Welcome to the Member Recap, where you can catch up on NLG news from the last two weeks.
Upcoming Webinars, Publications, and Announcements
We will once again be convening a virtual convention! While we missed gathering in person with you all last year, our digital convention was a huge success—with 1,000 attendees participating around the U.S. (and the world)! Like last year, we will schedule events to accommodate attendees across multiple time zones and aim to make programming as accessible as possible—including, but not limited to, having live captioning available. As always, we will offer sliding-scale registration, with waivers available upon request. No one will be turned away due to lack of funds. Even if attendees aren’t available to join every event live in real time, registrants will be able to access video recordings of programming to watch and engage with at their convenience. Register here!
Check out our latest issue of the NLG newsletter, Guild Notes! This issue has articles on the Inquiry Commission special report, the Line 3 Treaty People gathering, how Black women have built movements and cultivated joy, and many, many others. The full PDF can be found here, or in web format here.
In 2020, a former nightclub owner aired TigerKing to a COVID-captive audience. True, you can’t unsee it; but this webinar is your antidote.
Join the NLGNYC Animal Rights Committee, Congressman Michael Quigley; Film Director Michael Webber; Prof. Delcianna Winders, Carole Baskin and others, as as we deep-dive the problem of exotic cats in American backyards.
Friday, July 23rd, Noon to 1:00PM, ET. Register here: https://tiger-king-REDUX.eventbrite.com
National, Committee, and Chapter Statements and News
We’re thrilled to announce our 2021 convention Keynote Presenter: Talila A. Lewis (no gender pronouns; use Talila or “TL” instead of using pronouns) is an abolitionist community lawyer, educator, and organizer whose work reveals and addresses the inextricable links between ableism, racism, classism, and all forms of systemic oppression and structural inequity. Recognized as a 2015 White House Champion of Change and one of Pacific Standard Magazine’s Top 30 Thinkers Under 30, Lewis engineers innovative and intersectional social justice efforts that address grave interconnected injustices within education, medical, and legal systems that have gone unaddressed for generations. Lewis’s advocacy primarily focuses on harm and violence reduction and interruption, advocacy with people affected by incarceration/institutionalization, and abolition of all forms of incarceration/institutionalization.
International Committee: NLG condemns US continuing interference in Nicaragua and its democratic process
The International Committee of the National Lawyers Guild, the oldest and largest human rights bar association of the United States, makes the following statement condemning US continuing interference in Nicaragua and its democratic process. The Guild notes that this conduct by the United States is in clear and direct violation of international law, including but not limited to the jus cogens rights of the people of Nicaragua to self-determination and territorial integrity as guaranteed to them by customary international law, the Charter of the United Nations (1945), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966) (ratified by the U.S.), and the Organization of American States Inter-American Democratic Charter (2001).
Eproctoring programs that include facial detection, recognition, or monitoring are notoriously unable to identify students of color, particularly Black students. A federally-funded study found that even the best facial recognition algorithms fail to work on Black and brown people, trans and non-binary people, as well as children and women in general. As a workaround, there have been numerous accounts of students of color being forced to shine lights directly in their faces in order to be recognized by the software, which undoubtedly impacts testing performance.
Disability Justice Committee Representative Lydia X.Z. Brown Named as One of them. Magazine’s 2021 LGBTQ+ Visionaries
Queer disabled people have long been fighting for basic forms of justice, like healthcare equity and access to spaces. That’s why Lydia X.Z. Brown — a writer, educator, organizer, artist and lawyer — is determined to help other disabled people in their communities get what they need to survive. As someone with a multiply marginalized identity, Brown inherently understands how systems like ableism, racism, and classism are all connected in fueling violence and discrimination towards people like them.
NLG In The News
7/14/21 | Bloomberg News | Activist Groups Urge Retailers to Halt Facial Recognition Use
More than 35 organizations, including Public Citizen and the National Lawyers Guild, have joined the campaign urging companies such as Albertsons Cos. and Macy’s Inc. not to use facial recognition screening tools on employees or customers, citing concerns over privacy and racial justice, the group said in a statement Wednesday. The coalition plans to use social media to call out retailers using the tools, it said.
7/7/21 | Times Union | Saratoga Springs mayor tries to remove public from meeting
“A pro bono attorney [Colin Donnaruma of the NLG-Albany Chapter] with the National Lawyers Guild who was there to represent the activists asked the police officers if they blocking them because of ‘the political views they are expressing — because that’s an explicit violation of the First Amendment.’”
7/2/21 | In These Times | There Are No Mass Migrations Without U.S. Meddling and Militarism
Check out this op-ed by former NLG President Azadeh Shashashani and Rhonda Ramiro: “Perhaps unsurprisingly, Biden appears to be following the footsteps of past administrations by denying the role that decades of U.S. interventionism and militarization have played in destabilizing the region. What’s worse, officials like Harris continue to order migrants to stop coming to the United States — even as the United States exacerbates the very crises that encourage migration in the first place.”
7/1/21 | Truthout | UN Report Calls for Reparations for Victims of Systemic Racist Police Violence
Instead, on June 19, 2020, after intensive lobbying by the Trump administration, the HRC adopted resolution 43/1, directing the High Commissioner to prepare a report on police violence and other human rights violations against Africans and people of African descent around the world (not limited to the United States).
Thus, the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, National Conference of Black Lawyers and National Lawyers Guild established their own International Commission of Inquiry on Systemic Racist Police Violence Against People of African Descent in the United States. The commission issued its report on April 15, 2021.
6/19/21 | Truthout | Over 100 Anti-Protest Bills Have Been Introduced Since George Floyd Rebellion
“In an email to Truthout, Traci Yoder, National Lawyers Guild Director of Research and Education characterized the anti-protest laws as “part of a larger trend of conservative, right-wing efforts at the state level designed to counter the goals of social movements.” Yoder said repressive voting rights bills, anti-trans bills and anti-abortion bills are being introduced in the same vein.”