St. Louis County has declared a state of emergency in response to the protests and police officers have targeted activists with tear gas and arrests. Among those arrested and in custody today are Pooja Gehi, Executive Director of the National Lawyers Guild, Abi Hassen (former Mass Defense Coordinator of the NLG and Member of Black Movement Law Project) and many other activists and TUPOCC members.
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.
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