For Immediate Release: August 27, 2017
August 27: DC organizers condemn the DOJ’s attack on local organizing
On August 27th—Washington, DC
DreamHost stood up to the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) broad demand for data meant to intimidate local organizers in Washington, DC. Resist This! applauds DreamHost’s efforts to stand up for their users and believes that the DOJ is attempting to suppress the right to organize in the nation’s capital. Resist This! is the post-DisruptJ20 collective which continues to organize spokes councils for the broader left in Washington, DC.
While the IP addresses of visitors are no longer requested by the government, this remains a fishing expedition that strikes fear into those that interact with political websites. David Thurston of Resist This states: “This warrant represents a rogue state determined to suppress dissent. Activists with Resist This! and our allies in the DMV community will not be scared into silence -we will continue to organize. In the wake of Charlottesville, we need to resist white supremacy and all toxic ideologies Trump represents. We demand an immediate dismissal of all charges from Inauguration.”
The United States government is trying to obtain the communications of anti-Trump protestors who participated in the resistance on Inauguration Day. With their warrant for the website server for disruptj20.org, they will have access to any communications that went through the website, including any information submitted through the website’s contact form. For example, as Dreamhost’s counsel mentioned in court on Thursday, if someone used the contact form to offer housing for protestors for the weekend, the government will now have access to their email’s content, their email address, and the IP address the email was sent from.
In a free and democratic society, the right to organize and protest is fundamental. With that, we must respect the right to freedom of association and anonymity, particularly when folks’ politics directly oppose the current regime. The court decided that Dreamhost must hand over all information on the server, and the court and law enforcement together will decide what is relevant and seal the rest. We do not trust that the government operates on such good faith. We also do not trust the government and court’s determination of what is relevant to this case, and fear for the upcoming breaches to privacy.
Protest participants and organizers alike need to live without fear of intimidation and suppression of the right to organize. Dreamhost hinted in court that they may plan to appeal this decision, which we urge them to follow through on. The DisruptJ20 website was a hub of various protests against Donald Trump on Inauguration Day, and the privacy of all those involved must be protected.
Resist This! rejects all forms of domination and oppression, particularly those based on racism, poverty, gender & sexuality, organizes by consensus and embraces a diversity of tactics.
Resist This! does not collaborate with law enforcement.