A Tale of Two Protests: Lafayette Park Versus Jan 6th


While the conversation that swirls around the Capitol protest on Jan. 6, 2021, is robust, often contentious, and rife with speculation, the silence regarding the Lafayette Park protests is deafening. No one talks about them. The contrast is stark, particularly as it relates to how justice is being delivered after the two events. Many Americans either do not know or have forgotten that the Lafayette Park protests inflamed by George Floyd's death raged on for four days steps from the White House between May 29 and Jun. 1, 2020. It is curious indeed. Even "curiouser" is the weaponization of our justice system unfolding before our very eyes, with little or no comment from a majority of Americans in real life.

According to a Jun. 2 statement from United States Park Police (USPP) acting Chief Gregory T. Monahan, the Lafayette protests devolved into daily riots where individuals damaged property and injured many law enforcement officers. Monahan states, "During four days of demonstrations, 51 members of the USPP were injured; of those, 11 were transported to the hospital and released, and three were admitted...protestors became more combative, continued to throw projectiles, and attempted to grab officers' weapons..." 

One way to sharpen the conversation about the alleged weaponization of justice is to compare the J6 Capitol protest with the protests at Lafayette Park during the 2020 summer of the "mostly peaceful George Floyd protests." It seems the conclusion advanced by many is to wantonly ignore the facts of both protests, ending up in a place where the seemingly favored political class is allowed to commit crimes, upend lives, and move on with impunity while using the full weight and power of our Department of Justice to do it. In an OpEd that speaks to these issues of unequal justice, Shawn Bradley Witzemann, a J6 defendant himself, sheds light on decades of police brutality by the DC Metro Police, a force that suddenly became "heroic" once J6 defendants entered the frame. Biased reporting and political posturing have been responsible for unjustly hanging out to dry so many average Americans. Witzemann comments,

"So what changed after decades of shameful allegations, charges, internal reprimands, criminal cases, convictions, and negative public opinion? Strange how when the banner of the victim is flown by another political camp, there is such widespread support for police action—even when it almost certainly contributed to the deaths of multiple peaceful protesters.

The facts speak for themselves, and the answer is quite simple: These [J6] prosecutions, along with the media manipulation and narrative control which facilitates them, are part of a coordinated and well-funded effort to demonize political opponents, criminalize peaceful assembly, and silence all dissent. All of this is disturbingly reminiscent of what happened in Germany in the 1930s and indeed, quite "Hitler-esque"."

There is almost no doubt that the DOJ, motivated by partisan politics, has decided to weaponize the justice system against everyday Americans, many of whom merely walked around taking selfies in and around the Capitol grounds on Jan. 6. The DOJ now plans to arrest those who stood on the grounds peacefully on that day. This guy featured in Julie Kelly's tweet below is DC US Atty Matthew Graves. He hauls out expert levels of gaslighting during his recent news conference; I guess to further the government's twisted version of the J6 narrative. To be clear, the weaponization is not being limited to J6 protestors, but it sure does seem to favor certain classes of people as defined by people more powerful than the average Joe.

During the press conference, Graves clearly stated his intention to go after those who "remained outside the building" because they "knowingly entered the restricted area." We were there, yes. But most, like myself, had no idea we were standing in a restricted area meant to protect elected officials. In fact, the fencing and bike racks had been removed long before our arrival. Indeed, some fencing was installed in early September to serve as construction fencing for the inaugural stage, not to protect Congressional members inside the Capitol during the Electoral College challenge deliberations. The DOJ routinely changes what it means by restricted area to deliver prison sentences for J6 protestors. All you need to do is read the court documents.
New Documentary Level Sets the J6 Conversation
The new documentary on Jan. 6, "J6: A True Timeline," was released on Open.Ink under a new "J6 Collection" should ideally refresh the conversation about the Capitol protest. Tucker Carlson came out this week saying every American should see the film, partly because of its noticeable lack of editorializing. As such, the documentary-style film potentially opens the door to more truthful conversation about the day itself as well as the ways our government and their media lapdogs want Americans to remember one event (J6) and deep six another (Lafayette Park). The film uses meticulously time-stamped, crowdsourced video and audio content to present an unvarnished look at the events of the day as they unfolded. Viewed objectively, the documentary could open the aperture to a clearer conversation about what seems to be going on in our nation with our justice system.

More saliently, if paired with the Inspector General Report reviewing the USPP actions at Lafayette Park, the film should dispel many misconceptions about these two protests. Just listen to the June 2020 Congressional testimony from Johnathan Turley, where he discusses both the riots and their aftermath and the applicable DC law and rules of engagement that were not followed on Jan. 6 and May/June 2020. Or look at the fact that our government settled with Lafayette Park rioters and demanded DC law enforcement amend its procedures in response to protests. There should be little doubt that justice isn't being meted out blindly when J6 defendants are involved.

