By Tasha Moro, NLG Communications Director
In just the few weeks since Donald Trump has taken office, we have seen a flurry of executive orders targeting immigrants and intensifying law enforcement; racist, unqualified millionaires appointed to the nation’s highest positions; assaults on the press; a crackdown on dissent; the rolling back of rights for transgender youth, and “alternative facts” presented as truth. However, we have also witnessed communities engaging in profound organizing and direct action—from the streets to airports and schools—to reject the current administration and disrupt business as usual. On February 17, we brought the resistance to courthouses.
The NLG organized the #LawStrikesBack day of action on February 17—in coordination with the nationwide #GeneralStrike planned for the same day—for the legal community to express solidarity with the growing movements against the new regime and its white supremacist agenda. Lawyers, legal workers, law students, and law professors gathered in front of courthouses across the country, where they spoke out on the responsibility of legal professionals to resist the Trump administration and hold it accountable.
A total of 40 legal organizations participated in 17 cities, representing diverse fields including immigration, racial justice, mass incarceration, LGBTQIA rights, and civil liberties and human rights. Even the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers and the European Association of Lawyers for Democracy issued a solidarity statement “from across the Atlantic,” in which they affirm that “the legal community has an important role to play in the necessary fightback by (1) acting as an institutional check on executive power, (2) showing up, and (3) refusing to legitimize the Trump administration and its bigotry.”
Actions took place in: Boston, MA , Buffalo, NY, Chicago, IL, Detroit, MI, Harrisburg, PA, Newark, NJ, Los Angeles, CA, New York, NY, Philadelphia, PA, Pittsburgh, PA, Portland, OR, Providence, RI, Sacramento, CA, San Jose, CA, St. Louis, MO, Tucson, AZ, and Washington, DC.
Many thanks to all our Co-Sponsors!
Center for Constitutional Rights, Law4BlackLives, People’s Law Office, Sugar Law Center for Social and Economic Justice, National Immigration Project, National Police Accountability Project, Water Protector Legal Collective, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, Abolitionist Law Center, Palestine Legal, TGI Justice Project (TGIJP), Defending Dissent Foundation/ Bill of Rights Defense Committee, Sylvia Rivera Law Project, Civil Liberties Defense Center, Law at the Margins, National Conference of Black Lawyers- Michigan Chapter, National Conference of Black Lawyers- NYC Chapter, Black and Pink, National Jericho Movement, Black Movement Law Project, New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), Human Rights Defense Center, Wind of the Spirit Immigrant Resource Center, MetroLALSA, UAW Local 2325-Assoc. of Legal Aid Attorneys, Prison Radio, Community Activism Law Alliance, 5 Boro Defenders, Homeless Youth Law Clinic, Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation, Uptown People’s Law Center, Potter Bolaños LLC, Northern Illinois Justice for Our Neighbors, Community Development Project-Urban Justice Center, Global Justice Center, Asian American Legal Defense & Education Fund, Rankin & Taylor, Gender Equality Law Center, Liberty Tree Foundation
For press coverage of the event, visit www.nlg.org/legal-community-strikes-back-on-f17
Photo: Hundreds rally at Foley Square in Manhattan for #LawStrikesBack NYC (Greg Butterfield)