Anti-Boycott Bills Are Part of Wider Crackdown on Protest

By Chip Gibbons, Policy and Legislative Counsel at Bill of Rights Defense Committee/Defending Dissent Foundation A number of commentators have noted two different trends. First, across the nation Republican lawmakers are pushing for bills criminalizing protests. Second, a number of state legislatures have passed or considered, often at the impetus of Democratic lawmakers, bills aimed at […]

Mass Incarceration in the Trump Era

By Pooja Gehi, NLG Executive Director In 2015, the National Lawyers Guild adopted a resolution calling for the dismantling and abolition of all prisons. As an organization, we recognized mass incarceration in all of its iterations—policing, violence, incarceration, forced labor, privatization and capitalism—as a crisis that we must resist in all of our work. Sharlyn Grace, then […]

New Anti-Protesting Legislation: A Deeper Look

By Traci Yoder, NLG Director of Research and Education In recent weeks, multiple articles have pointed to the wave of new anti-protesting bills introduced in state legislatures since the end of 2016. The Intercept, Washington Post, AlterNet, Democracy Now!, and other news outlets have provided overviews of the types of bills under consideration, the potential […]

Selma Samols, PRESENTE!

By David Gespass, NLG Past President I recall David Rein who, with his partner, Joe Forer, defended hundreds of Communist Party members during the 1950s, saying that the McCarthy era was the time the United States came closest to fascism. It required unusual determination and courage to stand up and resist during those times. The […]

Protest Policing in Trump’s America: Notes for J20 and Beyond

By Traci Yoder, NLG Director of Research and Education When independent media collective Unicorn Riot filed a records request to the North Dakota Department of Corrections related to the indigenous movement against the Dakota Access Pipeline, they received the updated Field Force Operations Manual produced by the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA’s Center for […]

Extralegal Observations of a Protest Arrest

By Andy Izenson, NLG-NYC The criminal complaint associated with my arrest dated 4/29/2015, lists the following charges: PL 195.05 Obstructing Governmental Administration in the Second Degree PL 205.30 Resisting Arrest PL 240.20(5) Disorderly Conduct PL 240.20(6) Disorderly Conduct It says that I attempted to grab two officers who were making an arrest, and that when […]

Facing Unprecedented Challenges, NLG Prepares for 2017 and Beyond

By Pooja Gehi, NLG Executive Director As the National Lawyers Guild enters into our 80th year, we face a political landscape more outwardly repressive than we’ve seen in decades. The election of Donald Trump to the US presidency marks a renewed legitimization of racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, misogyny, anti-Semitism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, and other forms of […]

Meet the 2016 Haywood Burns Fellows: Crystal Peters

By Crystal Peters The Center for Popular Democracy is a high-impact national organization that partners with community-based organizations across the country to support their efforts to advance a pro-immigrant, pro-worker, racial justice agenda. Its staff of 50 includes 10 attorneys who provide high-quality legal support to community campaigns on a wide range of issues. As […]

Meet the 2016 Haywood Burns Fellows: Daniel Fryer

By Daniel Fryer This summer I was given the opportunity to work as a summer legal clerk at the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) in Montgomery, Alabama. This experience expanded my development and exposure to the tools available to change the basic structure of our current political and economic system. “The opposite of poverty,” EJI’s founder […]