In the Media
"We are under the impression that the whole country is a free speech zone," said Michael Zytkow, a 26-year-old organizer for Occupy Charlotte. "We were bothered by the idea of any government-designated playground."
Carol Sobel, a lawyer from Santa Monica, California, who co-chairs the Mass Defense Committee of the National Lawyers Guild, asked, "Who'd want to use it? You're talking to yourself."
Her group works to push back against what it views as government attempts to stifle dissent.
The National Lawyers Guild has joined the rising opposition against Measure S, a ballot measure that will prohibit sitting on sidewalks in Berkeley if passed by voters this November.
The proposed law will ban sitting on sidewalks in commercial areas in the city between the hours of 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. A first violation of this law would be categorized as a minor infraction and result in a $75 fine or community service, according to the measure’s text, but a second violation could be classified as either an infraction or a misdemeanor.
Heidi Boghosian, executive director of the National Lawyers Guild, reveals the dark tactics at both conventions to quiet protests outside, including the use of “free speech zones”.
As part of The Agenda, The Times’s look at major issues facing the next administration, we have been examining the trade-offs, more than a decade after the Sept. 11 attacks, between security and privacy and civil liberties. Some readers have written in about the electronic data trail that all of us leave as we go about our lives, using the Internet and carrying smartphones.
The cases were brought before Judge Joan Campbell of the 248th District Court who dismissed all charges due to lack of evidence. However, the felony charges were later reinstated by a Houston grand jury. Garza told me that the latest development of uncovering an infiltrator came to a head at a discovery hearing on Monday, August 27, but is the result of months of hard work by many including his attorney, National Lawyers Guild’s Greg Gladden.
The Anti-Capitalist Brigade started gathering early on May Day at Oakland’s Snow Park. There was free coffee, oatmeal, doughnuts, fliers with the day’s agenda and plenty of pot. A “street medic” — “I just finished a wilderness first-aid course,” he told me when I asked about his training — tended to his first case of the day, a man in his 20s whose leg had been beaten to a purple hue with a metal rod in an overnight fight in the park. Nearby, an organizer reminded protesters to take down the toll-free number for the National Lawyers Guild: “This is important.
Update (Friday August 17 10:25 AM PST): Protesting this morning's guilty verdict and sentencing, six people were arrested in a New York City march down Fifth Avenue. Two arrests were made at 10 a.m. EDT, and four more followed in the next 45 minutes, according to the National Lawyers Guild. More marches in Chicago and San Francisco are planned throughout the afternoon, but in the meantime, the scene in Times Square looks something like this.