Help the NLG of Chicago Support the Rights of NATO Demonstrators

Posted on April 17, 2012

From National Lawyer’s Guild:

This Spring will see Chicago become the virtual epicenter of mass political demonstration and protest in North America. Throughout this, the National Lawyers Guild will continue in its active solidarity with all peoples’ movements through its trademarked Legal Observer program and Mass Defense Committee.  We write to your organization today with two goals: to recruit volunteers for the Legal Observer program (to watch cops at actions on the street) and to make you aware of Know Your Rights trainings (a training service the Guild provides to organizations and activists).

Legal Observer Program

For lawyers, law students, and legal workers.

As you are probably aware, NLG Legal Observers, with their ubiquitous neon green hats, have been a fixture at marches and demonstrations in Chicago and nationwide for years. We write today to see if you would like to participate in safeguarding the rights to free speech and public assembly by joining please join us!

The Legal Observer program is working to ensure we have trained Legal Observers on the ground for the upcoming actions in May. The NLG Legal Observer Program is part of a comprehensive system of legal support coordinated by the Guild to enable people to express their political views as fully as possible, without unconstitutional disruption or interference by the government, and with the least onerous consequences from the criminal justice system.

Please e-mail us so we can let you know when the next Legal Observer training will be held.  Trainings are short (about an hour) and are offered throughout the week and over the weekends.  In addition, we can come to your organization to conduct the training if there are 10 or more trainees.

We need you to help us protect free speech and progressive activism.  Join us.

Know Your Rights Training

For activists, collectives, and organizations engaged in political speech and activism.

The National Lawyers Guild of Chicago Know Your Rights (KYR) training provides activists and organizers involved in the upcoming actions in May with basic legal information concerning interactions with police in Chicago.[1] All trainings include material on the right to remain silent and searches and questioning by police. The interactive role-play format of the training allows participants to engage with issues in realistic settings and is designed to empower protesters exercising their First Amendment rights. Trainings last approximately two hours. Upon request, the NLG is also happy to offer training on one or more of the following specific topic areas:

●     KYR for non-citizen activists
●     KYR for queer and transgender activists
●     KYR for members of the military
●     KYR for participants in actions with a high risk of arrest (including demonstration organizers)