The January 6th, 2021 ‘riot’ where the Capitol building was invaded, a woman was shot and killed by the police, an officer died, and a bunch of other mayhem occured continues to be trotted out as the very worst of American uncivil discourse.
Depending upon who you are talking to it also seems to have happened in a vacuum, as the riots of 2020 seem to have been categorized as ‘mostly peaceful’ and that was that. While the actions taken by the masses on the 6th were certainly uncivil, they weren’t singular. They came after a full year of tacitly endorsed misbehavior, so long as it was against the correct team, and the resulting collective slide and response from the opposing opinion faction.
Events like Kenosha, Seattle, and D.C. are always looked at by groups looking for clout as opportunity so it is little wonder groups like the Proud Boys (in D.C.) and Antifa in places like CHAZ in Seattle look to push their perfect world views when the eyes are on these places. They ‘express’ themselves and their view of the wrongs of the world.
A judge has not concurred that what happened in D.C. was merely ‘expressive’, and protected therefore, in this instance.
From the Charlotte Observer,
A federal judge refused to dismiss an indictment charging four alleged leaders of the far-right Proud Boys with conspiring to attack the U.S. Capitol to stop Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s electoral victory.
U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly on Tuesday rejected defense attorneys’ arguments that the four men — Ethan Nordean, Joseph Biggs, Zachary Rehl and Charles Donohoe — are charged with conduct that is protected by the First Amendment right to free speech.
Kelly said the defendants had many nonviolent ways to express their opinions about the 2020 presidential election.
“Defendants are not, as they argue, charged with anything like burning flags, wearing black armbands, or participating in mere sit-ins or protests,” Kelly wrote in his 43-page ruling. “Moreover, even if the charged conduct had some expressive aspect, it lost whatever First Amendment protection it may have had.”
Nordean, Biggs, Rehl and Donohoe were indicted in March on charges including conspiracy and obstructing an official proceeding. All four of them remain jailed while they await a trial scheduled for May.
Defense lawyers also argued that the obstruction charge doesn’t apply to their clients’ cases because Congress’ certification of the Electoral College vote was not an “official proceeding.” Kelly disagreed.