At Trump’s inauguration, around 200 protesters and journalists were mass arrested and now face up to 70 years in prison on baseless charges. Many other legal assaults on civil liberties are in the works around the country, from treating anti-fascists as “domestic terrorists”, to legislation protecting drivers who run over peaceful marchers.

To explore what this means for U.S. activists today, Abby Martin sits down with constitutional rights lawyer Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, head of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (, a premiere legal organization defending protest rights. Verheyden-Hilliard has litigated, and won, several cases against the U.S. government for mass arrests and other types of repression.

Abby Martin is a journalist and presenter of The Empire Files, a weekly investigative news program on teleSUR English. She was formerly the host of Breaking the Set on RT America network, working from the Washington, D.C. bureau. Abby also is an artist and activist who founded the citizen journalism organization Media Roots. She serves on the board of directors for the Media Freedom Foundation which manages Project Censored. Abby appeared in the documentary film Project Censored The Movie: Ending the Reign of Junk Food News (2013), and co-directed 99%: The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film (2013). Follow her on twitter @AbbyMartin