Acquitted J20 Defendant Alexei Wood Talks About Conspiracy, Solidarity, and Kangaroo Courts

Even a cursory glance at Texas photojournalist Alexei Wood’s body of work on his website Lex Shoots confirms his stated self-conception as a “narrative warrior.” He writes there: “Make no mistake, resistance cultures and conflicts are my beat.”

On December 21, a jury in Washington D.C.’s Superior Court, Judge Lynn Leibovitz presiding, acquitted Wood and five other defendants of all seven felony and misdemeanor charges related to their arrests at the street protests on President Trump’s Inauguration Day—January 20, 2017. Wood was there livestreaming the demonstration and came under special court scrutiny for his role as a journalist. In her rejection of defense attorneys’ motion for acquittal, Judge Leibovitz said:

“With respect to Mr. Wood, a reasonable juror could find that he was a principal and an aider and abettor of the riot. Yes, he was there filming. There is no evidence in the record that that was for a purpose inconsistent with participation in the riot.”

On the morning after the 42 “not guilty” verdicts beat a steady drum for the continued survival of First Amendment protections of speech, assembly, and press for yet another day, I spoke to Wood on the telephone.

Frances Madeson: Last January you traveled from Texas without a specific professional assignment, planning to cover the Disrupt J20 and Women’s March demonstrations in Washington, D.C. Why did you think it was important to livestream these demonstrations on January 20?

Read the interview at THE PROGRESSIVE