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On today's episode, Kumars and Roqayah were joined by photographer and journalist Alexei Wood. Alexei was one of 212 people arrested and charged over the J20 Trump inauguration-day protests from almost one year ago. He and five other defendants, all facing decades in prison, were recently acquitted of all charges. Alexei shares with us what happened that day leading to the mass arrest, and what he's been dealing with for the past year fighting these charges. We discussed the other 188 defendants still in limbo, with prosecutors signaling that they intend to pursue convictions on at least some of the original charges. We talk about the collective defense strategy adopted by a majority of the defendants, with over 130 of them signing on to a statement decrying the political nature of these arrests, refusing to cooperate with prosecutors or other law enforcement, and refusing to accept plea deals. Finally, we discuss the importance of building alternative institutions on the left to support those engaged in direct action and to mitigate the chilling effects of state repression.
You can follow Alexei on twitter at @LexShoots. Make sure to check out the J20 collective defense page and support the remaining J20 defendants however you are able.
A transcript for this episode will be provided upon request. Please send an email to deleteuracct @ gmail to get a copy sent to you when it is completed.