(Nov. 2) Federal and local officials should now be planning to conduct mass arrests and prosecutions for participants and especially organizers of a planned insurrection called “ShutDownDC.”

The very name and announced intentions of the group would be, if carried out, illegal. It is blatantly illegal to impede traffic deliberately (without a permit), force business closures, and harass residents. If some of the group’s implied threats to “escalate” to possible violence are carried out, the offenses would be even worse, and they should be punished as harshly as the law allows.

This is serious stuff. The ShutDownDC website already held a virtual training called “Escalating Resistance in Times of Crisis: Mass Rebellion.” It involved “planning for social disruption in economic centers using creative tactics. We’ll explore some differences between protest and rebellion!”

Well, if these aren’t protests but rebellion, they are patently illegal and must be met with the concentrated, organized force of law. Legal protests, ones that do not harm the rights or property of innocents, are a wonderful feature of a constitutional republic. Protests that do harm the rights of innocents are crimes. Those that foment or use violence are major felonies. And open rebellion, unlike mere protest, is by law (the Insurrection Act of 1807, as amended) unambiguous grounds for the president to use the military to suppress it.

And this was restated again as part of Public Law 114-328 in 2016.

The “organizing principles” of ShutDownDC call for “disruptive direct action.” Memo: If their actions disrupt the lawful rights of others, those actions are illegal. To be more specific, the plan for the day after the election is to “disrupt business as usual for some of the intuitions [sic] that are most complicit in Trump’s attack on Democracy.” On Nov. 5, they plan to “shut down the White House.” On Nov. 6, they plan to shut down all “business as usual in the nation’s capital.”

All this comes after they already have held “coordinated road-block training” (illegal), “mass rebellion training,” and numerous “direct action training” sessions. …



Tags: , , ,