We all remember the images of January 6th. Actually, there were two sets of images from January 6th–the ones we were initially shown that looked somewhat scary and the ones the court made the Justice Department release that showed the police inviting people into the Capitol Building. Nevertheless, there were some people on January 6th that did things that were illegal and should have been dealt with by the legal system. Unfortunately, as we have seen, those arrested were not dealt with in a manner consistent with equal justice under the law.
Today The U.K. Daily Mail is reporting that dozens of climate activists forced their way into the Interior Department building demanding that President Joe Biden cease approvals for fossil fuel infrastructure and lead a renewable energy transformation.
The article reports:
The dramatic scenes came during five days of demonstrations in the capital organized by a Native American climate group calling itself ‘People vs Fossil Fuels’, which is demanding that President Joe Biden cease approvals for fossil fuel infrastructure and lead a renewable energy transformation.
Footage shared by Washington Post reporter Ellie Silverman shows protestors pushing their way into the Interior Department, while chanting ‘sign the treaty’ and ‘protect the water’.
…Interior Secretary Deb Haaland was traveling Thursday and was not in the building during the chaotic protest.
Haaland, a member of the Laguna Pueblo tribe in New Mexico, is the first Native American Interior secretary.
‘Interior Department leadership believes strongly in respecting and upholding the right to free speech and peaceful protest,” Melissa Schwartz, a spokeswoman for Haaland, said in a statement.
‘Centering the voices of lawful protesters is and will continue to be an important foundation of our democracy. It is also our obligation to keep everyone safe. We will continue to do everything we can to de-escalate the situation while honoring First Amendment rights.”
She said protesters who were arrested were taken in for booking.
The article notes:
Capitol Police said 78 people were arrested on obstruction or crowding charges. Three of those arrested also were charged with assault on a police officer.
Does anyone want to speculate on whether or not any of those arrested will be placed in solitary confinement? Does anyone want to speculate on whether or not any of those arrested will still be in jail nine months from now? The way this situation was and is being handled in contrast to the way the January 6th protest was handled tells us all we need to know about the priorities of our current Justice Department. We have become (or are in serious danger of becoming) a banana republic. Our First Amendment rights are only being upheld when they align with the current political administration. Americans need to learn how to stand up for their First Amendment rights or we are going to permanently lose them.