Anti-Trump protesters facing decades behind bars
More than 200 anti-Trump protesters are facing felony charges that could land some in prison for 70 to 80 years.
When Olivia Alsip travelled to the capital to protest against the inauguration of right-wing US President Donald Trump, she didn’t imagine she would end the day behind bars and later face up to 80 years in prison.
Thousands of people journeyed from across the US to Washington, DC, to protest on the first day of Trump’s presidency, January 20.
During the swearing-in, Alsip was among the more than 230 protesters arrested when officers from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) blocked off a large area and hauled off nearly everyone. “I am wondering if my 24th birthday next week will be my last as a free person,” she says by telephone from Chicago. “I’ve never in my life had such a painful and stressful experience. There are no words to convey the severity of this.” “Our experience in police custody [that day] was totally dehumanising. We were kettled, treated like animals and denied basic human rights and dignity,” she recollects. “People were forced to urinate on the streets and denied water and food.” The arrests came after Black Bloc anarchists and anti-fascists clashed with police. Officers fired rubber bullets and tear gas at protesters.
Anti-Trump chants were occasionally drowned out by the thuds of sound grenades and smoke bombs.
Left behind was broken glass from the windows of cafes, restaurants and banks. Declarations of resistance marked the walls and pavements: “Make racists afraid again,” and “F*ck Trump”.