CLEVELAND, OHIO ― This week, the Ohio Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild (Ohio NLG) and the Cleveland Branch of the NAACP received over a dozen reports of door knocks at the homes of local activists and community members by law enforcement officials with the Department of Homeland Security, Secret Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation's’ Cleveland Field Office, Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department, and Cleveland Division of Police.
The lawsuits against the city over the arrest of thousands of people protesting the Republican National Convention in 2004 seem like they've been dragging on for decades. In reality, it's only been about one decade. But on Wednesday the city settled the bulk of those cases, with more than 1,600 plaintiffs, for a whopping $18 million.
“I went down to the demonstration to get my fair share of abuse,” sang the Rolling Stones.
They could have been singing about New York during the Republican National Convention in 2004, when police used mass arrests against anti-war protesters who thronged the streets of Manhattan. More than 1,800 protesters, bystanders and journalists, including this writer, were jailed during the late-summer convention. I was arrested while doing my job of documenting a peaceful protest with pen and camera.
Drawing from firsthand observations of NLG members who were in Tampa and Charlotte, as well as interviews with activists and media accounts, this report presents an overview of the 2012 RNC and DNC demonstrations and makes recommendations for treatment of protesters at future events. In particular, we discuss the effects of designating political conventions as NSSEs, the selection of host cities, the expenditures on police equipment and personnel, the adoption of protest-targeted ordinances, the preconceived police narrative of protester violence, and the evolving use of media technology by protesters and police.
On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, thousands of people converged on Washington, D.C. to see Barack Obama sworn in for his second term as president. Some of those people were celebrating the inauguration. Some of them were protesters.
A report analyzing the policing of demonstrations at the 2012 Republican and Democratic national conventions.
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
Four members of Occupy Cleveland have been sentenced over the past two weeks  after pleading guilty to terrorism-related charges for their involvement in an FBI-concocted plan to bomb the city’s Brecksville-Northfield High Level Bridge on April 30 in advance of planned May Day demonstrations across the country.
"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.