Update from Washington D.C.: The Department of Interior has dropped the charges against the 21 activists arrested during the Reclaim Power March on April 18th.
About one thousand people marched to the Dept. of Interior in an unpermitted march organized by Rising Tide North America and Peaceful Uprising, singing “We Shall Overcome.” Hundreds of activists then stormed the building’s lobby for an occupation that lasted several hours and resulted in 21 arrests.
Today, all 21 were in court for their arraignment. Some planned on going to trial. But then there was a strange turn. The Dept of Interior essentially dropped all charges.
Here’s a firsthand account from one of the DOI 21:
The court called us up front and, one by one, called us up to the clerk who gave us a paper which said, in part, “The US Attorney’s office for the District of Columbia or the office of the Attorney General for the D. of C. has declined to proceed with prosecution against you for the incident that led to your arrest for the offense of UNLAWFUL ENTRY. This means that your arrest has been NO PAPERED. However, the prosecuting attorney could seek to proceed with prosecution at a later date.
Our lawyer afterwards said that in 20 years of experience he knows of only one case where someone who was “no papered” was later prosecuted for the charge.
The 21 of us went outside the courthouse and after exchanging hugs we sang “If I Had a Hammer” together. We also talked about the next big action for many of us, the March on Blair Mountain. We were all juiced!”
Was it the threat of taking it to court, the sheer number of arrestees, or the upcoming presidential election that swayed them?
Maybe all three.