Drawing from firsthand observations of NLG members who were in Tampa and Charlotte, as well as interviews with activists and media accounts, this report presents an overview of the 2012 RNC and DNC demonstrations and makes recommendations for treatment of protesters at future events. In particular, we discuss the effects of designating political conventions as NSSEs, the selection of host cities, the expenditures on police equipment and personnel, the adoption of protest-targeted ordinances, the preconceived police narrative of protester violence, and the evolving use of media technology by protesters and police.
On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, thousands of people converged on Washington, D.C. to see Barack Obama sworn in for his second term as president. Some of those people were celebrating the inauguration. Some of them were protesters.
A report analyzing the policing of demonstrations at the 2012 Republican and Democratic national conventions.
This year’s RNC and DNC presented a demanding set of circumstances for NLG protest support efforts. Both conventions were held in cities with no NLG chapter and with few or no NLG members. Drawing on the expertise, time, and passion of members across the country, as well as a phenomenal group of new student members from Charlotte Law School, Mass Defense Coordinator Abi Hassen and a team of volunteers provided Legal Observers® at every major protest and 24-hour legal support hotlines in both Tampa and
"We are under the impression that the whole country is a free speech zone," said Michael Zytkow, a 26-year-old organizer for Occupy Charlotte. "We were bothered by the idea of any government-designated playground."
Carol Sobel, a lawyer from Santa Monica, California, who co-chairs the Mass Defense Committee of the National Lawyers Guild, asked, "Who'd want to use it? You're talking to yourself."
Her group works to push back against what it views as government attempts to stifle dissent.
Heidi Boghosian, executive director of the National Lawyers Guild, reveals the dark tactics at both conventions to quiet protests outside, including the use of “free speech zones”.
The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) will be providing legal support to protesters throughout the course of the Republican and Democratic national conventions. Undoubtedly the most visible part of this effort will be our teams of trained Legal Observers® (LOs), who will attend demonstrations across Tampa and Charlotte carrying notebooks and sporting bright green caps.