January 6 prisoners evacuated on stretchers after guards gas them

On Friday, the attorney for Kelly Meggs, one of the prisoners being held without bail for events on January 6, filed a notice informing the United States District Court for the District of Columbia of a report that guards had negligently or intentionally disbursed a toxic substance in such a way that prisoners were inundated with it, resulting in several being evacuated on stretchers. Meggs’s lawyer also mentioned the dire conditions in the jail and requested, that the court release on bail those arrested in connection with events on January 6.

Here, in its entirety, is what Meggs told his family about the gas incident in the jail, all because one of the detainees didn’t want to wear a mask (which they’re forced to wear 24/7, even when in solitary):

When a January 6 detainee in the CTF / D.C. jail refused to wear a mask, the guards responded with some kind of mace or pepper spray.

This created a disturbance and the wing was locked down at 10 AM.

“They sprayed mace or some type of gas at an inmate and kept missing so it went into an intake that fed into other cells and the lady with the key left because she didn't like the gas, so the inmates in the cells who were being fed the gas from that intake were locked in for like 15 minutes while it was going into their rooms and they couldn't see/breathe.”

“Had to take some guys out in stretchers to the med bays”

That is. it seems to have been the ventilation system acting on its own that created most of the problems, although one wonders if the initial action was the correct action.

There may have been much more of a confrontation and disturbance, but counsel has no confirmation of that.

Other reports are that three detainees were taken out on stretchers, although it is not clear if this was merely preventative.

It is not clear if this led to more than one detainee being in a conflict with guards.

Kelly Meggs was not in one of the cells that the gas was being cycled into by the ventilation system.

The attorney, clearly, is trying not to exacerbate things even more when it comes to the guards’ treatment of prisoners, but we’ve heard about what’s being done to them. This is un-American in the extreme: It’s cruel and unusual punishment and the denial of the right to a speedy trial, not to mention overcharging political prisoners.

Image: Contemporaneous painting showing Richard II meeting with Wat Tyler (and Tyler is about to be killed by London’s Mayor). Public domain.

And while I’m discussing January 6, I’d like to point out something that I wish I’d thought of in January. Let me take you back in time, back to 1381. That was the year of the Peasants’ Revolt, when a group of peasants, led by Wat Tyler, headed from Canterbury to London to demand economic and social reforms. The trigger was a newly imposed “poll tax” that was imposed equally on each citizen, from the peasants to the lords. It was obviously a much greater burden on the former than the latter.

By the time the peasants reached London, they were violent, opening prisons, robbing homes, destroying records, and killing anyone they thought was associated with the now-hated government. On June 15, 1381, at great risk to himself, King Richard II, aged 14, went to meet with the rebels. It was a fraught meeting that ended with Tyler’s death, so I’m not recommending it as a model of political negotiation. I just want to note Richard’s courage.

There are other examples of leaders facing down overwrought crowds. Four-hundred-and-two years later, in 1783, as the American Revolution was winding to an end, the officers in the Continental Army hadn’t been paid for months, so they started to plot a coup. Washington learned of the planned meeting and allowed it to take place. He then showed up to read a letter from Congress begging the officers to be patient.

Washington looked at the letter, squinted, and then put his glasses on, something the shocked men had never seen him do. Then, Washington spoke the words that reduced many of them to tears: “Gentlemen, you will permit me to put on my spectacles, for, I have grown not only gray, but almost blind in the service of my country.” That was the end of the coup.

When the American people entered Congress, not a single politician had the courage to go out and face them. Every politician ran away and hid. Even now, Marjorie Taylor Greene is the only politician with the courage to force her way into the prison to speak with the captives. What a pathetic bunch of poltroons we have placed in a government that was created by great men and once was home to them too.

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