As part of an eight-member delegation from the National Lawyers Guild, we spent the week leading up to the October 7 Venezuelan presidential election in Caracas, learning about the electoral system that Jimmy Carter has called “the best in the world.” On the day of the election, we observed it in action all over the country as part of a group of more than 220 international parliamentarians, election officials, academics, journalists, and judges.
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In 1972, after a century of being ruled by copper barons, Montana passed a state constitution enshrining environmental preservation. So why, in 2013, are big coal companies running the state and what are the lessons for legal activists?
Since the Massachusetts chapter formed the Litigation Committee in the spring of 2011, we have actively pursued cases that promote social, political, and economic justice on the local level. The project has won great victories, effecting change in areas ranging from prisoners’ rights in Essex County to Boston police practices around tenants in foreclosed properties.
“It’s going to be a long day for you guys – they’ve already started arresting people downtown,” the senior court officer told me on the morning of November 17. Two days after the raid on Zuccotti Park, the 17th was a day of mass demonstrations confronting the injustices of global capital at its symbolic center in the Financial District. A five-minute walk from Wall Street at the Manhattan Criminal Court, it was also arraignment day for 30 of more than 700 people arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge six weeks earlier.
This year’s RNC and DNC presented a demanding set of circumstances for NLG protest support efforts. Both conventions were held in cities with no NLG chapter and with few or no NLG members. Drawing on the expertise, time, and passion of members across the country, as well as a phenomenal group of new student members from Charlotte Law School, Mass Defense Coordinator Abi Hassen and a team of volunteers provided Legal Observers® at every major protest and 24-hour legal support hotlines in both Tampa and
Montana contains over one-quarter of the coal reserves in the United States. Coal companies which are already actively mining throughout the state plan to capitalize on the growing global energy shortage by ramping up extraction, expanding rail lines to the Pacific coast, and shipping coal to Asia. The prospect of increased coal extraction and shipping has mobilized environmental activists throughout the Northwest and NLG members are supporting them every step of the way.
NLG law students are active at over 100 law schools across the country. Below are some recent and ongoing student chapter projects.
Villanova NLG kicked off the semester with an introductory meeting hosted by Philadelphia Chapter Chair Steve Gotzler. The chapter signed up many new students at the Villanova activites fair with the help of Earl Grey tea and raspberry cream cheese cupcakes. The chapter currently has two major projects.
Ward Morehouse was a longtime Guild member and an inspiration to many around the world.
As an attorney, scholar, author, and publisher, he worked to provide tools for people to understand the causes of oppression and to take action for social justice.
Ward graduated from Yale University and held teaching positions in New York, Sweden, and India. In 1976, he took over as president of the Council on International and Public Affairs, a nonprofit human rights organization he helped found in 1954.
Army surveillance, like Army regimentation, is at war with the principles of the First Amendment. . . There can be no influence more paralyzing of that objective than Army surveillance. When an intelligence officer looks over every nonconformist’s shoulder in the library, or walks invisibly by his side in a picket line, or infiltrates his club, the America once extolled as the voice of liberty heard around the world no longer is cast in the image which Jefferson and Madison designed . . .
Last week was a busy one for civil liberties in Congress. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was passed in Senate, and an amendment to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) was voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee.