National Lawyer's Guild

National Lawyers Guild and National Bail Fund Network Release Updated Legal Defense Fund Guide


The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) and the National Bail Fund Network (NBFN) have released an updated Legal Defense Fund Guide in response to increased community need for a comprehensive and accessible guide. 

Our updated Best Practices for Establishing a Legal Defense Fund guide covers many infrastructure questions a new legal defense fund may have, including how to set up criteria for eligibility and prioritization, establishing explicit governance structures, and more. These questions are explored with the goal of looking beyond traditional court fees and creating more holistic movement support by covering items like childcare costs, travel expenses, and recompensing lost income.

“There is a long tradition of communities coming together to bring people back to their communities and restore their ability to fight their cases from a place of freedom. In these times of growing surveillance and state oppression, we hope that our resources for organizers stay updated and adaptable.”

Pilar Weiss, Director of the National Bail Fund Network

Legal defense funds are one method of establishing long-term support for activists and marginalized communities responding to criminalization and repression of protest, and are different from rapid-response bail funds. More information on the function of a legal defense fund can be found in the first section of the guide.

The full guide can be accessed in PDF format on the NBFN and NLG websites.

“The criminal-legal system is built to protect those who are white, wealthy, and privileged at the expense of everyone else, so these funds are a necessary vehicle for communal support. They aren’t by any means the end goal of anti-oppression organizing, but they are one way of mobilizing legal and financial resources to provide activists with more support.”

Linh Vinh, NLG Director of Mass Defense

The guide was written and edited by Pilar Weiss of Community Justice Exchange, Sharlyn Grace of NLG Chicago and the NLG Mass Defense Steering Committee, and Linh Vinh of the NLG National Office, with input and expertise from partners and community allies.

“Legal defense funds are a vital part of social movement support infrastructure. When the state targets activists for criminalization, legal defense funds allow communities to provide protection against repression, supporting individuals and groups at the frontlines of social change. As organizations with legal expertise, it is our responsibility to make sure these tools are as accessible as possible to new and existing social movements.”

Sharlyn Grace, NLG Chicago and Mass Defense Steering Committee

A Spanish translation of Best Practices for Establishing a Legal Defense Fund is anticipated to be available sometime early in 2022.



Charlie Blodnieks
Director of Communications, National Lawyers Guild

Pilar Maria Weiss
Director, National Bail Fund Network

Linh Vinh
Director of Mass Defense, National Lawyers Guild

Download the PDF file .

The post National Lawyers Guild and National Bail Fund Network Release Updated Legal Defense Fund Guide first appeared on National Lawyers Guild.

NLG Condemns the State’s Unwillingness to Disrupt White Supremacy; Looks Beyond the Justice System for Meaningful Change

The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) is outraged by the events taking place in the concurrent trials of Kyle Rittenhouse and the murderers of Ahmaud Arbery. It is once again extremely clear that the state will maintain its investment in fascism, anti-Blackness, and white supremacy. As we mourn the loss of life and look for ways to heal and advocate for justice, the NLG urges members and allies to view these trials as evidence that abolition and transformative justice are as necessary as ever.

As the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse comes to a close, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers has authorized 500 Wisconsin Army National Guard troops to go to Kenosha ahead of the final verdict. Rittenhouse, who fatally shot three white protesters participating in an action for Black lives, is expected to be sentenced today. Judge Bruce Schroeder has already dismissed the gun charge against Rittenhouse, and legal scholars and commentators are anticipating that he will be acquitted of most, if not all, charges. It is increasingly evident that the troops were authorized as a preemptive response to anti-racist protests.

At the same time, the three white men who murdered Ahmaud Arbery last summer are on trial in Georgia. Last week, the defense attorney struck eight Black potential jurors, leaving a final jury of 11 white people and only one Black person from a juror pool that was 25% Black. Though the exact outcome of this trial is not yet certain, the proceedings themselves were heavily influenced by the legal system’s decision to protect whiteness, claiming that Black jurors were biased in a case that depends exclusively on believing that three white men were threatened enough by a Black man on a run to be genuinely acting in self-defense.

