NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 09: Honoree, Activist and Organizer We The Protesters Deray McKesson attends the LinkedIn Next Wave Event at The Empire State Building on September 9, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Joe Kohen/Getty Images for LinkedIn). Featured Image
There is no universe in which both of these decisions are correct. The California judgment was right; the Louisiana decision was grievously, horribly, scandalously wrong. One can only hope that the full Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals will heed the wisdom of the California district court (and 75 years of Supreme Court precedent) and call its erring panel sharply to heel.
Let’s start with the fascists. As documented by ProPublica in 2017, RAM is a collection of white-supremacist thugs who train in violent tactics and deploy them to break up left-wing demonstrations. Members of RAM took part in the 2017 Unite the Right demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia, at which a counter-demonstrator, Heather Heyer, was killed. They’ve also fought street battles up and down the West Coast—and those acts induced federal prosecutors in California to charge four of them with conspiring to violate the federal Anti-Riot Act. This act criminalizes traveling or using interstate commerce “with intent to incite … organize, promote, encourage, participate in, or carry on a riot,” or commit, or abet, “any act of violence in furtherance of a riot.” Violations can be punished by up to five years in prison.