Burning the American Flag in Protest is NOT a Crime!
February 23 update
February 27 – March 13
WE ARE LAUNCHING A NATIONAL CAMPAIGN — to flood the city and country prosecutors with postcards, phone calls and faxes–Demanding that ALL the Charges be Dropped on the RNC 16! JOIN US!
Here are the latest important developments in the case of the RNC 16.
*Assault charges against Joey Johnson and another RNC 16 defendant were Dropped! read more about it
*An important Hearing took place on January 26 on a Motion to Dismiss the Misdemeanor Charges on the RNC 16 read more about it
*A motion to dismiss has been filed in the case of the 2 RNC 16 felony defendants
Now is the time for people around the country to demand that all the charges be dropped. Here’s what YOU can do:
Flood the County and City Prosecutors’ Offices with postcards, phone calls & faxes
Starting on Monday, February 27 and going on for the next 2 weeks.
Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley
Phone: 216-443-7800. Fax: 216.698.2270
The Justice Center, Courts Tower
1200 Ontario Street, 9th Floor
Cleveland, Ohio 44113
City of Cleveland Prosecutor Kimberly Barnett-Mills
Phone: 216-664-4850 fax: 216-664-4399
City Prosecutor’s Office
1200 Ontario St., 8th Floor
Cleveland OH 44113
Please let us know if you sent postcards, called or faxed the prosecutors!
Let’s aim for 500 people to do this- email FreeRNC16@gmail.com
People can get ready now by organizing house parties or dorm parties for your friends to fill out and send the postcards, and make phone calls together.
Donations are urgently needed.
Some background on the case & it’s relation to the fascist Trump-Pence Regime:
On July 20, Donald Trump was being nominated at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland with a program of fascist law and order, misogyny, and unbridled vitriolic racist attacks against Blacks, Chicanos, other Latinos, Muslims, and immigrants. Outside the convention, Joey Johnson lit the American flag on fire as the Revolution Club chanted “1, 2, 3, 4—Slavery, Genocide, and War! 5, 6, 7, 8—America Was NEVER Great!” They had a right to do what they did at the RNC…and it was right. Even before the flag was lit, a mob of police and fascist Infowars/Trump operatives assaulted the protective perimeter of Revolution Club members.
The police violently arrested Joey Johnson and at least 16 other people. The victims of this assault, the RNC 16, face multiple misdemeanors and felonies. The continued prosecution of the RNC 16 is part of a whole fascist assault on people’s rights and the rule of law, shredding of established constitutional rights, and imposition of open violent repression against dissent. It is an attempt to intimidate people from opposing the message that odious and fascist program put forward by Trump.
“Fascism has direction and momentum. Dissent is piece by piece criminalized. The truth is bludgeoned. Group after group is demonized and targeted along a trajectory that leads to real horrors. All of this has already begun under the Trump Regime. History has shown that fascism must be stopped before it becomes too late.” from the New Updated Refuse Fascism Call to Action
RNC 16 Hearing on Motion to Dismiss Misdemeanor Charges
On January 26 in Cleveland, in a courtroom packed with the RNC 16 defendants, attorneys, supporters, and several media outlets that came and recorded the entire hearing, the arguments for the defendants’ motion to dismiss all the misdemeanor charges against the RNC 16 were heard. The RNC 16, along with Joey Johnson, were arrested and charged off of the burning of the American flag at the Republican National Convention (RNC) last summer that nominated the fascist Trump.
The attorneys for the RNC 16 presented a compelling case as to why the charges should be dismissed. This included putting Cleveland Police Chief Williams and a police lieutenant on the stand. Both of them had been subpoenaed by the RNC 16 attorneys to appear in court. They testified with their “alternative facts” and spun their outrageous and at times ridiculous lies and justifications for the illegal, pre-emptive, brutal assault and arrests of the defendants. This was challenged and exposed throughout their testimony, with the defendants’ attorney using the Cleveland Police Department’s own documents regarding political protests during the RNC, along with the CPD’s own audio tapes and written police reports, to impeach their testimony. Further revelations came out in their testimony about the surveillance of the Revolution Club before and during the RNC. As a surprise witness, Joey Johnson testified, refuting the lies of the police. After Williams’ testi-lying, the attorney for the defendants stated that the “chaos” Williams attempted to blame on the defendants for that day was a product of the illegal actions of the police who were rushing in their attempt to prevent Joey Johnson from burning the American flag.
