Thursday, Sept 1: Join the Committee to Drop the Charges against Joey Johnson and the RNC16

Revolution Books just received this invitation to be part of a new committee forming to support Joey Johnson and the RNC16. Join us this Thursday! facebook event

Thursday, September 1st at 7 pm
Room 135 in the Main Classroom Building
Cleveland State University

It is part of the African American Cultural Center on the Chester side of the building, off E. 22nd
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We are calling on people in Northeast Ohio to join the fight to Drop the Charges against Joey Johnson and RNC 16. Burning the American flag was righteous and necessary to counter the Make American Great Again fascist mantra coming from the RNC.

These defendants must be supported, and the authorities must not be allowed to get away with circumventing, distorting, punishing, and criminalizing this defining act of protest. Pre-trials have begun and are continuing for the defendants who are coming in from all over the country. An aggressive legal defense is being mounted. There is lots of work to be done. You are needed NOW to be part of waging and winning this battle.

At the meeting on Thursday, we will discuss the importance of this case and why it’s urgent to build a defense committee to take up various tasks to fight for the demand that all charges be dropped. Your participation is valued, please come and bring others who are interested.

More information on the case
Fact Sheet on the Case
Donate for Legal Expenses

TOMORROW, Monday, Aug 22: Flag Burner Gregory “Joey” Johnson to Appear in Cleveland Court

Join us tomorrow morning, Monday, August 22, to stand with Gregory “Joey” Johnson when he appears in court! Press Conference to follow.

8:30 am

15th floor of the Justice Center, 1200 Ontario, Courtroom C

We demand:

Drop the charges on Gregory “Joey” Johnson and the RNC16 now!

Press Release below

***

21 August 2016
for immediate release
Contact: 646 450 4701
revclubmedia@gmail.com

Monday August 22 Cleveland hearing
Flag Burner Gregory “Joey” Johnson Demands Prosecution Drop Charges

Johnson states Cleveland authorities are collaborating with right-wing media in unlawful arrest and assault of him and 16 other protesters for constitutionally protected flag-burning outside Republican National Convention

What: Press Conference following hearing
When: Monday August 22 Hearing 8:30 am
Where: 15th Floor Room C, Justice Center, 1200 Ontario, Cleveland

Gregory “Joey” Johnson said today that “Cleveland police and prosecutors are collaborating with so-called ‘reporters’ from the right-wing conspiratorialist and Trump supporting website Infowars to prosecute him and others on assault charges.”

Johnson states police unlawfully arrested and unlawfully assaulted him and 15 others for what the U.S. Supreme Court had already determined is constitutionally protected speech, the burning of the American flag in protest. In fact, it was Johnson’s arrest for burning the flag at the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas, Texas that culminated in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1989 decided in Johnson’s favor.

Johnson stated, “The police in Cleveland could not charge with me flag-burning so they charged me with a bogus charge of assault on these Infowars reactionaries.”

In a video posted July 20, 2016 on a website run by Alex Jones, which has been in the possession of prosecutors for two weeks, the “reporters” describe assaulting Johnson on July 20 in a violent effort to stop him from burning the flag: “We ripped the guy’s [Gregory Johnson] shirt off and just punched him and kicked him man…we just did everything we could.”

Johnson stated, “Understand this, the alleged victims of the assault I am charged with have stated publicly that they consciously set out to prevent me from burning the flag — a legally protected form of speech — and that their very presence in the area was to accomplish that which is an illegal act on their part. They bragged that they committed assault and battery on me, including tearing my shirt.”

The RNC16 (overwhelmingly Revolution Club members arrested at the flag burning) are facing serious charges and possible jail time, with many of them having to travel to Cleveland from around the U.S. for brief court appearances. Johnson and his supporters are demanding that the charges against him and the RNC 16 be dismissed immediately.

Johnson stated he is going to file a civil suit against the City of Cleveland and the Cleveland Police Department and take them to court.

Johnson is a supporter of the Revolutionary Communist Party, led by Bob Avakian, said “We burned the flag to protest the ugly America Number 1 chauvinism that was emanating out of the convention. The arrests and prosecution of the RNC16 are attempts to suppress political dissent, at the same time people across the country are defiantly stepping out, from Baton Rouge to Milwaukee, in protest when the police kill people under color of authority.” Johnson stated, “America has NEVER been great. What is so great about unending police terror, and mass incarceration and wars for empire? We need to overthrow the system, not vote for it.”

Revcom.us, the website of the Revolutionary Communist Party, has posted a “Fact Sheet” on the charges.

END

Cleveland Flag-burner felony hearing Thursday

17 August 2016
For immediate release
Contact: 646 450 4701
revclubmedia@gmail.com

Thursday August 18 Cleveland hearing on Felony Assault Charges

Joey Johnson & RNC Flag Burners Say Drop Unjust Charges;

Supporters Protest Their Punishment for Political Speech

What: Press Conference
When: Thursday August 18 8:00 am
Where: Justice Center, Lakeside Entrance between Ontario & West 3rd Streets, Cleveland OH

Gregory “Joey” Johnson will meet with press Thursday before a hearing for two men indicted on felonies after their arrest with Johnson and 14 others. He and the “RNC16” burned a U.S. flag on July 20, outside the Republication Convention.

Johnson is a supporter of the Revolutionary Communist Party, which is led by Bob Avakian. Most of the others arrested are members of the Revolution Club, which is affiliated.

Johnson said today, “I am proud we burned the American flag outside the RNC because, as Bob Avakian says, ‘American Lives are NOT More Important than Other People’s Lives.’ Trump says wants to ‘Make America Great Again’ but America was NEVER great – not during slavery, Jim Crow, the Iraq invasion, the Vietnam War, the internment of Japanese, or today’s era of mass incarceration and war crimes.”

Johnson and the other defendants are calling for all the charges against them to be dropped. They cite the Supreme Court case Texas v. Johnson (1989), which ruled that flag-burning is protected political speech. Ironically, it was this same Gregory “Joey” Johnson who won that case after burning the U.S. flag outside the Republican National Convention in Dallas in 1984.

Johnson insists that their arrests were illegal. He argues that the arrests only underline the need for the kind of protest he waged, “Think about it: Cleveland couldn’t get a grand jury to indict the two police who murdered 12-year-old Tamir Rice, but they got a grand jury to pile illegitimate charges onto us for peaceful and supposedly protected political protest. One more indication that America is NOT great!”

This case comes at a time when Cleveland is under a federal Consent Decree, by request of its own mayor, for a pattern of excessive force that violates the U.S. Constitution and state laws. Previously, supporters of the Revolutionary Communist Party exposed how the Cleveland police lied repeatedly to justify their illegal arrests of Johnson and others.

Johnson says he is actively investigating all legal courses of action the defendants have to protect their rights and the rights of protesters in Cleveland.

Revcom.us, the website of the Revolutionary Communist Party, has posted a “Fact Sheet” on the charges.

Supporters are circulating a statement calling on Cleveland authorities to drop the charges on Johnson and the RNC16.

END

Aug 18 ‘Felony’ Court Date on Flag burning Defendants! Show your Support- Drop the Charges on the RNC16

facebook event

JoeyArrestedAP_317826177690

Update: Grand Jury Indicts 2 of the RNC16—Totally Unacceptable!

http://www.revcom.us/a/451/update-grand-jury-indicts-2-of-the-rnc16-en.html
From a Revolution Club member:

 

There is an outrageous development in the case of 16 people (overwhelmingly Revolution Club members) who were illegally arrested and hit with serious charges for peaceful protest in support of the burning of the American flag by Joey Johnson on July 20 outside the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. On August 4, two of the 16 (the RNC16) were indicted by a grand jury—and even more charges were added to the already flagrant repression against this action and the individuals involved.

Joey Johnson, with the support of the Revolution Club, burned the American flag outside the Republican National Convention to protest the toxic chauvinism and reactionary ideas of all stripes surrounding Trump’s nomination.

Joey Johnson—whose Supreme Court case Texas vs Johnson established flag burning as protected speech—and the Revolution Club were making a statement to the world that American lives are NOT more important than other people’s lives, in condemnation of the crimes of this system against the people of the world and in overall defiance of U.S. imperialism. (See “Drop the Charges on Notorious Flag Burner Joey Johnson and the RNC16!” for more on this action and the charges against them.)

The powers that be apparently can’t pull together a grand jury worth shit when it comes to indicting murderous police officers, as we have seen too often in recent years. But when truth-tellers like Joey Johnson and the Revolution Club exposed the real history and current reality of this country (in the midst of the raw celebration of U.S. domination, white supremacy, and misogyny that was the RNC) and burned the symbol of empire—the powers threw the book at them. That is because their authority is ARBITRARY and ILLEGITIMATE. And that is what people everywhere should understand, and mobilize to fight and defeat.

The charges against one defendant now include two counts of felony “assaulting an officer” (aka being assaulted by an officer). Both defendants indicted by the grand jury had two misdemeanor charges added, including “resisting arrest” (aka being violently arrested by hordes of police—piles of them on each individual). This represents a serious escalation and shows the prosecutors’ intent to punish people for their powerful, peaceful political statement that day. All of the original charges, against Johnson and the rest of them, should have been dismissed on the spot. Instead, the courts are “upping the ante.”

