FEATURING SCOTT MICHELMAN – Thursday was a good day for the First Amendment when the case of the inauguration day protesters resulted in the acquittal of all 6 defendants. Thirty eight-year old Jennifer Armento, 26 year-old Michelle Macchio, 28 year-old Oliver Harris, 27 year-old Brittne Lawson, 20 year-old Christina Simmons, and 27 year-old Alexei Wood, 27, were all found not guilty of a number of charges that included rioting, property destruction, and conspiracy. They had faced decades in prison.
The trial bodes well for more than a hundred other activists who were arrested last January in Washington DC during mass protests on the day that Donald Trump was inaugurated as President. With more protests planned in the coming year the right to dissent faces a number of obstacles.
Scott Michelman, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU of the District of Columbia.