January 25, 2017
Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams Subpoenaed to Testify January 26 at Important Hearing to Dismiss Misdemeanor Charges Against RNC 16 – in Wake of Charges Dropped Against Flagburner Joey Johnson & 1 other RNC 16 Defendant
What: Court Hearing on Motion to Dismiss for the RNC 16
When: Thursday, January 26, 10 am
Where: INJustice Center – Courtroom 13D, 1200 Ontario, Cleveland
On January 26, a Cleveland court will hear a motion to dismiss the misdemeanor charges against 12 of the RNC 16 defendants. The RNC 16 were viciously assaulted and arrested by the police in an attempt to prevent Joey Johnson from burning the American flag outside the Republican National Convention on the same day Donald Trump became the Republican presidential candidate in July 2016.
Coming in the first week of the Trump-Pence regime, this hearing will be one of the first legal challenges to attempts to criminalize dissent and political protest, including flag burning. Lawyers will argue for dismissal on the grounds that the arrests and criminal charges constitute a violation of their clients’ First Amendment rights and is an illegal and politically motivated prosecution.
*Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams has been subpoenaed to testify.
*Notorious Flag burner and RNC 16 defendant 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) will be in court to stand with the remaining RNC 16 defendants and speak to the media. The assault charges against Johnson and one other RNC defendant stemming from the same protest were dismissed on January 11, 2017 as a result of a determined political and legal battle, which will continue at the January 26 hearing.
As Joey Johnson burned the America flag, the Revolution Club defiantly chanted “1, 2, 3, 4 –Slavery, Genocide, and War! 5, 6, 7, 8—America Was NEVER Great! Now, as the Trump-Pence regime has moved quickly in its first days in power to establish a fully fascist state with its blatant misogyny, vitrolic racist attacks, xenophobic nationalism, and threats against the First Amendment, including threats to jail and/strip flagburners of their citizenship, the statement of the RNC 16 last July resounds with even more urgency and truth: “We had a right to burn the flag, and it was the right thing to do.”
“Drop ALL the charges NOW” will be the demand of those coming to pack the courtroom on January 26.
Gregory “Joey” Johnson and attorneys for the RNC 16 will be available for interviews after the hearing.
Assault Charges Against Joey Johnson and Another RNC 16 Defendant Dropped! ALL Charges Against the RNC 16 Must Be Dropped NOW!
Thursday, January 26
10 am, Courtroom 13D in the Justice Center, Lakeside & Ontario, downtown Cleveland
spread the word
On January 26 in a Cleveland courtroom, Joey Johnson & the RNC16, who dared to defy Donald Trump by burning a flag outside the Republican National Convention, will go before a judge in an important hearing which will deliver a ruling on their motion to have all misdemeanor charges dismissed. What happens in court that day does not just depend on the lawyers and the judge—it also depends on you! It will be a crucial test of whether people are willing to show solidarity with those who are defying Trump’s vicious agenda, and being targeted by the state. We ask you to pledge to join us in packing the courtroom. We feel a “pledge” is necessary because we know that it is all too easy to fall back into your daily life and avoid the inconvenience -and fear- of showing up. If you agree that standing together to defy Trump is worth the inconvenience, please…
Committee to Defend the RNC16 at FreeRNC16@gmail.com 216-225-2267
History shows that if people wait until they are targeted by a violent and oppressive regime, too few people will ever be standing up at the same time. A famous quote, attributed to the German Lutheran Pastor Martin Neimoller, describes the terrible consequences of failing to stand up:
They came first for the Communists,
But I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then They came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me,
and by that time no one was left to speak up.
Gregory “Joey” Johnson and others from the Revolution Club burned the American flag on July 20, 2016 in front of the Republican National Convention the day Donald Trump was nominated. Johnson and 15 others—the RNC16—currently face serious criminal charges in Cleveland, OH. Your financial contributions are urgently needed right now as this legal case moves forward. The battle to free the RNC16 is one of the first legal challenges to the dangerous and deadly regime Trump intends to impose.
Flagburner Gregory “Joey” Johnson speaking at ThisIsNotNormal
Fascist Trump Threatens Flagburners
We Say: Drop The Charges on Joey Johnson & the RNC 16! Burning the American Flag in Protest is NOT a Crime!
print and get these out everywhere!
New Court Dates Set for Flag Burner Joey Johnson & RNC 16— For Burning the American Flag at the 2016 Republican National Convention
December 5, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
On November 29, Donald Trump threatened: “Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag—if they do, there must be consequences—perhaps loss of citizenship or a year in jail.”
Gregory “Joey” Johnson and others from the Revolution Club burned the American flag in Cleveland at the entrance of the Republican National Convention on July 20, 2016, the night Trump was nominated. Joey Johnson and other flag burners were violently assaulted by the police and pro-Trump fascist thugs associated with Alex Jones and InfoWars. Joey Johnson is the same Johnson in the U.S. Supreme Court case Texas v. Johnson (1989) that established flag burning as protected speech. Johnson and 15 others—the RNC 16—currently face serious criminal charges in Cleveland. (The defense has filed motions to discover the role of federal and other authorities in the assault on the RNC 16.)
The prosecution of the RNC 16 case looms even larger in light of the president-elect and next commander in chief of the United States having just decreed, without legal justification, that flag burning—an act of political dissent and free speech—should result in people going to jail, or even becoming stateless people without citizenship and any legal protections at all. This is one of the first legal challenges to the dangerous and deadly regime Trump intends to impose.
On December 1, Trump declared from his bully pulpit at a rally in Ohio (the state where the RNC 16 cases are being prosecuted): “And do you agree with my stance, that if people burn the American flag, there should be consequences. Think so. I think so.” This was followed by chants from the crowd of “USA, USA, USA.”
The fact that the president-elect is declaring that people don’t have the right to burn the American flag and should be punished for doing so (contrary to the reality that burning the flag is legal), in addition to his whipping up fascist mobs across the country to terrorize, threaten, and intimidate anyone from carrying out a constitutionally protected free speech act—all this has serious implications for the RNC 16 case. Trump is poisoning public opinion, including the jury pool, and this raises the question of whether the RNC 16 can get a fair and impartial jury, if this case goes to trial.
On December 1, more than 20 attorneys for the RNC defendants appeared at a pre-trial hearing held in Cleveland. They were prepared to make clear to the new judge, assigned to preside over the cases against all the 14 defendants now facing criminal misdemeanor charges, that the RNC 16 are determined to fight these charges and put the authorities and their system on trial. (Two other RNC 16 defendants are facing five serious felony charges and two misdemeanor charges before the Cuyahoga County Court.) Even though this hearing was intended by the judge to address procedural and logistical issues of the cases before him, the attorneys put before the court why they have filed motions to dismiss—that the defendants were attacked and are now being prosecuted for carrying out the constitutionally protected act of flag burning. They also brought to the light of day and to the judge further evidence relating to why the charges should be dismissed immediately. At this hearing, two important hearings were set for January 11 and January 26, 2017, on the defendants’ motions to dismiss the charges against those facing misdemeanor charges.
Further Arguments and New Evidence Exposed in Court
The attorneys for the defendants presented to the judge that the only charge against Joey Johnson and one of the other RNC 16 is assault on two Alex Jones/InfoWars/Trump operatives who claimed to have been burned by the flag burning. The court was informed that these so-called “victims” posted a video the night of July 20 where they bragged in an interview with Alex Jones that they went to the protest to attack Johnson—and actually attacked Johnson—to try to stop him from carrying out the flag burning. It was also pointed out that this video was provided by defense counsel to the prosecutor in August. This was evidence enough to show the charges against Joey and the other RNC defendant were bogus and should have been dropped immediately by the prosecutor. The attorneys for the two defendants charged with arson also filed motions to dismiss in September and October, which the prosecutor opposed.
