?

    Did Qurappi and Jerkhoff really think a dozen solid citizens of Chocolate City would do ANY favor for Donald Trump’s fat orange cracker ass?

    https://i.imgur.com/KDRFILV.gif

    • spric

      Yeah, try that in Oklahoma. Jail time city !!!!

      • amrak63

        Speaking of crackers… ;)

        My tribe–though somehow, praise the Ascended Madoka, I evolved beyond it.

        • Mike Minden

          I think the cheese slipped off this cracker.

      • ChumpsForTrump

        Same with Moscow!

  • DoILookAmused2u? Résistance☨

    If you’ve watched “Dateline” or “America”s Most Wanted”, you too should be prosecuted for crimes you did not commit on those shows.

    Sincerely,

    The Management.

  • LeighBowery’sLuxuryComedy

    So since Project VeinyAss was there filming, that means they has PRUFE that the whole thing was funded by Soros, right? Because everyone was asked to fill out direct deposit forms to pick up that sweet sweet protestor cash – ?

    No? Guess they already did that at some other meeting then..

    • javadavis

      I thought it was, like, since Project VlabbyGass was there filming that means they are guilty of property destruction (and etc) by association, like everyone else on trial.

  • Mike

    A bit chilling how aggressively they went after these people knowing they had nothing to do with the property damage or attempted stinkbomb detonation.
    Bottom line when getting involved with any protesting political action group is to avoid violence, destruction of property, slander, libel, etc…
    Civil disobedience is the goal, not criminal mischief. i.e. Walking across the street very slowly is not the same as standing and blocking the roadway, however both actions achieve the same goal.

  • azeyote

    i was arrested at Ohio State during the campus riots in 70 and learned first hand what the civil rights protesters knew from a few years earlier, the occupy folks more recently, and the union folks back in the day – protesting is a serious undertaking, sometimes it’s all we have to stand up to oppression – to say a first aid kit shows intent not precaution, and to put the hammer down like this over that small protest in D.C. is pathetic –

    • SeeTrainWrecked

      BTW: Thank YOU for YOUR service.

      • spric

        Service? Pathetic.

        • SeeTrainWrecked

          And thank you for showing what stupidity really is.

          FUCK ALL THE WAY OFF.

          • amrak63

            You misspelled “Blightfart”.

          • SeeTrainWrecked

            Like he’d know the difference.

          • Rickyphoo

            I thought it was “BreathFart”

          • Addled Frock

            Dreckmart?

        • amrak63
  • I must shake my head that this police-state prosecution is being led by a guy with an Arabic name. He must think the leopards won’t eat HIS face.

  • Somewhat Damaged Ron

    Not guilt? I’m astonished. The prosecutor wasn’t just poisoning the well, he was making the whole damned aquifer undrinkable.

  • TakingAmes

    Jeebus. Thank God they were found not guilty. But Jeebus.

    • BeachLoafer

      Yeah, I’ve been following this muttering “WTELF, this is the USA” under my breath all along … I like to think the only reason the judge didn’t throw this case out right off the bat was to make it clear to the prosecutors that we don’t do kangaroo courts in this country (at least not yet).

  • artem1s

    imagine what they would have been charged with if they laughed at AG Sessions……

  • I wear all black because I grew up in the 90s and only had a brief flirtation with flannel and cherry red Doc Martins… LOCK ME UP!!!!! I guess…

    • hendenburg2

      Sadly, Doc Martens are also the footwear of choice for skinheads.

    • Zyxomma

      Yes, and wearing red means you’re in the Bloods gang. Wearing blue means you’re a Crip. This has gone WAY too far.

    • mfp, all 6s&7s&9s

      FLANNEL AND DOC MARRTIINNNNS?!!1!11?….life without parole!!

    • DoILookAmused2u? Résistance☨

      Black is all I do half the time except occasionally dark blue or dark grey shirts.

    • Addled Frock

      Thank you. Black clothes are like my life uniform.

      • Rickyphoo

        I prefer jeans, but only Levis because any other jeans are just knock offs.

        • Addled Frock

          Yeah, black t-shirt and jeans is pretty much how I roll.

  • Zyxomma

    Wow, killermartinis. I wear black frequently; I live in the east village! If it weren’t for the update at the end, I’d be really depressed.

  • spric

    Trump is rapidly changing the judiciary. When he completes the process, there will be many long term jail sentences handed out to communist thugs like those above subjects.
    Their ranks will be decimated. HOORUH !!!!.

    • amrak63

      Oh, I get the joke now.

      “s” stands for “small”, while the rest of the name is a misspelling of “prick”.

      • Addled Frock

        Yes.

    • jesterpunk

      Hurting Trump’s feelings still isnt a crime no matter how much he cries about it.

      • Addled Frock

        They’re really leaning into the whole “communist” thing tonight, huh?

        • jesterpunk

          Its like they just learned a new word and want to use it as much as possible without understanding what it means.

          • Addled Frock

            Maybe we should teach them “kakistocracy.”

        • amrak63

          Ironic, considering that their Dear Leader and his minions are doing the bidding of Mommie Dearest Russia.

    • Spotts1701, Not Poisonous

      Uh-huh. Is that before or after the kangaroos?

      • amrak63

        Don’t worry, the kangaroos got made into disciples.

    • Mike Minden

      Unless Trump also outlaws the right to a jury trial he will still be a loser in this kind of case.

    • Dept. of Space Tacos

      “When he completes the process, there will be many long term jail sentences handed out ”

      Hmmm, you know who did that. The Soviets.

      Read a book!

    • ginmar

      Breitbart is THAT way, trollboy. >>>>>>>

  • mailman27

    Thank goodness for Nice Times, KM! I just hope it isn’t a temporary reprieve. These fucking people.

  • No Name

    Violence is both justified and necessary now.

  • Deborah Ujevich

    Go read the recently broadened definition of what constitutes criminal conspiracy in the state of WV. Guilty KNOWLEDGE is enough to get you a 1-5 year sentence.

Previous articleSomething Delightful Happened In Memphis Last Night
Next articleTrump Might Not Sign Tax Cut Crap-A-Thon This Year Because They Accidentally Fucked It Up MORE