Federal Judge Grants Defense Motion and Dismisses Charges Against Members of the Nazi Organization, Rise Above Movement

The following comes from some discussion contributors to Three Way Fight have had after, on June 4th, a federal judge granted a defense motion and dismissed charges against three members of the Nazi organization, Rise Above Movement (RAM). The two count indictment, under the federal Anti-Riot Act, were deemed by the presiding judge to be a “violation of the First Amendment”. After the State made multiple arrests and the charging of RAM members – including the FBI’s seizure and extradition of a RAM leader back to the US from Mexico – what does this dropping of charges mean?
R.A.M. – Photo by Brian Feinzimer
It’s Going Down posts a good article outlining those questions and the cases potential relation to U.S. based revolutionary antifascist movements.

For us, the main impact is that one of the tools the State could potentially use against our movements took a very significant hit, which is always good news. – IGD interview

To be clear, the charges were dismissed by the court – not dropped by the government. The attorneys for the RAM defendants filed motions arguing that the indictments should be dismissed because the federal Anti-Riot Act is unconstitutional. The government opposed those motions and lost. The dismissal is certainly a defeat for the government and a victory for the militant far-right and white nationalists.
The ruling is notable should the government charge anti-fascists and other Leftists under the federal anti-riot statute; the government might re-consider using this statute in the future and stick to usual strategies.

It’s also at least arguable that they were looking to test out the Anti-Riot Act to see how it would hold up. The Anti-Riot Act is incredibly broad and covers a lot of conduct, which eases the evidentiary burden on the prosecution, but it’s also rarely used and relatively untested from a legal standpoint. – IGD interview

In light of the dismissal we should imagine the far-right is celebrating this ruling. 
The outcome makes the point that while the ruling may embolden far rightists in the short term, it weakens one of the legal repression tools that the state can use against the left.  Also, and of specific relation to revolutionary antifascists, the IGD interviews last section calls for “rejecting the reductive logic of ‘my enemy’s enemy is my friend'” and “continu[ing] to articulate how the State vs. fascist drama is a power struggle between two poles that both have incredibly destructive designs for us.”
For more background on the RAM case, read the October 17, 2018 article Autonomous Antifascism, State Repression & Arrests By Northern California Anti-Racist Action

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