Peaceful Protesters from Inaug. Action Face 10 Yrs., Felony Charges

How the Government Is Turning Protesters Into Felons

4/12/2017

Lost between the tumult of Inauguration Day and the spectacle of the Women’s March was the arrest of 214 protesters—now facing felony charges and 10 years in prison.

“It’s crazy, a few windows got smashed,” 23-year-old Olivia Alsip said, two months after her arrest on felony riot charges. “Why are 214 people looking at ten years in prison?”

Alsip only knew one other person at the protest march that day. The political science graduate student from the University of Chicago had met her partner in November, when the two had joined the camps at Standing Rock opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline. When they heard about calls to protest Donald J. Trump’s inauguration in D.C. on January 20th under the banner “Disrupt J20,” they felt they had to be there. “I identify as an anarchist, and I’ve been an activist for women’s and queer rights since the 8th grade,” Alsip told me over the phone from Chicago.

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