Today is May Day, also known as International Workers’ Day. It is being recognized by millions of working people throughout the world. For over a century, May Day has been a day of celebration for people struggling against exploitation and oppression. As a result, it is representative of a cross-section of our work in the National Lawyers Guild (NLG).
Every year, the National Lawyers Guild organizes regional conferences to bring together Guild attorneys, law students, legal workers, and community members across the country. These regional conferences include panels, trainings, and workshops on topics of interest to the radical legal community. They also provide the opportunity for NLG members to talk to allies and supporters about the Guild’s work and vision. This year, each regional conference was hosted by an NLG law student chapter in collaboration with the NLG National Office, regional representatives, and local Guild members.
The Supreme Court’s decision in Clapper vs Amnesty Int’l has now made it nearly impossibly to review through civil lawsuits many of the government’s most egregious tactics in the war on terror. While the decision in Clapper is new, it reflects a continuing saga of a war not on terror, but on the rule of law. Another part of that saga has involved our government’s treatment of, and denial of due process to, those accused of terrorism.
As the new year ushers in a new administration in Puerto Rico, legal activists there are eagerly awaiting this year's NLG convention, which presents a unique opportunity for dialogue and solidarity. In its short tenure, the new government has brought some positive change, attempting to reverse some of the most draconian measures implemented by the previous conservative administration. Those include criminalizing dissent with prison terms for “obstructing” or “perturbing” public functions, universities, and lawmakers.
The American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) has decided that riling up anti-Muslim sentiment through bus and subway ads is its only hope for attaining relevancy. The ads began appearing last fall in major cities across the country, featuring a slogan calling Muslims “savage.” In San Francisco, the latest round is set to appear on city buses in April, showing anti-gay quotes by radically conservative Muslims in an apparent effort to convince gays and our allies to hate Muslims in general. We must take action against the presence of these patently offensive ads on our buses.
Of all the things that I learned in library school, the two principles that I am always trying to impress upon my fellow Guild members are LOCKSS (Lots of Copies Keeps Stuff Safe) and "Give 'em what they want!" (Rawlinson, Nora. "Give `Em What They Want." Library Journal 106 [November 15, 1981]: 2188-2190. Available in Ebsco's Academic Search Premier). This post falls under the latter category.
March 19 marked the 10-year anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. The day after the war began, massive protests swept the globe, including demonstrations in dozens of cities across the U.S. Many who attended woke up on March 21, ten years ago today, in jail.
In light of the major federal immigration reforms proposed this winter, NLG President Azadeh Shahshahani sat down with Dan Kesselbrenner, director of the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG), to talk about their implications and the work and history of the project.
On the second Friday in February, Boston prosecutors announced that they were dropping all charges against 26 people who had been swept up in two late night raids of Occupy Boston almost a year and a half earlier. The move came as a surprise to the arrestees and their NLG defense team who were deep in preparation for a trial the following Monday.
CISPA was reintroduced in the House on February 13th, by the same sponsors as last year. Currently, there are letters of support from companies like AT&T and IBM, but opposition among civil liberties advocates remains strong.