In early November, the lead prosecutor of these cases, Kimberly Barnett-Mills, admitted in letters to the defense attorneys that her office had “misplaced” the evidence in this case—the statements and the video provided by the so-called “victims,” which are the basis of the assault charges. And she said that she could not verify the replacement video again provided by the so-called “victims”! The defense counsel argued before the judge that all this was further grounds for the charges being dropped.
In addition, the RNC 16 attorneys have been fighting to force authorities to turn over evidence that will reveal how a whole slew of government agencies and fascists collaborated and conspired to attack them when they exercised what is supposed to be a constitutionally protected form of free speech. Specifically, they are trying to uncover the relationship of Alex Jones to the U.S. Secret Service, which was the lead agency responsible for security at the RNC, along with other federal agencies, in order to expose what collaborating and conspiring went into the pre-planned assault and continues with the prosecution of the RNC 16. Alex Jones had a special guest credential to the RNC. In October, the prosecutor opposed a subpoena served on Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams and refused to order him to turn over such documents, arguing that any “plans, strategies, tactics, methods of intelligence gatherings or briefings” are confidential. (For more, see “We did nothing wrong—we have right on our side: RNC Flag Burners Go On the Offensive.”) Since the election, the special and close relationship that Alex Jones had with Trump before the election—and continues to have with him—has been all over the news.
At the December 1 hearing, the prosecutor backed off from refusing to turn over the documents demanded by the defense, and told the court that they would turn over those documents by December 15. The defense attorneys are prepared to file further motions to the court if ALL the documents demanded are not turned over on that date.
After hearing the arguments presented, the court set January 11 at 1:30 pm for an evidentiary hearing on the motion to dismiss the charges of assault against Joey Johnson and another Revolution Club member. Witnesses, including the two so-called “victims,” will be subpoenaed to appear in court. And the attorneys will present evidence exposing the illegal assault and outrageousness of the continued prosecution of these and all the defendants.
The court also set January 26 at 10 am for a hearing on the motion to dismiss all the misdemeanor charges against the other RNC defendants. One of the attorneys for the RNC 16 made the point to the judge that the court should make arrangements for the hearing to be in a larger courtroom to allow the public, including supporters of the RNC 16 and the media, to attend and observe.
This case can and must be part of setting different terms in society for the storms to come and for all those who refuse to accept a fascist America. People must demand that the prosecutors drop the charges NOW and pledge to pack the courtroom for the upcoming hearings on January 11 and 26 if the charges are not dropped.
DROP THE CHARGES ON JOEY JOHNSON AND THE RNC 16!
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Demand that Prosecutor Kimberly Barnett-Mills drop the charges on Gregory “Joey” Johnson and the RNC 16. Phone: 216-664-4850; Fax: 216-664-439.
Demand that prosecutor Timothy McGinty drop the charges on the two members of the RNC 16 facing felony charges. Phone: 216-443-7800; Twitter: @Pros_TimMcGinty
Funds are needed to defray the costs of the defense, and to make speakers available on this case. To donate, go here.
To contact the RNC 16 and to request Joey Johnson or one of the other RNC 16 to speak at your school, email: email@example.com
by Gregory “Joey” Johnson
(Gregory “Joey” Johnson, was the defendant in the U.S. Supreme Court case Texas v. Johnson (1989) that established flag burning as protested speech; he writes from Revcom.us and follows the Revolutionary Communist leader Bob Avakian.)
Posted December 8, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
December 5, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
Trump Threatens Flag Burners…
November 30, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
On November 29, Donald Trump threatened: “Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag—if they do, there must be consequences—perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!” Make no mistake: This is part of a whole fascist assault on people’s rights, and the rule of law, shredding established constitutional rights, and imposing open violent repression against dissent.
Joey Johnson and the RNC 16 did the right thing when they burned the American flag in Cleveland outside the arena where Trump was being nominated. Joey Johnson and other flag-burners were violently assaulted by pro-Trump thugs associated with Alex Jones and InfoWars, and police. Now Joey Johnson and others—the RNC 16—face serious criminal charges. Others who have burned the flag did the right thing as well, including students at Pitt, at Hampshire College, and protesters outside the White House when Trump was elected.