In stark contrast, the judge in the Rittenhouse trial refused to allow the court to address the bias of a far-right videographer who was testifying. As NLG National Vice President Jilisa Milton wrote in an article on Arbery’s murderers’ almost all-white jury, “the criminal justice system remains in a compromising position when one of its own actors is on trial.”

As an organization working in service of the liberation of Black people, the NLG echoes the demands for proper accountability for these murders. As an abolitionist organization, the NLG also recognizes that the justice system will not go against the interests of white supremacy and fascism, nor will prison adequately address the violence of white supremacist offenders. Instead, we look to the political and social vision of liberationists advocating for the abolition of the systems that create and maintain this violence. 

We extend our sincerest condolences and empathy to the people who were and are harmed by the actions of those on trial. We will keep fighting for a system that genuinely and thoroughly addresses the violence of anti-Blackness, fascism, and white supremacy.

Featured image: Abolish the Police by Bart Everson /  CC BY 2.0

The post NLG Condemns the State’s Unwillingness to Disrupt White Supremacy; Looks Beyond the Justice System for Meaningful Change first appeared on National Lawyers Guild.

#FreeJessica: National Lawyers Guild and Water Protector Legal Collective Submit Amicus Brief In 8th Circuit Court of Appeals In Support of Water Protector, Jessica Reznicek


November 12, 2021

Image from Democracy Now! / @resistline3 Twitter

#FreeJessica: National Lawyers Guild and Water Protector Legal Collective Submit Amicus Brief In 8th Circuit Court of Appeals In Support of Water Protector, Jessica Reznicek

The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) and Water Protector Legal Collective (WPLC) have filed an amicus brief urging the Eighth Circuit Court to vacate the sentence against Water Protector Jessica Reznicek in United States v. Reznicek.

In June of 2021, Reznicek was sentenced to 8 years (96 months) in federal prison after pleading guilty to acts of property damage she caused the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). The federal judge applied a “terrorism” sentencing enhancement that increased Reznicek’s prison time several times over.

Despite the fact that DAPL is now operating illegally and evidence of statements by Reznicek that her actions were exclusively aimed at stopping DAPL, federal judge Rebecca Goodgame Ebinger sentenced Reznicek applying a terrorism sentencing enhancement because she believed Reznicek’s conduct targeted “not only the flow of oil, but the government’s continued responses” as well. 

The same week Reznicek reported to prison, the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change released their Climate Report signaling “Code Red” for Humanity. Indigenous communities, Water Protectors, and climate activists have continued to oppose DAPL for its pollution and disruption of Indigenous communities and lands, and for climate change acceleration. In the few years DAPL has been in operation, over 10 spills have been reported.

Sentencing Reznicek under a federal terrorism enhancement for acts of civil disobedience targeting private property, sets an alarming and dangerous precedent for climate justice movements and endangers Indigenous and front-line defenders most impacted by worsening climate conditions.

“What Jessica’s case highlights is the power of corporations and the cult of private property we have in the United States that permeates all levels of our society. We already have to contend with the power of corporations (“legal persons under the law”) to lobby, to pay for private security forces that intimidate and brutalize frontline human rights defenders, and use of their endless resources in judicial attacks in the form of SLAPP suits. Now we must also deal with the power of ‘corporate victims’ to request millions in restitution and extended sentences for acts of civil disobedience—which they term ‘eco-terrorist’—that were avowedly nonviolent and resulted only in property damage of an illegal pipeline that has already leaked and will inevitably do so again. ‘Who will drink the water?’ is not a rhetorical question.” 

