Free Joey Johnson & the RNC16! Flagburning is NOT a Crime!
Organized by: Cheryl Lessin
June 28: Attend the trial of two defendants charged with felonies
April 10, 2017
Gregory “Joey” Johnson and others from the Revolution Club burned the American flag on July 20, 2016 in front of the Republican National Convention the day Donald Trump was nominated. Johnson and 15 others—the RNC16—currently face serious criminal charges in Cleveland, OH. Your financial contributions are urgently needed right now as this legal case moves forward. The battle to free the RNC16 is one of the first legal challenges to the dangerous and deadly regime Trump intends to impose.
Going into the RNC, Trump had been projecting his fascist message of law and order, white supremacy, ‘build the wall’ scapegoating of immigrants and Muslims, disgusting misogyny and naked “USA #1 chauvinism…and in the face of that, Joey Johnson & the Revolution Club went right up to the gates of the fascist RNC rally, linked arms in a circle, chanting, “1, 2, 3, 4—Slavery, Genocide, and War! 5, 6, 7, 8—America Was NEVER Great!” In the middle stood Gregory “Joey” Johnson, the same Johnson who was the defendant in the U.S. Supreme Court case Texas v. Johnson (1989) that established flag burning as protected speech.
This prosecution of the RNC16 looms even larger in light of Trump’s flagburning decree. On November 29, Donald Trump sent a tweet threat: “Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag—if they do, there must be consequences—perhaps loss of citizenship or a year in jail.” Since then, at every stop on his “Victory Tour,” Trump has repeated this threat, whipping up fascist mobs across the country to terrorize, threaten, and intimidate anyone from carrying out constitutionally protected free speech, and to cheer his calls for enforced patriotism and criminalizing dissent. It is reminiscent of Nazi Germany, where it was a crime to profane the Swastika.
When he lit the flag on fire at the RNC, Joey announced: “We’re standing with the people of the world today! We’re taking a stand against this imperialist Republican National Convention. Donald Trump is an open fascist. Hillary Clinton is a proven war criminal. We’re not following either one of their leaders...America #1? America first? It always has been first: at genocide, at slavery, at exploitation, at destruction of the environment, at torture... We’re standing here with the people of the world today...” Then Joey lit the flag on fire.
Even before the flag was lit a mob of police and fascist Infowars Trump operatives assaulted the protective perimeter of Revolution Club members. The police violently arrested at least 16 people. The system, with its Secret Service, FBI, and Cleveland police and the "alt-right" (fascist!) Alex Jones/Infowars Trump operatives were all collaborating together to spy on and attack the Revolution Club even though the system’s own court said flagburning is protected political speech.
Be part of stopping the Trump regime—and resisting every crime he carries out and every new assault he and his followers unleash. Defending the RNC16 is a key part of fighting to defend the right of people to stand up and protest, to speak freely what is on their minds, and to not be forced to risk physical assault, jail, denial of citizenship or death to do so.
Your contribution will enable the RNC16 to:
- Cover the thousands of dollars in travel expenses for defendants to get to Cleveland for court hearings from around the country
- Enable Joey Johnson and other RNC16 defendants to travel and speak about the case on college campuses and communities around the country. They have already been speaking at colleges and law schools, with more coming up next semester
- Pay for literature, posters, and other awareness raising materials