RNC 2016: NLG Protestor Legal Support II
Our goal is for the voice of the people, of lawful dissent, to be heard at the RNC. These voices should be free of any unconstitutional restrictions imposed on them by the government.
This is the second phase of our fundraising. The first phase closed on July 1 with $1817 raised. Allow me to say a sincere “thank you” to all who donated to this fund in the first phase. There is still more work to be done though, so every donation helps us meet our goal of $10,000+. Please read our project description below for the services we want to provide and the goals we want to achieve in our support of protestor rights during the RNC.
The Ohio Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild is providing legal support to protestors coming to Cleveland for the RNC. The NLG is focused on protecting the First Amendment rights of the protestors through the use of Legal Observers, jail support workers, and volunteer criminal defense and civil litigation attorneys before, during, and after the RNC comes to town. We believe the protestors have a right to voice their dissent in a constitutionally protected manner, one free of law enforcement harassment and free of unreasonable restrictions on speech and assembly.
The NLG has been and will keep training members of the community to serve as Legal Observers (LOs) to document law enforcement interaction with the various protest groups during the RNC. The LOs will act as the eyes and ears of the criminal defense and civil litigation attorneys in cases of single or mass arrests and also in cases of unconstitutional conduct by the police, City, or federal government during the RNC. Jail support will track any arrested protestors to make sure they are not “lost in the system”, notify their families of their arrest, and assign defense attorneys to their cases who can visit them in jail, if necessary, and represent them in court through the conclusion of their case.
Our goal is for the people’s voices to be heard at the RNC free of any unconstitutional restrictions.
* Please note: These funds will be used ONLY for legal and jail support and NOT bail. *
The NLG will need funds to rent an office close to downtown so that LOs, jail support workers, and criminal defense attorneys can gather and then be deployed/utilized during the RNC. Basic funds are needed for utilities, such as phones to take calls from the arrested and to call in volunteer attorneys, in addition to office supplies, and tshirts to identify LOs on the street.
why we’re doing it
The NLG, along with the activist community at large, is concerned that the First Amendment rights of protestors at the RNC will be crushed under the weight of, and the misperception of, national security. We believe the right to voice dissent will not be tolerated by the City of Cleveland or the various federal law enforcement agencies tasked with providing security to a select few. Our mission is to counteract this swing away from First Amendment rights and to fight for those who want to only be heard and seen during the RNC and not ignored.