I would guess most Americans have never read the USPP report, and it is a real shame. The 41-page report exposes more than enough violence and property destruction to justify some kind of punishment for the Lafayette Park protestors. However, it turns out that because Lafayette Park protestors did not "hear" the Park Police warnings that were dispersed with the LRAD device, the courts gave the Lafayette protestors a free pass. J6 defendants have not benefitted from the same kind of leniency or understanding, even though actions taken by law enforcement were quite similar. These and other facts of the case are amply covered in UncoverDC's article as explained by AJ Fischer, a J6 defendant who knows more than most about what happened on the West Side of the Capitol on Jan. 6.

In short, the IG investigation found the following startling and little-known facts about the actions of the rioters and the police in Lafayette Park not limited to but including the following:

  • The Treasure Annex building was vandalized
  • USPP officers reported protestors threw projectiles, such as bricks, rocks, caustic liquids, frozen water bottles, glass bottles, lit flares, rental scooters, and fireworks at law enforcement officials
  • A brick struck a USPP officer in the head, resulting in his hospitalization; 49 officers were injured in the first three days
  • Acts of violence increased in the late afternoon and evenings
  • Damage occurred to Federal and private property
  • Historic statues were vandalized with graffiti and damaged
  • The park's comfort station was set on fire
  • A fire was set at St. John's Church on May 31. 
  • Nearby stores and businesses were looted daily
  • Protestors regularly breached bike-rack fencing and entered secured areas
  • Mayor Bowser ordered a curfew on May 31 because of the looting and vandalizing; according to USPP officers, protestors did not comply with the curfew (p.8)
  • Dispersal warnings were given but allegedly not heard adequately by protestors


It is an undeniable truth that J6 protestors are living a very different and, frankly, hellish reality post-January 6. Lafayette Square protestors: apparently not so much. In fact, from what I can tell, the DOJ has dropped all charges against the Lafayette Square rioters. In the case of the Capitol protest, over 1200 J6ers have been arrested, some in early morning, no-knock raids by the FBI. The DOJ and FBI have announced plans to arrest many more.

Sadly, many J6 defendants are still being held pre-trial in the D.C. jail. Others have already been sentenced to probation with fines, including the infamous Ray Epps. However, per the DOJ's website, others have been sentenced to months or years in Federal prison. It is interesting to note that there is no such DOJ website that is dedicated to tracking the cases or sentences of BLM rioters who committed violence during the summer of 2020.

It is tempting to compare the George Floyd riots that raged in Minneapolis and other cities across America to the J6 protest. However, the Lafayette Square protest is the best direct comparison. As with J6, it took place in D.C., in this case near the White House, where President Trump was at the time. Both the Lafayette Square protest and the Capitol protest devolved into a riot. Members of Congress were evacuated from the Capitol, and President Trump was forced into an "underground bunker with his family." In both cases, protestors were rowdy and, in some cases, destructive and violent. However, if one were to ignore the noise of the media and political bias, it is not difficult to argue that the events were handled very differently after the fact by the media and our politicians. 

In the case of the Lafayette Square protest, four men were charged, as far as I know. They, according to the DOJ press release, "damaged and attempted to tear down the statue depicting Andrew Jackson located in Lafayette Square." However, as seen in the IG report, many, many others damaged property or committed violence against law enforcement near the White House and elsewhere in D.C. during those protests. I have yet to find a case of a Lafayette protestor sentenced to federal prison. In fact, in response to the Lafayette Park riots, a settlement was made between the rioters and "the U.S. Park Police (USPP) and the US Secret Service have agreed to revise their policies toward demonstrations and crowd control, according to a settlement filed in DC's federal court," according to reporting from CNN. These protestors had the support of the D.C. Mayor at the time. She knew the Lafayette Square protests were not "mostly peaceful" and later called a curfew because of the looting, the fires, and the injuries to law enforcement during the riots.


As is shown in J6: A True Timeline, four people died on Jan. 6, all Trump supporters. It appears law enforcement was woefully and puzzlingly unprepared for the large crowds, and Yogananda Pittman allegedly stood by, watching from her lair as mayhem unraveled. Oddly, Pittman was shifted to a post in Berkeley, CA, following the events of Jan. 6.

Pelosi and others blocked questions from being asked during the Select Committee's "investigation" of J6. Former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund speaks to much of it in his Tucker Carlson interview. He tried multiple times to get permission to deploy the National Guard. Sund believes J6 is one big "cover-up." At a minimum, it was a massive "intelligence failure," Sund's own words. It begs the question of why a National Special Security Event (NSSE) was never called in advance of this event. It simply makes no sense at all. Intelligence prior to the Capitol protests shows law enforcement was discussing the potential for disturbances at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Still, the J6 defendants seem to be the only ones holding the entire bag of blame.

As a final note, J6 Defendant AJ Fischer filed his class action lawsuit against the city of DC and others just before the statute of limitations expired this past week. I wonder if he and the other plaintiffs involved will be granted a settlement in the same way the Lafayette protestors were. Something tells me justice will again be denied. 


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