Natali Segovia, Legal Director of the Water Protector Legal Collective and one of the authors of the amicus brief

The brief provides an overview of the historical rise of the industry-coined phrase ‘eco-terrorism’ and contextualizes Reznicek’s actions, including the exhaustion of all legal remedies to halt the DAPL, government inaction to curb climate change and climate scientists’ arguments in favor of mass popular action. Given the very real material threats of climate change, the brief states that Reznicek’s conduct was out of necessity and in response to the environmental terror created by corporations. 

The NLG and WPLC urge the court to seriously consider the lasting impacts of this domestic terrorist sentencing precedent on political protest. Branding Water Protectors, Land Defenders, and other environmental activists as “eco-terrorists” results in a “Green Scare” that has led to legal and legislative repercussions for climate justice defenders. 

Especially for communities disproportionately impacted by the effects of climate change, the ability to call for substantial measures to slow or halt climate change are literally a matter of life or death.

Jess put her life on the line because she wanted to protect the water and how much she cares for the Earth. We shouldn’t be asked to decide between seeing our children grow up and stopping harmful oil pipelines.”

Leoyla Cowboy, Water Protector and WPLC Program Director

Reznicek’s friends and comrades insist on one thing: “she is not a terrorist.”

We stand in solidarity with Jessica Reznicek and all Water Protectors demanding an end to irreversible climate damage.

Counsel for amici are Andrew B. Reid (NLG) and Natali Segovia (WPLC). 

Sign Jessica’s petition to drop the terrorist enhancement.

Learn more on how you can support on Jessica’s website.

Hear from Jessica in her interview on We Are Iowa Local 5 News.


National Lawyers Guild

Director of Communications, Charlie Blodnieks

Water Protector Legal Collective

Communications Coordinator, Nizhoni Begay

Download the PDF file .

The post #FreeJessica: National Lawyers Guild and Water Protector Legal Collective Submit Amicus Brief In 8th Circuit Court of Appeals In Support of Water Protector, Jessica Reznicek first appeared on National Lawyers Guild.

NLG Condemns Abortion Bans, Looks Toward Community-Based Leadership and Paths Toward Liberation

Over the last couple of weeks, a piece of precedent-breaking legislation criminalizing abortion was passed in Texas and upheld by the Supreme Court. Another court case challenging anti-abortion legislation in Mississippi, Jackson Women’s Health Organization v. Dobbs, is scheduled to take place before the United States Supreme Court in December of 2021. These decisions have resounding impacts on the state and safety of reproductive healthcare in the United States and represent a harrowing expansion of state policing over the healthcare decisions of marginalized people. The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) firmly supports the right to abortion and denounces efforts by the state to interfere with the safety and autonomy of folks seeking such care. In the hopes of maintaining Roe v. Wade, NLG has filed an amicus brief in the JWHO v. Dobbs case with partners at If/When/How, Project SANA, and others. We are committed to supporting reproductive rights in this critical moment.

In our capacity as a legal organization, we are concerned with the judicial and legislative precedents that may be established, as they will undoubtedly harm marginalized people. As an abolitionist organization with a commitment to people’s movements for liberation, however, NLG urges community members to look beyond protective measures of the state—in particular, toward the leadership and asks of mutual aid networks and reproductive justice organizers.

“We must fight for justice, not only for rights,” said Justice Gatson, NLG National Executive Committee member, social justice doula, and founder of the Reale Justice Network.

Abortion access is a key component of reproductive justice, a framework developed and practiced by Black feminist organizers in the South. We look to the foundational work in advancing this framework done by organizations like SisterSong, the New Georgia Project, and others, alongside countless community collectives practicing mutual aid. As defined by SisterSong, reproductive justice describes “the right to personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities.” NLG officially stated organization-wide support for reproductive justice at our 2018 Convention, in our Resolution Opposing the Criminalization of People’s Reproductive Lives. In maintaining the promises made in that resolution and by the very nature of abolition and transformative justice, NLG asks that folks center marginalized people most impacted by these bans and demand action beyond the courts.

