Crimethinc: I Was a J20 Street Medic and Defendant: How We Survived the First J20 Trial and What We Learned along the Way

During the inauguration of Donald Trump on January 20, 2017, DC police arrested over 200 people and indiscriminately charged all of them with eight or more felonies apiece, hoping to set a precedent that would suppress street protest once and for all. Two years later, we are publishing a series of reflections on the events of that day and the court cases that followed it. In this narrative, a defendant who participated in the first J20 trial block recounts the legal strategy by which they defeated the state and passes on lessons to anyone facing a similar ordeal. The author, Miel, is a street medic who was arrested in the kettle on January 20, participated in the legal support organizing throughout the J20 cases, and continues to fight for a better world, undaunted by the intimidation of the police and courts.

Two year ago today was one of the most significant days of my life.
It was the first day of a long and trying battle for my freedom,
and the freedom of over 200 comrades
whose futures became intricately tied with mine
the moment we stepped into the streets of Washington DC
on that cold January morning.

What It Means to Be a Street Medic

Street medics provide first aid and emergency care at sites of resistance and struggle. Strong networks of mutual support and care are essential to building a sustainable, long-term movement for collective liberation. Being a medic is about being careful with each other so we can be dangerous together. Providing this type of wellness support can be as much about long-term care as it is about being there in the moment. It is an ongoing process of assessing needs, offering resources, and uplifting those with whom we engaged in struggle.

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