The Arrests That Weren’t

One of the most extraordinary things to come out of the Women’s March was that there were no arrests.

No arrests were made during the Women’s March on Washington Saturday, according to a top official in the capital.

The peaceful protest, which had an estimated 500,000 in attendance, was so much larger than its expected size that the march route had to be altered and couldn’t pass the White House as planned.

As required, the absence of arrests gave rise to finger-pointing and blame, with black women blaming it on White Privilege, the police being kinder to the marchers because they were mostly white women, while the cops explained that the marchers were peaceful, as opposed to, say, Ferguson.

Then the peaceful march narrative took a turn for the worst.

Four more journalists have been charged with felonies after being arrested while covering the unrest around Donald Trump’s inauguration, meaning that at least six media workers are facing up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine if convicted.

The Guardian learned of their arrests after reporting on Monday that the journalists Evan Engel of Vocativ and Alex Rubinstein of RT America had also been arrested and charged with felonies while covering the same unrest on Friday morning.

That there were zero arrests seemed somewhat surprising, given that limos were torched and storefront windows smashed. And, indeed, it turned out that there were arrests. But did the cops target the media? Nah.

The Guardian’s story might give the impression that journalists were treated differently than others, but when you round up the usual suspects, and there happens to be media in the “kettle,” they get swept up as well.

One thing in the video that demands note is that when you bring children to a protest to be used as props for your cause, because nobody’s toddler really needs to go to a march, you put your child in the line of fire.

Adorable, right? Not so adorable should she get a faceful of OC, though. Or worse. Bad things can happen at protests, and as cute as it may be to bring a child to a march, it might not be worth it when something bad happens.

As for the people corralled in the Kettle, they suffered.

The individual described degrading conditions during detention, stating: “We were in the kettle for eight hours, and people had to pee and go to the bathroom. So there was a lot of peeing in bottles or on the ground, as well as pooping in bags, while we were in close proximity.”

But their suffering isn’t over yet.

More than 200 people who were mass-arrested at the Washington, D.C. protests against the inauguration of Donald Trump have been hit with felony riot charges that are punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Those picked up in the sweep — including legal observers and journalists — had their phones, cameras and other personal belongings confiscated as evidence, a lawyer confirmed to AlterNet.

Demonstrators warn that the crackdown signals a new wave of repression against the protesters, whose mass mobilization was met with riot police violence, National Guard and Department of Homeland Security deployments, heavy surveillance and law enforcement snipers positioned on rooftops.

The protesters will be charged with felony riot. While the target of outrage is Trump, the charging decision was made by the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said the offense is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The office said most of those arrested will be released without having to post bail and must return to court in February.

In case you’re not sure who that might be, the D.C. U.S Attorney is Channing D. Phillips. He was appointed by President Obama. He works under policies established by Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and her predecessor in office, Eric Holder, both of whom were appointed by President Obama.

In case none of this jibes with your preferred narrative, perhaps you should pay closer attention to the facts and adjust your narrative accordingly. Why? Because when bad things happen, adorable children get hurt.

This is my favorite pic of an adorable kid at the Women’s March. She makes a great prop, as long as nothing bad happens. Fortunately, there is no indication that any harm came to her. This time.

Edit: As noted below in the comments, I’ve been very unclear about mixing, if not conflating, two events, the protests on Inauguration Day and the Women’s March on the following day. The damage and arrests were made at the Inauguration Day protests, and not at the Women’s March, where children were brought into the “line of fire” where they could have been harmed had anything bad happened. I apologize for this post being so unclear and poorly crafted.

23 thoughts on “The Arrests That Weren’t

  1. Jim Ryan

    When bad things happen, not just adorable children get hurt, is the reason I accompanied my wife to the NYC Women’s March on Saturday. I looked at exit points, choke points, ingress and egress as well as places to just get hell out of the way. Even though my wife works for the Queens DA’s office, if she/we were swept up I do not think her Official ID would do much good.

          1. Hal

            Sorry about the tummy rub, I’ll try not to let it happen again. “Charlatan” tickled my funny bone. I’ve got a friend from Charlotte and can’t wait to use this w/ her.

      1. davep

        SG: “That there were zero arrests seemed somewhat surprising, given that limos were torched and storefront windows smashed. And, indeed, it turned out that there were arrests. But did the cops target the media? Nah.”

        If I didn’t miss the detail, it’s possible that other readers did.

        You talk about “zero arrests”, mention property destruction that occurred on another day, mention arrests (unspecified but implying they occurred on 1/21), and back to mentioning arrests that occurred on another day.

        SG: “… while the cops explained that the marchers were peaceful, as opposed to, say Ferguson.

        Then the peaceful march narrative took a turn for the worst.

        You conflate the events of the two days here too.

  2. John Barleycorn

    But, but, but, it’s for the children….

    So what are you proposing here?

    Bicycle helmets or government sanctioned child care quarantine zones for when their parents are involved in “risky behavior”.