ALL THIS MUST BE ACTIVELY OPPOSED! People everywhere who are concerned about justice need to take a stand NOW against this outrageous political repression. And all those who care about the people of the world, and about ending all the unnecessary oppression and exploitation worldwide, should learn more about the Revolution Club and the actual revolution that they are building for.

1. Sign your name to the call demanding ALL these bogus charges be dropped http://org.salsalabs.com/o/1170/p/salsa/web/common/public/signup?signup_page_KEY=8470, donate what you can to help with legal fees https://www.crowdrise.com/revolution-club-at-the-conventions/fundraiser/cheryllessin, contribute your time and your ideas to spreading this story and gaining more support to defeat these charges. The next court hearing for these two defendants is August 18 in Cleveland. Anyone in the area should be there to show their support. Go to www.revbookscle.org for details about the court hearing.


2. Go to www.revcom.us to dig into what it will take to overthrow this system, and be part of getting humanity out from under the boot of this repressive, illegitimate, rotten system once and for all.

Flag-burner Johnson to Prosecutor: Drop False Charges

For Immediate Release
8 August 2016
Contact: Revolution Club Media 646 450 4701
revclubmedia@gmail.com

Flag-burner Gregory Johnson: “Revelations show the state’s charges from RNC protest are false and must be dropped immediately”

Gregory “Joey” Johnson—whose successful battle in the Supreme Court case Texas v. Johnson established that burning a U.S. flag in protest is protected speech—says allegations he assaulted two “news reporters” when he burned a flag outside the Republican National Convention on July 20, 2016 are false. Johnson said that Kimberly Barnett, the Acting Chief Assistant Prosecutor, Criminal Division, has no choice but to withdraw the charges of assault filed against him.

Joey Johnson with the support of the Revolution Club burned the American flag outside the Republican National Convention to protest the toxic chauvinism and reactionary ideas of all stripes surrounding Trump’s nomination.

Johnson with the support of the Revolution Club was burning the American flag outside the Republican National Convention to protest the toxic chauvinism and reactionary ideas of all stripes surrounding Trump’s nomination. Cleveland police and other law enforcement agencies immediately assaulted the flag-burning, putting Johnson in a chokehold and then brutally arresting 16 others who were staging a peaceful protest.

Johnson stated that prosecutors are concocting a justification, after the fact, for the police assault against himself and other protesters during this flag-burning, because as established by Texas v. Johnson they could not be lawfully arrested or criminally charged for burning the flag.

The prosecution is claiming that Johnson assaulted two reporters who were allegedly burned by the flag embers. It has been confirmed from police reports, that these two “reporters” were not journalists at all, but Trump supporters who intended to prevent the flag burning because it was “un-American.”

In a video posted July 20, 2016 by Infowars, a website run by Alex Jones, the “reporters” brag about assaulting Johnson in a violent effort to stop him from burning the flag: “We ripped the guy’s [Gregory Johnson] shirt off and just punched him and kicked him man…we just did everything we could.”

All this shows that the charges against Johnson are without factual foundation. The charges stem from allegations by people who by their own admission set out to prevent what is supposed to be legally protected speech, which is an illegal act on their part. On top of which they brag about committing assault and battery on Johnson, another illegal act. Yet it is Johnson who is charged with assaulting these two!

Now, Johnson and the RNC16 (overwhelmingly Revolution Club members arrested at the flag burning) are facing serious charges. Johnson and his supporters are demanding that the charges against him and the RNC 16 be dismissed immediately.

Johnson’s arrest for another flag-burning protest, at the 1984 Republican National Convention, led to the landmark U.S. Supreme Court Texas v. Johnson decision in 1989, when the Court ruled that burning the flag in protest constitutes speech protected by the First Amendment. It is well established legally that someone who disagrees with the content of such speech cannot lawfully prevent this speech.

Supporters are circulating a statement calling on Cleveland authorities to drop the charges on Johnson and the RNC 16.

Tuesday, Aug 9 @ 9 am- Come to the Courtroom to Stand with the RNC16 Defendants

This Tuesday, August 9 at 9 am, the first of the RNC16 Defendants will appear in court. Come to courtroom 14 C to show your support!

14th floor of the Justice Center, Ontario & Lakeside

facebook event
—————-

We demand:
Drop the charges on Gregory “Joey” Johnson and the RNC16 now!

On July 20 outside the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Gregory “Joey” Johnson was surrounded by a circle of members of the Revolution Club who created a safe space for him to burn the American flag. The area was crowded with many police and pro-Trump people. Police assaulted the protective circle, arresting Joey and 16 others as the flag started to burn. They face serious charges. As the fact sheet circulated by Joey Johnson’s supporters convincingly shows, the arrests of him and 16 others were totally unjustified and illegitimate attempts to suppress legally protected political speech, as were the 24-hour-plus illegal detentions that followed.

