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Eight Budget Agreement Protesters May Opt To Go To Trial

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Protesters from the April 11 demonstrations answered the charges of unlawful assembly and blocking passage in court May 5.
Jessica Jordan
Protesters from the April 11 demonstrations answered the charges of unlawful assembly and blocking passage in court May 5.

More than a dozen protesters appeared in D.C. Superior Court today, 14 of them from the April 11 protest against the budget deal -- which banned D.C.'s spending on abortions. The 17 protesters were facing charges of unlawful assembly and blocking passage -- the latter for sitting down in the middle of Constitution Avenue during the protest.

That was the protest that featured the arrest of Mayor Gray and other council members. Those officials, along with about 24 others, paid $50 at the time and were not required to come back to court.

Another three in court today were arrested at a later demonstration April 15 on Capitol Hill.

When the protesters arrived in court today they learned they would face an additional charge: failure to obey an officer.

The judge, however, did praise the men and women for showing courage and conviction and standing up for their beliefs.

Nine of the 17 chose to post and forfeit $100, meaning they will not face a trial and possible conviction. The others say they will possibly take it to trial, because it will continue to shine the spotlight on the city’s lack of political and budget autonomy.

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