    I can sorta kinda see your point. I mean who in their right mind would let their kids play next to grandma without body armor when she is knitting pussy hats but seriously a little pepper spray and a tear gas canister or two bouncing off the baby carriage ain’t got nothing on the public schools these days let alone baptism and don’t even get me going on circumcision.

    You best clear up these “common sense” prop ghosts of yours before your grandchildren pop out, or your children are going to have to initiate some very difficult conversations with you.

    What the hell has gotten into you here with this post? It’s not as though them little fuckers pay taxes or can vote. I mean really…what the hell are you gonna do when your neighbor calls the cops when he spots your grandkids riding on your lap as you plow snow in your baby tractor just so you can have yourself a cool Hanukkah card?

    Move the coctail hour up a half an hour today, turn off your television, and take a deep breath and just think about it…

    Pro Tip: Tired of your kids not pulling their weight? First aide kits and gas masks don’t weigh that much and make excellent stocking stuffers to accompany a child’s first black back pack and whatever you do don’t forgot to save all those glass organic baby food jars. You will be the hero in your grandchildren eyes when those need to be reporposed, unless homemade lazers haven’t made the molotov coctail obsolete in holding the line by the time those little fuckers grow up. And whatever you do don’t forget to teach them the lost art of the hand written letter and the proper way to adress a letter to their honorable “overlords”. Email and these silly electronic petitions will never outweigh a couple of hundred mail bags busting at the seams both literally and figuratively.

      1. John Barleycorn

        Isn’t it about time, that at the very least, you upgraded to a skidsteer or mini track loder? You do wanna be the cool grandpa that has more than just a baby wagon don’t you?

        You know the judge is gonna park a D-9 dozer in his driveway to keep his fans at bay when he fully retires and starts writing full time and let’s be realistic you ain’t never gonna be as good looking as him on any tractor. So it’s about time you started getting practical.

        You do know that some of the mini track loaders are comming with enclosed cabs and pretty decent sounds systems these days for under 80K.

        I guess you could just keep throwing the grandkids in the back, if it is a six wheel gator you have, when you want to head out to the riot for a picnic and then lend a hand to help out afterwords by raising the medic flag and carring out the wounded.

        But if you got yourself a mini track loader or skid steer with a 4-in-1 bucket you could put one of those baby on board stickers on the back, plop a grandkid on your lap and go help out setting up barricades by rearranging the urban landscape and crushing trash cans for fun.

        It’s kinda a tough call thought because both triaging and barricade building are valuable skills to pass on to your grandkids.

        Frankly I woukd just keep the gator and add a mini track loader to your fleet. Throw the Doctor some extra garden storage in the new outbuilding and she will get over it soon enough and if you think there will be an issue just build her an extra bay and buy her a dune buggy with flower decals* or something.

        This way if it is gonna be a dicey riot you can have the choice of going with the loader and if shit happens you will only have one of your grandkids along and you won’t lose the whole squadron.

        *Trust me on this one. No matter what they say there isn’t a woman on the planet that doesn’t get off the first time she gets behind the wheel of her very own dune buggy even if there isn’t a sand dune within two thousand miles.

          1. John Barleycorn

            Everything? No shit, even those steel toed boots the picnic ushers are wearing these days?

            Too bad those wanna be tough guy lawyers from the National Lawyers Guild aren’t as smart as you are. But I guess what can you really expect? Looks like they aren’t even smart enough to bring their kids to work to save a few bucks on childcare and help shield them when they are making a rush for the concession stand to get more hot dogs.

            If they would had them one or two of those six-wheeler gator wagons at their disposal at the inaugural picnic on K Street they wouldn’t have had any problem fleeing the “scene” to get a better “observer” view from the safety of the coffee shop around the corner nor retrieving more marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers at the concession stand for the traditional garbage can s’more roasting.

            Heck, they could have even hatched a plan to build themselves a tower platform with an umbrella on the back, for the next urban picnic to better “observe” with while keeping themselves dry at the same time.

            And seeing as how they are lawyers, I bet if they really put their minds to it they could even figure out a way to weld on some doors too keep the ushers from rattling their roll cage while checking for their picnic permits.


            P.S. Don’t you just love it when a lawyer is just shocked, shocked I tell ya, that the ushers would have the nerve to pepper spray a LAWYER “directly”! Heck those ushers just cant catch a break when they are just forced to enforce the street picnic occupancy laws. I mean what if there was a fire in a trash can or something? Just think how dangerous that could be, for a lawyer with a six-wheeled gator wagon full of s’mores supplies!

            You lawyers should get yourselves some badges or something before the ushers start treating you like kids smuggling in beer to the midnight showing of the picnic footage recap at the local drive-in movie theater. Speaking of which can you get a mattress in the back of that little gator wagon of yours?

  3. JimEd

    Famous nerd David Brin had a plot element in one of his books about this: Exploratory and colonization (space) ships would only be staffed with pregnant women. Under the assumption that they would be less stupid than men.

    1. SHG Post author

      One would at least assume less prone to risk taking, but this real life experiment appears to disprove that theory. Or at least not thinking things through thoroughly. I could think of a few other things, but I’m gonna stop there.

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