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J20 Defendant Solidarity Tour Featuring Daniel McGowan

March 6, 2018 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Join us for a night of intergenerational solidarity against state repression of activist movements! From the Green Scare to the Trump Administration, we will be hearing from Daniel McGowan, a former political prisoner who was incarcerated in 2005 during Operation Backfire, and numerous J20 defendants, activists fighting for their freedom after taking to the streets to protest Trump taking office on Jan 20th 2017.

Read more in their bios below, and come join us for this exciting event!!!

Daniel McGowan is a social justice activist from Queens, NY. He was charged in 2005 with fifteen counts of arson, property destruction and conspiracy, all related to two actions in Oregon in 2000, claimed by the underground Earth Liberation Front (ELF). Daniel was facing a minimum of life in prison if convicted when he accepted a non-cooperation plea agreement. He received a 7 year sentence and did most of it in two experimental Communications Management Units (CMU). Within a year of arriving at the CMU, Daniel with the help of the Center for Constitutional Rights, sued the Bureau of Prisons with the intention of closing the unit (Aref v. Sessions).

His arrest was part of what the US government dubbed Operation Backfire; a coordinated, multi-state sweep of activists by the federal government who charged them with practically every Earth and animal liberation action in the Pacific Northwest left unsolved. Many have considered this round up indicative of the government’s ‘Green Scare’ focus which had activists being arrested and threatened with life in prison. Many of the charges, including Daniel’s, were for incidents whose statute of limitations were about to expire.

Daniel was released from prison in December 2012 and was on probation for three years until June 2016. He has worked with NYC Anarchist Black Cross, the Civil Liberties Defense Center and the National Lawyer Guild’s Parole Preparation Project. Daniel is on the Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners calendar collective and works with NYC Books through Bars. He lives in New York City.

J20 Defendants:
On January 20th, 2017, militarized police in Washington, D.C.
mass-arrested over 200 protestors at a counter-inaugural march, charging them each with an unprecedented eight felonies. Yet even while facing decades in prison, 194 defiant defendants refused to cooperate or accept plea bargains, working together not to only support each other and beat the charges but to defend the legitimacy of militant resistance to the Trump regime. As a result, the first trial against 6 defendants ended with
a verdict of not guilty on all charges, forcing prosecutors to drop
charges against 129 of the arrested. However, despite this victory, the state is doubling down against 59 remaining defendants, hoping to divide the powerful movement that has successfully defended the arrestees. In an era of escalating repression, these charges aim to stomp out protest and
resistance through broad conspiracy statutes, demonization of anarchists, and divide-and-conquer tactics.

In this dynamic presentation, J20 supporters will share photos, footage, and personal reflections on the case and highlight its role and significance in the changing landscape of political repression in the so-called united states. From Kafkaesque legal wrangling to the dramatic defeat of the state in the first trial this past December, the case offers insights into state strategies for repression in the new administration, connections between different targeted movements, and what strategies have
the potential to effectively defeat the government’s efforts. But most importantly, you’ll learn about the 59 defendants still facing charges, the challenges ahead as we continue to resist repression, and what you can do to join the struggle against Trump and the world that made him.


March 6, 2018
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
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Wesley Center
2520 Harris St
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