At the end of each year, your inbox is filled with requests for donations to many worthwhile organizations. Why should you donate to the Guild? Here are 10 reasons:
The NLG is here to support organized resistance on the ground and across movements. In 2016, Guild members, chapters and committees provided critical legal assistance to protestors at the RNC and DNC and to social justice movements across the nation, including uprisings against racism and police brutality. The NLG provides important resources for protesters, including Know Your Rights booklets in five languages and a comprehensive Legal Observer program that
2. You support the rights of incarcerated people
The NLG provided legal support for the National Prison Strike of 2016, the largest coordinated prison strike in US history. Our column, Beyond Bars: Voices of NLG Jailhouse Lawyers features writing and artwork by our jailhouse lawyer members in Guild Notes, our triannual newsletter. Recently, the NLG sent a letter to President Obama urging him to free political prisoners Leonard Peltier, Oscar López River, Veronza Bowers, and Dr. Mutulu Shakur. We also continue to collaborate with the Center for Constitutional Rights to provide free copies of the Jailhouse Lawyer’s Handbook to support incarcerated people in filing lawsuits to fight against mistreatment and bad conditions in prison.
3. You support student activism
In Spring, Guild law students across the nation organized the 2016 Student Week Against Mass Incarceration, hosting panels, film screenings, letter writing campaigns, and actions on topics such as restorative justice, the school-to-prison pipeline, mental health and the death penalty, and dismantling solitary confinement. Our more than 100 NLG student chapters nationwide continue to lead activist efforts on and off campus, with DisOrientation events, LO and KYR trainings, panels and more!
4. You stand with Standing Rock and Indigenous sovereignty
The NLG helped form the Water Protector Legal Collective (WPLC), the legal support team for those engaged in resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline. With support of NLG members, the WPLC has maintained a 24/7 presence on-site at the Oceti Sakowin camp near Cannon Ball, ND for months.
5. You want to end government surveillance of activists
In January 2016, the NLG, along with other grassroots and legal organizations filed an amicus brief in support of a widely watched lawsuit challenging the military’s domestic spying against antiwar activists in the Pacific Northwest. The case Panagacos v. Towery is currently on appeal before the Ninth Circuit.
6. You appreciate thought-provoking commentary and analysis from your colleagues
In 2016, the Guild launched a new progressive legal podcast, Motion to Resist!, featuring political commentary and radical legal analysis by our members on current events. Past episodes include a The Untouchables, a thoughtful look at the Panama Papers, the largest leak of documents in human history, and Don’t Wait for Another ’68 about protests at the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, past and present. We also continue to publish our quarterly law journal, the NLG Review, and our triannual newsletter, Guild Notes, to bring you the latest news and work from our members, chapters, and committees.
7. You support next generation of people’s lawyers
The NLG’s Haywood Burns fellowship program funds the summer work of law students and legal workers seeking to build their progressive lawyering skills. Inspired by former NLG president, the late Haywood Burns, this fellowship continues to be one of the only ways the next generation of people’s lawyers can afford to gain experience in movement lawyering. This year, the Guild supported six fellows in gaining practical experience doing social justice work under NLG mentorship.
8. You support international human rights
The NLG International Committee lent support to peoples’ movements around the globe, including Puerto Rico, Haiti, Honduras, Brazil, Palestine and Mexico. Highlights include a report on a March 8-15 NLG delegation to Honduras to probe the circumstances surrounding the killing of leading indigenous and environmental activist Berta Cáceres and a new report with the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL), and the Haiti Support Group charging that international observation efforts of the 2015 elections in Haiti were deeply flawed.
9. You want to fight Trumpism
Before giving the next administration any of your tax dollars, consider making a tax-deductible donation to the NLG Foundation to support the work of the Guild in 2017 and beyond. We need your support to fuel the next stage in the struggle to protect human rights and civil liberties!
10. You know the Guild is YOUR organization
The NLG is proudly 100% grassroots, member-driven, and democratically led, as our highly successful 2016 #Law4thePeople Convention has shown. We depend almost entirely upon the support of members and donors like you. Only by focusing our energies and working together with other radical lawyers, law students, legal workers and activists, can we make a difference. Join the Guild and/or make a year-end contribution to the NLG today!
Thank you so much for all your support. Here’s to a 2017 filled with strength, resistance, and love!