Is the US trying to make protest a crime? - The Stream

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The trial of six people accused of felony rioting during US President Donald Trump’s inauguration is under way in Washington, DC.

The case could determine whether the government continues pursuing charges against the roughly 200 people who also participated in the protests organised by Disrupt J20, an anti-capitalist and anti-fascist group.

But civil rights activists say the case could have bigger implications - ones that threat the First Amendment to the US Constiution, which guarantees the right to free speech.

Elizabeth Lagesse, one of the J20 defendants set to go to trial over the next year, believes that.

“Now you’re thinking, if I go to this protest, if I do this really basic thing I see on TV and I’ve done before, I could end up spending years of my life and find myself in jail. Do I care about this thing enough to protest?” she said.

So should you be punished for attending a protest during which illegal activity occurs? We will ask Lagesse and others at the center of the case when they join us for part one of this special two-part discussion.

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