The National Lawyers Guild had legal observers on the ground in Ferguson to monitor protests against the killing of unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, by a Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. They were also present to help with jail support for community residents. But, while working, four of the NLG’s observers fell victim to the police occupation they were trying to help Ferguson fight and were arrested.
In the Media
From the death and destruction in Israel's latest war on Gaza to the dramatic arrival of the national guard on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, there have been plenty of brutal reminders on display of the violence that underpins racist repression.
But amid the headlines, one could easily forget the more sustained and entrenched forms of oppression through which various hierarchies, including race, citizenship, nationality, and class are produced and maintained by both the United States and Israel. Among the most significant of these is mass incarceration.
The harmful effects of HB 87 have been felt across the state of Georgia. Immigrants and people of color feel that they have been subjected to racial profiling and other abusive policing practices.
A federal lawsuit filed by local activist Antonio Buehler by NLG Texoma RVP Daphne Silverman against the Austin Police Department has cleared a hurdle as a U.S. magistrate judge this week upheld his constitutional right to photograph and film police officers.
Martin Stolar is a longtime NLG member and co-counsel to McMillan. In this Democracy Now! interview, he explains the problematic trial.
In 2013, Edward Snowden brought to light the extent of government surveillance in the United States, exposing everything from the collection, storage, and analysis of Americans' private emails, phone calls, and text messages by intelligence agencies nationwide. Outraged, the public called for the protection of their First and Fourth Amendment rights, which protect freedom of speech and prohibit unreasonable searches and seizures. What was less explicit in this exposure, however, was the breach of Americans' Sixth Amendment rights - those that protect the right to a fair and speedy trial, and especially those that protect individuals' rights to confront their accuser, obtain witnesses, and retain legal counsel. It is this legal aspect of surveillance that the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) explores in a new report - the effects of government surveillance on the legal community and clients' legal rights.
Urszula Masny-Latos, executive director of the Massachusetts chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, says, “Massachusetts’ physicians often struggle between following Department of Health guidelines or following inconsistent internal policies relayed by correctional officers. Often times, pregnant women depend on their physicians to advocate on their behalf to demand that correctional officers remove their shackles.”
At first glance, the 150 people gathered just outside Northeastern University on March 18 seemed to be staging a typical rally criticizing Israeli policies—an increasingly common sight on left-leaning American campuses. But upon closer inspection, the mix of NEU students and local Boston activists were calling for another thing to be freed: their speech.