Burning the American flag is constitutionally protected free speech. In 1984, Joey Johnson burned the American flag outside the Republican National Convention in Dallas, Texas as Ronald Reagan was being renominated for a second term. He was arrested for “desecration of a venerated object,” jailed, tried, convicted, sentenced to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine. Joey Johnson appealed the conviction and fought for five years to the U.S. Supreme Court. And he fought in the court of public opinion against forced patriotism. The support built outside the court, combined with the legal strategy of his legal team (including William Kunstler) led to a Supreme Court decision that burning the American flag is constitutionally protected free speech.
But now the president-elect of the United States, the next commander in chief, just decreed—without any legal justification—that this act of dissent and free speech should result in people going to jail, or even becoming stateless people without citizenship, without any legal protections at all. Trump’s threat smacks of the Nazi legislation—and the Nazi mentality—that made it a crime to “profane” the swastika. This is deadly serious. It is a hint, along with so many other outrages, of the kind of fascist regime that Trump intends to impose. It is yet another reason why people cannot normalize this, but must actually undertake unprecedented resistance to prevent Trump from consolidating his regime.
In response to Trump’s threat, the Revolution Club, NYC burned the American flag outside Trump’s hotel, and challenged others to do the same.
People SHOULD TAKE UP THAT CHALLENGE!
Because the United States was founded on slavery, Black people still have no rights this white supremacist system is bound to respect, and there is an epidemic of unpunished murder by police.
Because the U.S.A. was built on and continues to carry out genocide of the native peoples.
Because America was created by stealing half of Mexico’s land in a war of conquest, rape and plunder in 1846-48.
Because in America a woman is raped every two minutes and a woman is battered every nine seconds—violence fueled by a culture of porn and patriarchy.
Because the U.S. massacred over 200,000 innocent civilians at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, with nuclear bombs and is the only country that’s ever used them.
Because the U.S. murdered three million people during the Vietnam War and has killed over 1.3 million in the Middle East since 9/11.
Because America imprisons two million people, mostly Black and Latino—more than any country on earth.
Because the U.S. terrorizes and demonizes immigrants, deporting 1.7 million in the last five years alone.
Because America’s wealth comes from exploiting and enslaving millions of people here and around the world, including children, from Mexico to China to Congo to Bangladesh.
Because America has done more to destroy the planet’s environment than any other country on earth—the U.S. military is the single greatest institutional polluter in the world.
For all those reasons and a million more, and because people need to stand up to and defy Trump’s move to impose fascism…
And because if Trump gets away with silencing and intimidating people with this threat, coming on the heels of appointing fascists to his cabinet, that will be one more big step in imposing fascist terror against all dissent…
And here’s the most important thing: The world does NOT have to be this way. And because of the work, and leadership of Bob Avakian, there really is a viable vision and strategy for a radically new, and much better, society and world, and there is the crucial leadership that is needed to carry forward the struggle toward that goal.
So right now, there is an urgent need for people to do two things. First, to confront the threat on so many fronts posed by Trump’s fascism and carry out unprecedented resistance to prevent him from consolidating this. Second, to dig deeply the nature of this system, what it does to people here and around the world, and to dig into and get with the movement for revolution that is organizing to overthrow this system at the soonest possible time.
Joey Johnson, Notorious Flag Burner:
Burning the Flag at the RNC Was Right and Necessary
Donald Trump’s Threats Cannot Be Allowed
November 29, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
This morning @RealDonaldTrump tweeted that “nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag,” and that those who do should face loss of citizenship or a year in jail.
Joey Johnson of the Revolution Club said, “This is another move towards outright fascism and it cannot be allowed! Trump advocates torture and has utter contempt for the rule of law. He is openly trying to muzzle dissent and enforce patriotism.”
On July 20, at the Republican Convention, Johnson, whose one-year prison sentence was overturned in 1989 when the Supreme Court found flag-burning to be constitutionally protected speech, lit the American flag on fire as the Revolution Club (the revcoms) chanted “1, 2, 3, 4—Slavery, Genocide, and War! 5, 6, 7, 8—America Was NEVER Great!”
