On Friday, July 7th, Dane Powell became the first victim of the #DisruptJ20 arrestees to be struck with a jail sentence. Dane is a father, veteran, water protector, and active community member, but will now forever be known as the first political prisoner of the Trump era. Today, he needs your support more than ever. That’s why this week, NYC ABC will be focusing our every-other-week political prisoner letter-writing dinner on Dane.
On January 20th, police across the United States celebrated the inauguration of Trump, confident they would be empowered to terrorize communities with fewer consequences than ever. They wasted no time testing the limits of their new power: on Trump’s first day in office, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) attacked thousands of demonstrators and bystanders with pepper spray & flash grenades, kettled and mass arrested hundreds of them, seized their cell phones, sexually assaulted some behind bars, and later raided an activist’s home.
An emboldened prosecutor is now pursuing charges that threaten to keep these activists imprisoned for decades, and Dane Powell represents the first attempt. Dane is a hero who famously brought a child to safety while MPD attacked children and the elderly in the supportive crowd on J20. Later, he would be pulled out of a car, held in jail for days without almost anyone realizing it, and charged with 14 felonies. He pled to two of those in April and was sentenced to 4 months in jail on July 7th.
Dane is a soft spoken and loving individual. In his interview on It’s Going Down, he explained why he came out to J20: “I could have let other people do it. I let [my daughter] know that we can’t live our lives hoping for someone else to come and fix things for us. When we, or anyone else, is faced with insurmountable oppression we must use our own two feet and hands to dismantle it.”
If for some reason you can’t make it Tuesday, please take a moment to write to Dane on your own time:
Dane Powell DCDC #358 530
1901 D Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003
The deal, as always, is that you come bringing only yourself (and your friends and comrades), and we provide you with a delicious vegan meal, information about the prisoners as well as all of the letter-writing materials and prisoner-letter-writing info you could ever want to use in one evening. In return, you write a thoughtful letter to a political prisoner or prisoner of war of your choosing or, better yet, keep up a long-term correspondence. We’ll also provide some brief updates and pass around birthday cards for the PP/POWs whose birthdays fall in the next two weeks thanks to the PP/POW Birthday Calendar.
Tuesday, August 1st