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Inspiring Riots: Donald Trump, Nicole Thomas-Kennedy, and Me
October 17, 2021
by William P. Meyers

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H Rap Brown charges should be made against Trump, Nicole Thomas-Kennedy

You know who Donald Trump is, and his role, as documented so far, in the January 6, 2021 riots in Washington D.C. Unless you are from Seattle or read this blog regularly, you have not heard of Nicole Thomas-Kennedy, who is running for Seattle City Attorney. But you will hear a lot about her if she wins, mainly from Republicans, who plan to use her story to wipe out the Democratic Party in the 2022 midterm elections and beyond. Then there is me. And we three all have one thing in common. We have all encouraged the unlawful activity known as rioting. But only I was charged by authorities for it. I feel it is only fair that since my riot was not much of a riot, but Trump's was a treasonous insurrection and Nicole's hurt many humans and their property, Trump and Nicole should be charged by the courts.

You may not remember the H. Rap Brown Act. They don't seem to charge people under it much anymore, but it was a big deal back when I was a young activist. It was part of the Civil Rights Act of 1968. It made it a federal crime to incite a riot or to aid and abet a riot, if anyone in the riot had crossed state lines or national borders to participate in the riot. It was first used against the civil rights activist H. Rap Brown, hence the common name.

My Rap Brown story was a long time ago, in the mid-1980s, in Seattle. I had been to the German protests and riots in 1984 over the placement of Pershing II missiles there. I had been impressed by the tactics used by the Autonomen movement there. I had found the riots liberating; I had never been at a riot in the U.S., though I had committed Civil Disobedience several times and spent some time in custody for that.

Working with a tiny coalition of some of Seattle's most radical groups, I helped organize No Business As Usual Day. Throw in the usual far-left grievances and the fact there was no particular trigger for the event, and it was the Reagan era, and you can imagine it. Not that many people showed up. But I was supposed to give a speech and for some reason my usual clumsy tongue was filled with revolutionary spirit and I gave a great, fire brand of a speech in front of the Federal Building in downtown Seattle. I wish I had a recording or transcript of the speech, but I don't. I spoke of the history of the violence used by the U.S. government to commit social injustice at home and international injustice everywhere. Then I urged the small crowd to follow me into building and go up to the offices of the U.S. Congressman, whoever that was at that time.

Not surprisingly, guards tried to stop us. I argued we had a right to see the Congressman and, not surprisingly, the guards were not as swept away by my argument as the crowd had been. They ordered us to disperse. We refused to disperse. They started trying to grab us. I had had too much nonviolent civil disobedience training and, going into that mode, was collared by the guards. But everyone else go out safely. I was thrown in a holding cell, alone. After some time I was questioned by a federal security guy. I refused to say anything. It was not bad, I was in no particular discomfort. I had been tortured by the police in Germany, and got through that okay, so I felt like a pretty tough activist in those days. Eventually they issued me a summons and told me to go home. I found out the protestors did the usual marching around and caused no harm, though the organizers tried to put the best radical spin on it that they could.

THEN the harassment started. I was charged under the H. Rap Brown Law with inciting a riot. Fortunately it was Seattle. I got a good civil rights lawyer, he bargained with the federal prosecutor. When we finally came before a federal judge he thought the remaining charges (they had bargained down to disobeying a federal officer) were ridiculous, told the prosecutor so, and I walked out a free man.

So compare Trump. In my case, as far as I know, no one crossed state lines to attend. In Trump's case, they were recruited from all over the nation. In my case, we did not breech the line of security guards, in Trump's case his people did. I doubt there was any property damage after my speech. In Trump's case there was. No one was hurt in my riot. Many people were hurt in Trump's riot.

So prosecute the snake. It is particularly serious when those who are supposed to uphold the law choose instead to break it. Trump clearly violated the H. Rap Brown Act. The Act was part of a Civil Rights Act, meant to discourage rioting but encourage integration of the races and equal justice for all. Trump's riot was about personal power and had a strong tinge of racism. Let him rot in prison for the rest of his life. At least try the bastard, he'll have way better lawyers than I did, maybe they will prove me wrong.

Then we have the case of Nicole Thomas-Kennedy. When I was 30 or so I would have thought she was great. What a fire brand! Despite having a degree to allow her to practice in our all-the-justice-money-can-buy legal system. I have seen several conflicting dates for her birth date, but age 35 to 45 likely covers the range. She claims she dropped out of high school, "bounced around", but later "entered recovery" [had been alcoholic or drug addict] and then started back to school. Eventually she did law school (Seattle University) and became a public defender. She became an Abolitionist, by which she means there should be no jails and no prosecution. More specifically, she says the criminal laws that the Seattle City Attorney is supposed to enforce, misdemeanor laws, should not be enforced at all. Felonies are prosecuted by King County, which has Seattle as its county seat. She says misdemeanors are minor infractions like stealing a sandwich if you are hungry, and ridiculous to enforce. She forgets that you get 3 meals a day in jail, so that solves your hunger problem. And she knows, but does not want voters to know, that being the victim of a misdemeanor can be a pretty painful thing. Don't trust me, check out the Seattle Criminal Code. It is kind of strange for a woman to say she won't enforce the domestic violence law. Ooops, once pointed out, she backed off on that one.

But to get back to the H. Rap Brown Law, when Thomas-Kennedy surprised many people by getting through the primary, and looking like the next City Attorney because the liberal/progressive Democratic Party and socialist parties were all backing her, someone did some opposition research.

Oops. She had forgotten to take down her tweets. Not as smart as she claims to be.

In much of 2020 Seattle had daily demonstrations that often turned to property destruction or violence. And perhaps she participated in that. She certainly tweeted about it. She attacked the police, she cheered on rioters, bombers, arsonists. She mocked police reform proposals.

Did she give a speech? I do not know. So many people gave so many speeches during those demonstrations. But do you have to give a speech to break the Brown Act? I don't think so. The law is broad, and includes promoting, participating, or aiding and abetting. It is not hard to imagine that someone like Nicole was out there, that at least some tweets were in the moment, at the scenes, that she was encouraging violence against citizens and the police. In contrast to my situation, lots of people crossed state lines for the riots, particularly going back and forth between Seattle and Portland.

So where is the prosecution? Nowhere. Not because Nicole is not prosecutable (though someone would have to gather evidence and try to prosecute her to find out). But because Pete Holmes, who she beat in the primary, is a fellow Democrat. And the county prosecutor is a Democrat. And the current federal prosecutor is working for a Democratic administration.

On the whole I don't see much point to prosecuting Nicole. The Seattle riots were caused by police murders of people and general dissatisfaction with the economic and political system. That is a far different story than the Trump riot, which was aimed at keeping him in power.

I think if the citizens of Seattle want to go through our criminal code and legalize some things, or change sentencing guidelines, that would be fine. But that is the job of the City Council, not the City Attorney. We already know the potential disaster of abolishing misdemeanors because we have had people, street people so far, commit crimes and tell the police "You can't arrest me, its just a misdemeanor." They did not realize the abolition had not happened yet. But the more organized criminals are waiting for the day, calculating exactly what they will be able to get away with under the Kennedy regime.

That is frightening to anyone with any sense.

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