Legal Update on the Battle to Free the RNC16

October 10, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Joey Johnson with the support of the Revolution Club burned the American flag outside the Republican National Convention to protest the toxic chauvinism and reactionary ideas of all stripes surrounding Trump's nomination. Photo: Special to

The battle to free the RNC 16 is on–in the streets, in the battle for public opinion, and in the courts. On September 15, attorneys filed motions charging that the arrests were “content-based policing” that “is unconstitutional and utterly unacceptable.” They said, “Flag burning is protected free speech activity.” And that “the City of Cleveland chose to stop these individuals from burning the flag, in violation of their constitutional rights, when Chief of Police Calvin Williams and several other officers pushed into the circle of protesters gathered around the flag to ensure the safety of all present.”

Jacqueline Greene, Co-Coordinator of the Ohio Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild and partner at the law firm of Friedman & Gilbert, as well as one of the lawyers who filed motions to dismiss, said the City of Cleveland had chosen “to prosecute these cases in an attempt to cover up the unconstitutional actions of the police.”

Joey Johnson has announced that the RNC 16 “will be filing a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security, the Secret Service, the FBI, the City of Cleveland, the Cleveland Police Department, Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams, and Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty for false arrest, for assault pursuant to a false arrest, and malicious prosecution of the RNC 16. We are putting them on trial for violating their own laws, undermining Texas v. Johnson, in order to politically suppress and repress the RNC 16 because of our righteous message, and thereby having a ‘chilling effect’ on people’s freedom to express themselves by burning the flag.”

Stay tuned to for developments.


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