Here is the law the Justice Department should charge him with but won’t. “1968
April 11 Congress Passes Anti-Riot Act
The Anti-Riot Act was a response to the urban riots of 1964–1967, which some people saw as being instigated by radicals who did not live in the local communities where particular riots actually occurred (“outside agitators,” in one of the common labels of the time).
The law was one section of the 1968 Civil Rights Act that included both the federal Fair Housing Act, outlawing housing discrimination based on race, and the Indian Civil Rights Act (see the other events on this day).
The Anti-Riot Act is sometimes known as the “Rap Brown Law,” after the SNCC leader who some believed had incited disturbances in a number of incidents. The law was most famously used to prosecute leaders of demonstrations at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago (see August 28, 1968). Members of the “Chicago Seven” were convicted of violating the law on February 18, 1970, but had their convictions overturned on appeal.
The law: “a) (1) Whoever travels in interstate or foreign commerce or uses any facility of interstate or foreign commerce or uses any facility of interstate or foreign commerce, including, but not limited to, the mail, telegraph, telephone, radio, or television, with intent – (A) to incite a riot; or (B) to organize, promote, encourage, participate in, or carry on a riot; or (C) to commit any act of violence in furtherance of a riot; or (D) to aid or abet any person in inciting or participating in or carrying on a riot or committing any act of violence in furtherance of a riot. . . .
18 U.S. Code § 2102. Definitions
(a) As used in this chapter, the term “riot” means a public disturbance involving (1) an act or acts of violence by one or more persons part of an assemblage of three or more persons, which act or acts shall constitute a clear and present danger of, or shall result in, damage or injury to the property of any other person or to the person of any other individual or (2) a threat or threats of the commission of an act or acts of violence by one or more persons part of an assemblage of three or more persons having, individually or collectively, the ability of immediate execution of such threat or threats, where the performance of the threatened act or acts of violence would constitute a clear and present danger of, or would result in, damage or injury to the property of any other person or to the person of any other individual.
(b) As used in this chapter, the term “to incite a riot”, or “to organize, promote, encourage, participate in, or carry on a riot”, includes, but is not limited to, urging or instigating other persons to riot, but shall not be deemed to mean the mere oral or written (1) advocacy of ideas or (2) expression of belief, not involving advocacy of any act or acts of violence or assertion of the rightness of, or the right to commit, any such act or acts.
(Added Pub. L. 90–284, title I, § 104(a), Apr. 11, 1968, 82 Stat. 76.)
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