On January 20, 2017, while tens of thousands protested the inauguration of Donald Trump in Washington, DC, the police closed off an entire city block and arrested everyone on it. The arrestees were all charged with 8 felonies each. This kind of indiscriminate judicial harassment is unprecedented; it was surely ordered from the top. The first trial ended with all the defendants completely exonerated and prosecutors were forced to drop the charges against 129 more arrestees. Yet 59 people still face these charges.

The goal is clearly to terrorize protesters out of the streets. Even if every single defendant is declared innocent, the charges themselves are the punishment.