FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) is proud to announce a new sustainable partnership with Know Your Rights Camp (KYRC), founded by Colin Kaepernick. KYRC’s mission is to advance the liberation and well-being of Black and Brown communities through education, self-empowerment, and mass mobilization.
KYRC and NLG will partner to expand legal support for social justice movements and increase capacity for providing legal resources for freedom fighters arrested in relation to the movement for Black lives. The agreement includes a $500,000 grant to the National Lawyers Guild Foundation. “This inspiring grant will help the NLG strengthen digital security for mass defense organizing, assist chapters with mass defense infrastructure, expand criminal defense preparations, and create timely new know-your-rights publications,” said NLG Executive Director Pooja Gehi.
This partnership builds on decades of mass defense organizing by the NLG and the recent work of Kaepernick’s KYRC. The grant will be used in part to support the NLG’s growing infrastructure of 65 chapters and 125 student chapters across the country. During the protests following the killing of George Floyd and many others, the NLG has played an important role in supporting activists and the movement for Black lives. The NLG has provided jail and legal support to arrested activists, tracked federal prosecution efforts, and trained and deployed thousands of Legal Observers. The NLG’s mass defense efforts serve to strengthen its continued support for various intersectional social justice movements, including health and housing rights, labor struggles, environmental justice, immigration, anti-police violence, LGBTQ rights, disability rights, international solidarity, and abolition of the prison-industrial complex.
The NLG is a proud endorser of #8toAbolition, which calls for defunding police, investing in communities, and freeing people from jails and prisons. “Abolitionism is a crucial component of the NLG’s mass defense efforts because both seek to dismantle the institutions most responsible for driving the racist exploitation of Black and Brown communities and political repression of activists,” said NLG Director of Mass Defense Tyler Crawford. The NLG recognizes and welcomes the recent increased public support for abolition movements and dedicates itself to continuing to support communities working to make this a reality.
The NLG was formed in 1937 and was the first racially integrated bar association in the United States. The NLG has provided mass defense since 1969 along with its mass defense committee (MDC). The MDC is a network of lawyers, legal workers, law students, and jailhouse lawyers who provide legal support for activists, protesters, and movements for social change. In addition to providing direct legal support to movements, the mass defense program also distributes know-your-rights materials, hosts reports on state responses to movements, and its widely recognizable green Legal Observer hats are a prominent feature at protests around the country.
Featured image: NLG Legal Observers document arrests during a #NoDAPL protest in New York City, 2016.
The National Lawyers Guild, whose membership includes lawyers, legal workers, jailhouse lawyers, and law students, was formed in 1937 as the United States’ first racially-integrated bar association to advocate for the protection of constitutional, human and civil rights.