Raphael Kadaris said, “Joey Johnson and the RNC16 had a right to do what we did at the RNC and it was right. Even before the flag was lit, a mob of police and fascist Infowars supporters—Trump operatives—assaulted the protective perimeter of Revolution Club members. The police violently arrested Joey Johnson and at least 16 others.”
The victims of this assault, the RNC16, still face multiple misdemeanors and felonies. The state of Ohio has dropped no charges.
Johnson said, “These charges are unjust. We’re calling on people to join the fight to get the charges dropped, and to resist, defy and defeat this attempt to impose a fascist America on the world. Right now: everyone everywhere who hates what Donald Trump is fighting for should defy this threat and display the American flag in the only way it should be: on fire.”
Defendants available for interviews 646 450 4701
ALERT: Donations are still needed to cover the expenses of 16 defendants getting into Cleveland for pre-trial appearances. Let’s make the $15,000 goal. See revcom.us for frequent updates on the work of the Revolution Club, and the case of Joey Johnson and the RNC16.
Click to Sign the Demand:
What Does It Tell You That Donald Trump Is a Big Fan of Alex Jones, the Point Man in Going After the RNC16?
What does it tell you that Donald Trump is a big fan of Alex Jones and that this same Alex Jones is the point man in going after the notorious flag burner Joey Johnson and the RNC16, the 16 Revolution Club members who were illegally arrested this summer for burning the American flag at the entrance to the Republican National Convention?
It tells you a lot about why Johnson and the RNC16 were targeted, attacked, and face serious charges. And it tells you a lot about how righteous and necessary their protest was and why now they must be firmly defended!
For more see:
Below: A section of the re-enactment of the People’s Tribunal, which put the system on trial for the towering crimes U.S. imperialism has committed and continues to perpetrate against the people of the world and masses of oppressed people in this country. They indicted the various pigs and pig agencies responsible for the illegal acts against the RNC 16, the people including Joey Johnson who burned the flag at the Republican National Convention. In this section Alex Jones is indicted.
NEW BROCHURE for Drop the Charges on Joey Johnson & the RNC 16
Make LOTS of copies and get them out everywhere!!
At the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Donald Trump projected his fascist message of law and order, white supremacy, “build the wall” scapegoating of immigrants and Muslims, disgusting misogyny, and naked “USA #1” chauvinism. He said he would “make America great again.”
The Revolution Club was also in Cleveland, fighting for a whole different future, clearly posing the need for an actual revolution to solve the problems that humanity faces, and the leadership for that revolution that exists in Bob Avakian and the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA.
On July 20, the Revolution Club went right up to the gates of the fascist RNC rally, linked arms in a circle, chanting, “1, 2, 3, 4—Slavery, Genocide, and War! 5, 6, 7, 8—America Was NEVER Great!” In the middle stood Gregory “Joey” Johnson.
He announced: “We’re standing with the people of the world today! We’re taking a stand against this imperialist Republican National Convention. Donald Trump is an open fascist. Hillary Clinton is a proven war criminal. We’re not following either one of their leaders… America #1? America first? It always has been first: at genocide, at slavery, at exploitation, at destruction of the environment, at torture… We’re standing here with the people of the world today…”
Then Joey lit the flag on fire. Even before the flag was lit a mob of police and fascist Infowars Trump operatives assaulted the protective perimeter of Revolution Club members. The police violently arrested at least 16 people. Outrageously, half a dozen of these thugs piled on top of Joey, and then brought him to the ground in a chokehold. Outrageously, Joey and the RNC16 are currently being criminally charged, some with multiple misdemeanors and felonies — two weeks after the action, a grand jury was called to add even more charges!
All of this is in spite of the fact that the right to burn the flag in protest was won by Gregory “Joey” Johnson himself in the historic 1989 U.S. Supreme Court case Texas v. Johnson that determined that flagburning is protected by the First Amendment.
The system, with its Secret Service, FBI, and Cleveland police and the alt-right Infowars operatives were all collaborating together to spy on and attack the Revolution Club even though the system’s own court said flagburning is protected political speech. Now the powers-that-be want to prosecute the RNC 16. The RNC16 are going to flip the script on all this and PUT THE SYSTEM ON TRIAL. To do this, you are needed now!
