Anti-Palestinian activist and serial litigant David Abrams has voluntarily agreed to dismiss a lawsuit against the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) filed after NLG refused to publish Abrams’ advertisement indicating that Gush Etzion is part of Israel. In fact, Gush Etzion is an illegal settlement on occupied Palestinian land in the West Bank.
“We’re pleased to end this time-consuming lawsuit for a payment of zero dollars and get back to our urgent work ensuring that vulnerable populations across the globe have access to housing, healthcare, income and other basic human rights,” said Pooja Gehi, NLG executive director. “NLG reaffirms its commitment to Palestinian liberation, including support for Palestinian rights through grassroots tools such as boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS).” Read the full NLG press release here.
A lawsuit intended to harass the National Lawyers Guild over its support of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian rights has been voluntarily dismissed by the anti-Palestinian litigant who filed it.
The lawsuit was “part of a global effort, led by Israel, seeking to paint support for Palestinian human rights as discrimination,” according to NLG.
David Abrams, the director of the Zionist Advocacy Center, filed his lawsuit after the civil rights group refused, in 2016, to publish an advertisement in its annual journal for his shadowy company located inside an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank. Read the full article here.
With the world now gripped in a battle with a global, deadly pandemic and governments instituting policies that have restricted mass public gatherings, campaigners and activists have been forced to change tactics and shift how they organize and protest to keep each other safe.
Join Defending Rights & Dissent on Wednesday, May 27 LIVE at 8 PM (ET) as we explore how the world of protest and organizing has changed and how activists can adjust to the new normal in the age of social distancing and policies restricting mass gatherings. We will review the legal terrain for activists to give you an understanding of what the potential obstacles are, case studies of several recent protests, and what are the lessons that can be learned from them.
Moderated by DRAD policy director Chip Gibbons, this town hall will feature Chinyere Tutashinda, Co-Director of BlackOUT Collective; Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, Co-Founder of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund; Nick Robinson, Legal Advisor for the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL); Tyler Crawford, Mass Defense Director at the National Lawyers Guild; and NeeNee Taylor, Core Organizer for Black Lives Matter DC. Register here!
ATTN: NLG MEMBERS! The proposal period for major panels and workshops, award nominations, and resolutions is NOW OPEN! For the latest #Law4thePeople news, join the Facebook event. All NLG convention news is also available at nlg.org/convention.
“The National Lawyers Guild and Water Protector Legal Collective stand in solidarity with the governments of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe (the territorial government of Mnicoujou, Itazipco, Siha Sapa, and Oohenumpa people of the Lakota Nation) and the Oglala Sioux Tribe (the territorial government of the Oglala people of the Lakota Nation) in their efforts to protect their nations’ citizens from the COVID-19 pandemic by establishing health checkpoints within the jurisdictional boundaries of their territories. We call on South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem to respect these Indigenous Nations’ sovereign right to do so.”
Thank you to the nearly 500 of you who registered for last week’s webinar organized by the NLG Housing & Homelessness Committee! In case you missed it, would like to watch again, and/or share with your friends and colleagues, the recording of the webinar is available for streaming here!
It was a deeply powerful discussion that revealed the causes of the current housing crisis and how communities are fighting back—which panelists emphasized existed long before the COVID-19 pandemic. As panelist and housing organizer Kenia Alcocer invited us to consider: “How do we turn this moment into political power and grow collective consiousness?” Watch the full webinar now! Additional NLG webinars are available here.
Last week, a group of Second Amendment activists protesting quarantine closures went to the home of Councilmember Michael Arias in Fresno, CA banged on his door, and attempted to break in—while his two young children were inside. The incident ended with police giving him citations for misdemeanor battery, after they allowed the protesters to make a “citizen’s arrest” of Arias. The NLG-Central Valley Chapter expressed their support for the Councilmember:
“The National Lawyers Guild stands in solidarity with Councilmember Arias against all forms of white supremacy. We are concerned that when Mr. Arias called for help, what happened was he was the one given citations when police arrived. There’s a long history in the United States that continues to today of people of color calling the police seeking help and are the targets of police violence,” said NLG Central Valley President Mariah C. Thompson.
Mariah C. Thompson and fellow NLG Central Valley member Kathryn E. Forbes followed up with this op-ed in the Fresno Bee, highlighting how the incident relates speaks to the racist history and origins of policing in the US and the problematic nature of “citizen’s arrests”:
“The police officers’ actions reflect a long history of institutionalized racism within policing and illustrate the ways police officers continue to fortify white supremacy through state-sanctioned violence […] By their own admission, the FPD were the ones who suggested that the racist agitators make a citizen’s arrest. In addition to raising legal questions, this legitimized the agitators’ invocation of law enforcement authority to criminalize a man of color while simultaneously framing the criminalization of Arias as a decision made by the public rather than one made by police, therefore allowing FPD to evade responsibility.”
NLG past president Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan has been in Cuba since early March, when the world started to take COVID-19 seriously. She reports in Truthout how the country’s approach to managing the pandemic is so starkly different from that of the US:
“The failure of many states to prevent, protect against and help contain an illness that was known about for months shows how concerns over loss of capital took priority over our lives. And it is this capitalist approach to administering government that is perpetuating the same harms and ensuring a continuous crisis for communities most devastated by the pandemic of our lifetime.” Read the full article in Truthout here.
The NLG has endorsed the People’s Strike, a growing coalition of workers, community, and political organizations confronting the COVID-19 pandemic by struggling against inept and corrupt government and the forces of capital (banks, corporations, brokers, etc) that put profit before the people and the planet.
Launched on May 1, the People’s Strike calls for actions the first of every month. View the People’s Strike demands here.
Are you searching for a movement related legal or organizing job OR internship?
A reminder that all current NLG members have access to our Members-Only job board! This resource includes open positions for attorneys, paralegals, organizers, legal workers and law students.
Check it out at nlg.org/job-board (NOTE: you must be logged in with your nlg.org account to view this page). Have a job or internship listing you’d like to share with fellow Guild members? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.