Washington, D.C. - American University allowed training for major, planned protests at President-elect Trump's Inauguration events this past weekend. This training is nothing but a facilitation of civil unrest and training in how to break the laws.
According to Washington's Top News (WTOP), a group known as DisruptJ20, met at American University this past weekend January 14 - 16 for training sessions on how to disrupt the upcoming Inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump. The group's name references the January 20 Presidential Inauguration date. Multiple workshops were held during this training and experienced protesters were brought in by the group to train new protesters.
What's interesting is that the news media was banned by American University from reporting on the training sessions, which were held in the atrium of the School of International Service. When asked by WTOP about why reporters were not allowed, American University said that they "do not support the training because there are concerns that the program will encourage unlawful or harmful behavior." Camille Lepre, Assistant Vice President for Communications, also said that a media review for the event was not completed in time, so reporters were not allowed access inside the building but were allowed to conduct interviews outside.
This seems to be American University covering itself if something goes wrong, but they should have never hosted training on how to break the law.
It would seem that the group doesn't want its plans, details, identity of members, or other such information made available to the public. That raises questions of what are they trying to hide.
WTOP talked to an organizer outside of the building where DisruptJ20 met, which is all they were allowed to do. The organizer, Lacy MacAuly, said that the training included " hearing from a variety of seasoned activists, in terms of how they conducted protests through the last few decades, to learn how to protest, to learn how to voice our opposition and our concern." The training workshops included how to safely conduct acts of civil disobedience, theories of protest, and discussions on various topics including racial and gender justice. Or that's at least what MacAuly told WTOP.
DisruptJ20 has said that it plans to have protests at each entry point to the Inaugural Day parade, including blockades and blocking traffic. MacAuly also told WTOP that the group "wants to have an impact" and that "it will be a disruption," adding that it will be "loud" and "major." District of Columbia Interim Police Chief Peter Newsham said his agency was prepared for attempts to disrupt the Inauguration and that in addition to police thousands of National Guard members were being activated.
MacAuly also told WTOP that protests would begin Wednesday night January 18, 2017 outside the Chevy Chase, Maryland home of Vice President-elect Mike Pence. A protest is also planned for Thursday evening January 19, 2017 outside the National Press Club, where an Inaugural party is being planned. DisruptJ20 also has a permit for a march from Columbus Circle to McPherson Square at noon on Friday, January 20, 2017. She also said that other spontaneous protests would occur.
On the group's website, DisruptJ20.org, there was mention of last weekend's training but no specific schedule or names of events. There is however, a list of activities for this week and some are disturbing. Titles of the events include 'Protest the Fascist Alt-Right Deploraball', 'Final Non-Violent Direct Action Training', 'Final Legal and De-escalation Training', 'Early Morning Blockade Activities with listed groups including 'Movement for Black Lives, and 'Festival of Resistance.'
The Movement For Black Lives is a coalition of over 50 Black Lives Matter organizations which is receiving $100 million in donations to push their political goals which include taxpayer-funded reparations for black people (see Reparations), and the elimination of charter schools (see Invest-Divest,) among other things.
We find it interesting that a university that is committed to higher learning would ban the press from coverage when these groups normally get the support of the media. We also have to question exactly what DisruptJ20 is planning?
It seems likely that American University is aware of the plans of DisruptJ20, or just supports what they are trying to accomplish, which is to disrupt the Inauguration, (and doesn't know the details). Perhaps, American University thinks that by denying media access, they have plausible deniability for knowing about any violence that may occur. Whatever happens, American University is indirectly responsible.
Do you think American University should have hosted a group which openly that they want to unlawfully disrupt the inauguration? Let us know on our Facebook page or in the comments below.