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 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.