Alex Rubinstein, an independent journalist who was one of the 200 people falsely arrested during the "J20" protests at the Trump inauguration, interviews PCJF Executive Director Mara Verheyden-Hilliard about the work of the PCJF, in particular how it relates to the rights of the arrested protesters and the behavior of the police.
A public records request and lawsuit by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund confirms that the Metropolitan Police Department failed to issue dispersal warnings or orders prior to mass arrests at the Trump Inauguration. The police actions on January 20 violated laws enacted by the D.C. Council in 2005, as well as the MPD’s own Standard Operating Procedures requiring such notice prior to arrest.
After months of denial and stonewalling by the General Service Administration (GSA), the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) has uncovered through painstaking and persistent litigation that certain government communications between the GSA and the Trump Organization negotiating terms of the arrangements for the Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue have been kept outside agency records, on private email.
The Empire Files' Abby Martin sat down recently with PCJF's Mara Verheyden-Hilliard to discuss assaults on civil liberties taking place around the country.
Mara Verheyden-Hilliard: "Police often seem to use these [National Special Security Events], at least in past years, as an opportunity to requisition all manner of new weapons and gear ... It's a spending spree for them, and they can legitimize it by saying 'The demonstrators are coming to town.'"
The prosecution of hundreds of protesters at the Trump inauguration is approaching next month with federal prosecutors levying felony conspiracy and riot charges carrying terms up to 70 years in prison. PCJF Executive Director Mara Verheyden-Hilliard spoke to the "Loud and Clear" radio program on Oct. 25, 2017, to discuss the case.
"UF needs to provide the same constitutional rights to freedom of assembly, speech and association to those who want to oppose Richard Spencer’s racist beliefs as it has to Richard Spencer in providing him a venue where he is free to exercise those rights."
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