If you are sickened by what is happening in this country and in the world, and you’re looking for an actual way out— at a time when the rulers are trying to rally allegiance to all their imperial plans to make America “great,” with horrific consequences for humanity — there are things you can do in the fight to Drop the Charges on Joey Johnson and the RNC16. This railroad of a case against Joey Johnson and the RNC16 is a political attack being carried out by the system and its courts. They are trying to shut up people resisting, whether it is athletes refusing to stand for the national anthem or protesters burning the flag. This system wants people to bow down to its symbols while it carries out so much horrific oppression here and all over the world.
We should not let them get away with this!
Defend Joey Johnson and the RNC16! SIX THINGS YOU CAN DO!!
1.Donate money and raise funds for legal fees and travel costs. Funds contributed by the people makes a huge difference! All RNC16 Defendants are being forced to return repeatedly to Cleveland for multiple court dates. Leaflets, posters, and other organizing materials are needed to publicize the case and put the whole system on trial! Donate at crowdrise.com/revolution-club-at-the-conventions
2. Invite Gregory “Joey” Johnson and others from the Revolution Club to speak at your school, your classes, your community group, or other gathering, about why he burned the flag, what that flag really represents, and the danger of forced patriotism. Take up this case– make it a dividing line in society because you are on the side that says WE are not going to let this political repression go down!Contact the Revolution Club at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 510-253-5551.
3. Write a letter to the prosecutor in Cleveland to demand that all charges against all those arrested July 20 when the flag was burned be dropped immediately. Send the letter to: Prosecutor Tim McGinty, 1200 Ontario St #9, Cleveland, OH Tel.216-443-7800. Twitter: @Pros_TimMcGinty. Or to send an email, go to: http://prosecutor.cuyahogacounty.us/en-US/Contact.aspx (Please copy to email@example.com !or Twitter: @joey4revolution)
4. Make a statement on social media demanding “Drop the Charges on Joey Johnson and the RNC16!” Go to http://www.revcom.us/a/448/america-was-never-great-memes-en.html (Please copy to firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter: @joey4revolution) #RNC16Flagburning #DropTheCharges
5. Join Joey Johnson, Colin Kaepernick, and many others, and show your own DIS-respect for the flag or the national anthem as symbols of oppression and empire. Stand with the people of the world!
6. Sign “We Demand: Drop the Charges on Gregory ‘Joey’ Johnson and the RNC16 NOW!” at http://org.salsalabs.com/o/1170/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=20203
Go to revcom.us for updates!
November 5, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
On July 20, Donald Trump was being nominated by the Republicans with a program of fascist law and order, misogyny, and unbridled vitriolic racist attacks against Blacks, Latinos and Chicanos, Muslims, and immigrants. Outside the convention, Joey Johnson lit the American flag on fire as the Revolution Club chanted “1, 2, 3, 4—Slavery, Genocide, and War! 5, 6, 7, 8—America Was NEVER Great!” As previously written (“Joey Johnson and the RNC 16 Put the System on Trial in Cleveland”), the revcoms “had a right to do what we did at the RNC… and it was right.” Even before the flag was lit, a mob of police and fascist Infowars—Trump operatives—assaulted the protective perimeter of Revolution Club members. The police violently arrested Joey Johnson and at least 16 other people. The victims of this assault, the RNC 16, face multiple misdemeanors and felonies. There are significant new developments in the battle to free them.
Attorneys for the RNC 16 have filed several important legal motions. One is to throw out the charges. These charges are utterly illegal and unconstitutional, in addition to being outrageously unjust. The fact that the right to burn the flag in protest was won by Gregory “Joey” Johnson himself in the historic 1989 U.S. Supreme Court case Texas v. Johnson, which determined that flagburning is protected by the First Amendment.