Before setting the flag on fire, Joey led chants, “1, 2, 3, 4—Slavery, Genocide, and War! 5, 6, 7, 8—America Was NEVER Great!” Johnson said he decided to burn the flag to make a statement about what was unfolding inside the RNC where the theme that day was “make America #1 again.” Joey said, “America number 1? America first? It’s always been first: at genocide, at slavery, at exploitation, of destruction of the environment, of torture, of coup d’etats, of invasions. We’re standing here with the people of the world today.” In addition, Johnson stated that a real revolution is what is needed, nothing less. Then he lit the flag on fire. As Johnson explained his and the Revolution Club’s protest that day, “There are moments in history when someone has to put it on the line to sound the alarm.”

Johnson won the right to burn the flag against enforced patriotism in the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1989 landmark decision, Texas v. Johnson. For the police to effectively nullify this right in actual practice undermines this decision at a time when it is more imperative than ever to protect the right to dissent. The charges against Johnson and the RNC16 have to be decisively defeated. The authorities must not be allowed to get away with circumventing, distorting, punishing, and criminalizing this defining act of protest.

Sign this demand at http://org.salsalabs.com/o/1170/p/salsa/web/common/public/signup?signup_page_KEY=8470

 

Just posted at World Can’t Wait! Stop the Crimes of Your Government

http://org.salsalabs.com/o/1170/p/salsa/web/common/public/signup?signup_page_KEY=8470

We demand:

Drop the Charges on Gregory “Joey” Johnson and RNC16 Now!

On July 20 outside the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Gregory “Joey” Johnson was surrounded by a circle of members of the Revolution Club who created a safe space for him to burn the American flag. The area was crowded with many police and pro-Trump people. Police assaulted the protective circle, arresting Joey and 16 others as the flag started to burn. They face serious charges. As the fact sheet circulated by Joey Johnson’s supporters convincingly shows, the arrests of him and 16 others were totally unjustified and illegitimate attempts to suppress legally protected political speech, as were the 24-hour-plus illegal detentions that followed.

Before setting the flag on fire, Joey led chants, “1, 2, 3, 4—Slavery, Genocide, and War! 5, 6, 7, 8— America Was NEVER Great!” Johnson said he decided to burn the flag to make a statement about what was unfolding inside the RNC where the theme that day was “make America #1 again.” Joey said, “America number 1? America first? It’s always been first: at genocide, at slavery, at exploitation, of destruction of the environment, of torture, of coup d’etats, of invasions. We’re standing here with the people of the world today.” In addition, Johnson stated that a real revolution is what is needed, nothing less. Then he lit the flag on fire. As Johnson explained his and the Revolution Club’s protest that day, “There are moments in history when someone has to put it on the line to sound the alarm.”

Donate for legal expenses

Fact sheet on the case

More information on the case

Johnson won the right to burn the flag against enforced patriotism in the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1989 landmark decision, Texas v. Johnson. For the police to effectively nullify this right in actual practice undermines this decision at a time when it is more imperative than ever to protect the right to dissent. The charges against Johnson and the RNC16 have to be decisively defeated. The authorities must not be allowed to get away with circumventing, distorting, punishing, and criminalizing this defining act of protest.

We the undersigned call for the charges against Gregory “Joey” Johnson and all those arrested with him at the RNC be dropped immediately.

This message is co-hosted by The Revolution Club & World Can’t Wait

Initial Signers:

Fr. Luis Barrios, John Jay College of Criminal Justice*
Robert Bloom, attorney, 1971 case of Panther 21
Richard Brown, Black Panther Party, San Francisco 8
Jeffrey L. Edison, attorney, Detroit
Anneliese Failla, National Lawyers Guild* Detroit
Clinton Fein, artist/activist
Robert Justin Goldstein, Author, Flag Burning & Free Speech: Texas v. Johnson (Univ. Press of KS, 2000)
William Goodman, attorney, National Lawyers Guild*
Mickey Huff, Project Censored/Media Freedom Foundation
Daniel Hurwitz-Goodman, Guatemala Solidarity Project*
Nicholas Klaus, National Lawyers Guild*
Michael Kogan, attorney, Los Angeles
Emily Kunstler
Sarah Kunstler, attorney, New York City
Jim Lafferty, Executive Director Emeritus, National Lawyers Guild, Los Angeles
Peter Phillips, Phd.
Margaret Ratner Kunstler
David Rovics, singer/songwriter
Eric A. Seitz, attorney, Honolulu
J. Tony Serra, attorney, San Francisco

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