Dear NLG Members,
We know it’s been a while since the last Member News Digest (thank you for your patience!). Like many of you, your small but mighty NLG National Office has been working non-stop since May in response to the ongoing national uprising for Black lives. Below is just a very small sampling of NLG work from over the last two weeks. In order to stay connected with all the latest NLG news, be sure to follow our national social media channels on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, as well as your local NLG chapters and law school NLG chapters!
Thanks for all you do,
NLG National Office Staff
“NLG-PDX continues to stand in solidarity with activists fighting for Black liberation. We highlight the cruel irony that those protesting police brutality are met with police brutality, and we condemn the conduct of federal and local law enforcement officers who continue to escalate tactics and punish protesters in violation of their First and Fourth Amendment rights. We echo activists’ demands that federal law enforcement leave our city, and support our community’s continued resistance against the encroachment of a police state.”
The NLG National Office is launching a hotline for activists and lawyers to report incidents of federal repression, such as FBI “door-knocks” at activists’ homes, grand jury investigations and subpoenas, and any other federal law enforcement efforts to undermine civil rights, such as federal grab squads and the use of unidentified federal agents to police protests. The numbers is 212-679-2811. Reminder: for local arrest hotlines being run in different cities, please consult the Mass Defense page on our website.
Our most popular webinar yet, this program includes a discussion of current and historical federal harassment of both activists and lawyers working for social change; the unmet needs of both activists and lawyers in many parts of the US and how legal workers can bridge the gaps; and both ethical and practical advice on shielding your clients and yourself from state repression, including how to advise and litigate on behalf of clients to challenge the legitimacy of grand jury subpoenas. Speakers include Marques Banks, Moira Meltzer-Cohen, Lamis Deek, Soffiyah Elijah, Marty Stolar, and Katie Yow.
Presented by: NLG-NYC and the NLG National Office.
The webinar focused on the concept of “earth rights,” indigenous sovereignty and resistance, and the use of international human rights norms, with reflections on lessons from the Black Hills, #NoDAPL and current KXL struggles. It was presented by the NLG International Committee‘s Indigenous Peoples’ Rights & the Environmental Human Rights Committees, and the speaker was NLG member Andrew B. Reid, JD, LLM.
NLG Media Mentions and News Pieces by NLG Members
7/19 | Law360 | At NYC Protests, A New Collective Of Black Legal Observers
Read this piece on the newly formed Black Legal Observer Collective (BLOC) in NYC, co-founded by NLG member Jill Humphries. “It’s a form of self-defense. We’re not beneficiaries of somebody. We decided to do this work and build our own capacity to protect our communities,” she explained.
7/16 | Oregon Public Broadcasting | Federal Law Enforcement Use Unmarked Vehicles To Grab Protesters Off Portland Streets
NLG-Portland members respond to the “terrifying” actions of federal troops deployed to PDX amid ongoing protests in support of the movement for Black lives. “It’s like stop and frisk meets Guantanamo Bay, said attorney and NLG Northwest Regional VP Juan Chavez, Director of the Civil Rights Project at the Oregon Justice Reource Center. “I would be surprised to see that pulling up in an unmarked van, grabbing people off the street is an acceptable policy for a criminal investigation,” said NLG PDX member Ashlee Albies.
7/10 | Canadian Dimension | How Settler Colonial States Use Incarceration as a Tool of Dehumanization During the COVID Crisis
NLG past president Azadeh Shahshahani and NLG International Committee Coordinator Charlotte Kates co-wrote this piece on how settler-colonial states such as the US, Canada, and Israel use incarceration as a tool of dehumanization during the pandemic. “True justice can only begin with abolishing the prison-industrial complex at large that is fueled and upheld by—and operates to uphold—white supremacy, colonialism and racism, and bolstering the structures that meet communities’ needs to flourish,” they write.