Another is to have that issue—whether to dismiss the charges—argued in front of a single judge, or several different judges. In addition, the defendants are fighting to force authorities to turn over evidence that will reveal how a whole slew of government agencies and fascists collaborated and conspired to attack them when they exercised what is supposed to be a constitutionally protected form of free speech…read more
People’s Tribunal Finds the System Guilty
Video of the People’s Tribunal, originally held at the Cleveland INJustice Center, September 29, 2016
Legal Update on the Battle to Free the RNC16
October 10, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
The battle to free the RNC 16 is on–in the streets, in the battle for public opinion, and in the courts. On September 15, attorneys filed motions charging that the arrests were “content-based policing” that “is unconstitutional and utterly unacceptable.” They said, “Flag burning is protected free speech activity.” And that “the City of Cleveland chose to stop these individuals from burning the flag, in violation of their constitutional rights, when Chief of Police Calvin Williams and several other officers pushed into the circle of protesters gathered around the flag to ensure the safety of all present.”
Jacqueline Greene, Co-Coordinator of the Ohio Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild and partner at the law firm of Friedman & Gilbert, as well as one of the lawyers who filed motions to dismiss, said the City of Cleveland had chosen “to prosecute these cases in an attempt to cover up the unconstitutional actions of the police.”
Joey Johnson has announced that the RNC 16 “will be filing a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security, the Secret Service, the FBI, the City of Cleveland, the Cleveland Police Department, Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams, and Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty for false arrest, for assault pursuant to a false arrest, and malicious prosecution of the RNC 16. We are putting them on trial for violating their own laws, undermining Texas v. Johnson, in order to politically suppress and repress the RNC 16 because of our righteous message, and thereby having a ‘chilling effect’ on people’s freedom to express themselves by burning the flag.”
Stay tuned to revcom.us for developments.
RNC 16 Put the Pigs on Trial
Joey Johnson Interviewed on Al Porter Hip Hop Workshop
MSNBC Originals 7/28/16
IN THE NEWS
September 15 cleveland.com
RNC Flag Burning Case Gets Messy as ‘Victims’ Identified
Cleveland RNC flag burner wants assault charges dropped due to InfoWars video
WHAT YOU CAN DO
*Sign this Demand:
Fr. Luis Barrios, John Jay College of Criminal Justice*
Medea Benjamin, Code Pink
Robert Bloom, attorney, 1971 case of Panther 21
Richard Brown, Black Panther Party, San Francisco 8
Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, EPA whistleblower
Paul J. Cristallo, attorney, Cleveland
Carl Dix, Revolutionary Communist Party
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*
Alicia Kirkman, Mother of Angelo Miller killed by Cleveland police, 2007
Nicholas Klaus, National Lawyers Guild*
Michael Kogan, attorney, Los Angeles
Emily Kunstler, filmmaker, “William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe”
Sarah Kunstler, attorney, New York City, filmmaker, “William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe”
Jim Lafferty, Executive Director Emeritus, National Lawyers Guild*, Los Angeles
Betty Mahone, owner, African American Cultural Center, East Cleveland, OH
William Clarence Marshall, opera singer, Cleveland
Art McCoy, Founder of Black on Black Crime, Inc., Cleveland
Genevieve Mitchell, Director, The Black Women’s Center, Cleveland
Peter Phillips, Phd.
Al Porter, Jr. President of Black on Black Crime Inc., Cleveland
Margaret Ratner Kunstler, attorney, New York City
David Rovics, singer/songwriter
Yusef Salaam, one of the Central Park Five – all exonerated
Eric A. Seitz, attorney, Honolulu
J. Tony Serra, attorney, San Francisco
Cindy Sheehan, peace activist, Vacaville CA
Rev. Frank Smith, Senior Pastor of Manna Church, Cleveland
Dr. Akinyele Umoja, Author, We Will Shoot Back: Armed Resistance in the Mississippi Freedom Movement
Cornel West, author
* Organization for identification only
Joey Johnson, Revolution Club members, and other flag-burning defendants, just released from jail, rallied in front of the Justice Center, with supporters and Revcoms, who had marched from Public Square chanting “burn that flag!” (Photo: @SunsaraTaylor)
Joey Johnson after the flag was burned outside the Republican Convention (AP photo)
Thursday morning press conference denouncing the arrests and calling for the release of Joey Johnson and others. Photo: Special to revcom.us
July 20 Final – Flag Burning to Properly Honor Trump now 4 pm; 4th & Prospect