More Than 200 Inauguration Protesters to be Charged With “premeditated rioting”?!

by Emeraldkat –

That’s right. You read that headline correctly. As Politico reported today, Chief Judge Robert E. Morin has ordered the website DistruptJ20.com to turn over information related to people who organized inauguration day protests across the nation. A link to the full story can be found here: www.politico.com/…

This is just the beginning. They are looking to arrest more than 200 citizens for what the government describes as “premeditated rioting” on inauguration day. The hosting service may appeal this still, as they are looking into the best legal methods to protect citizens.

The hosting service describes this as a search warrant for an entire apartment complex when you believe the owner was involved in a crime. The government is looking to collect email and other personal information from the site’s visitors to ascertain if crimes were committed.

In a motion it filed objecting to the search warrant, DreamHost said the original demand appeared to cover 1.3 million internet protocol addresses relating to visits to the DisruptJ20 site from Jan. 23-28. The firm has declined to give prosecutors an estimate for the number of visits prior to that period.

This is absolutely unconstitutional. No one should be subjected to unlawful inquiries on their private correspondence just because they hold an opposing political viewpoint. Apparently, Robert Aghaian, attorney for the webhost, agrees. Aghaian was quoted as saying that “With one warrant they are able to obtain content from multiple email accounts. That is unconstitutional,” in court.

An attorney for several of the sites visitors was also quoted in the following excerpt:

“The mere revealing of the identities to government agents, even under the strictures that [the judge] has provided for, is problematic,” said Paul Alan Levy of Public Citizen, who represents several people who visited the DisruptJ20 site. “This is a president who has shown he has no tolerance for dissent and is perfectly willing to allow extrajudicial means and extralegal means to be used to suppress dissent. … If you’re somebody who is communicating in opposition to the president, I think you have to be worried about being disclosed to a government agency.”

I am worried and you should be too. If this is able to go through, and on an issue relating all the way back to January, it shows this administration has no qualms about seeking to jail or imprison political detractors. Sure, right now they are using what could be argued as legal means to find out private citizen’s information, but what about the next case, or the one after that? Trump has already called out the media and wants to be able to sue them or stop them from printing things he doesn’t find acceptable. The next logical step in a slow-moving dictatorship would be to find political dissidents and jail them. We are definitely seeing the exact thing Trevor Noah warned us about in the campaign. Every single senator and congressperson should be standing up and saying this is inexcusable and unlawful.

I’m writing this quickly in the hopes it gains some traction here, as we need to get the word out and stop this before it starts. Because if Trump thinks he can get away with getting people’s information who protested against him just that easily and then charge them, what’s the next thing he’ll do?

 

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos