G20 Legal Support Update

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One month after the G20 protests in Pittsburgh, many still face felony and misdemeanor charges. Chief among these are the two people arrested for sending Twitter messages during the protests, whose home was subsequently raided by the FBI, and David Japenga, the young man ludicrously accused of being “single-handedly responsible for most of the $50,000 in damage” anarchists inflicted on corporations during the summit.

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In addition to the felony charges filed in Pittsburgh and the house raid, the Twitter defendants—and perhaps others?—are apparently being targeted by a secretive federal grand jury. Supporters have established an informative and frequently updated blog here. A rudimentary support page for David Japenga can be found here. The Twitter case will set important precedents about people’s legal rights to use modern communications technology—a matter that could determine the shape of protest in this country for decades to come. It is also important to support David Japenga, who is the state’s scapegoat for this mobilization.

Meanwhile, last Thursday, over 100 other defendants appeared in court for charges stemming from the G20 protests. A smug judge lectured college students who had been randomly assaulted by police, while prosecutors and public defenders attempted to intimidate brutalized arrestees into accepting plea bargains and thus giving up their opportunity to sue the authorities over the abuse.

Donations to the support campaign for those targeted by the Twitter charges, the house raid, and the grand jury can be made here; the Pittsburgh G20 Resistance Project is also taking donations for a legal fund to support arrestees.