We cannot divorce these policies and precedents from white supremacy. In fact, policies banning abortion are recent developments in U.S. history, and came about as an anti-Black response to the practice of midwifery. This anti-abortion law continues the legacy of racist violence that created and is practiced in gynecology by stripping pregnant people of autonomy and refusing to provide safe, affirming alternatives.

Anti-abortion laws disproportionately harm Black, Indigenous, and other people of color, as well as those who are undocumented, trans, queer, low-income, disabled, fat, and/or incarcerated. Among a long list of major concerns with the current state of reproductive care, modern gynecology is unwilling to meet the needs of Black people, resulting in a maternal mortality rate four times higher for Black pregnant people than their white counterparts. Medical discrimination also severely limits access to contraceptive care for fat and/or disabled people; creates conditions where transgender patients are turned away from reproductive care; engages in practices that are unsafe for undocumented folks, ranging from turning patients over to ICE to requiring forms of state-issued IDs; among others. This law exacerbates the existing fatal racism, anti-Blackness, and discrimination in medicine, leaving folks without access to safe reproductive care.

Responses to these bills and court cases absolutely must look beyond rights alone, and must include the anti-Black and oppressive reality of these events. We cannot achieve reproductive justice without also taking substantial steps in anti-racism and anti-oppression. As we work to fight for basic legal rights in the courtroom, we also commit to uplifting mutual aid efforts in areas most impacted. Please see below for more organizations doing work on-the-ground and resources for learning more about the history of reproductive justice, anti-Blackness, and abolition.

Abortion access organizations

Educational resources

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.

Featured image: Reproductive Justice 4 All by Steve Rhodes /  CC BY 2.0

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The post NLG Condemns Abortion Bans, Looks Toward Community-Based Leadership and Paths Toward Liberation first appeared on National Lawyers Guild.

NLG Condemns Biden Administration’s Violent Deportation of Haitian Asylum Seekers

The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) strongly denounces the Biden Administration’s racist brutality against Haitians at the U.S.-Mexico border and their mass expulsion and deportation, in violation of US law and of their internationally recognized rights to seek asylum. The NLG reiterates and supports the comprehensive statement from the Haiti Action Committee, and offers the following additional history and analysis of the current situation, including specific resources and action items.

A Brief History of U.S. Imperialism in Haiti

The status quo of U.S. immigration policy is violent and white supremacist. The images of U.S Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agents on horseback whipping and assaulting Haitian refugees blatantly display the clear historical relationship between slavery and modern immigration policy, policing, and the carceral state. Indeed, the announcement of a tender for contractors to run a detention center for Haitians on the illegally U.S,-occupied Cuban territory of Guantanamo Bay, where the U.S. continues to run an unlawful prison camp for detainees kidnapped from Afghanistan during its invasion and occupation of the country, further underlines this connection.

We stand in solidarity with the Haitian people, who led the first successful revolution against African slavery in the Western Hemisphere, and established the first free nation in Latin America. There is a longstanding history of US intervention in Haiti which has been a decisive factor in promoting mass migration due to recurrent political instability and massive inequality. This has been exacerbated by the U.S’s refusal to equitably distribute vaccines, offer adequate natural disaster relief aid, or pay reparations, which are all a part of the long lineage of specifically anti-Black violence inflicted upon Haitians. The current situation in Haiti is particularly intolerable and poses a high risk of serious harm or death to those forced to return. 

U.S. imperialism is directly responsible for the devastation in Haiti. Haiti has been forced into an ongoing situation of terror following the 2004 U.S.-supported and -orchestrated coup against democratically elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. The UN occupation following the coup caused a massive cholera epidemic and devastated the Haitian economy. Haitian workers were recruited for low-wage labor in Brazil and Chile—and now have been forced out. A series of U.S.-backed dictatorships have been imposed through unreliable, rigged and dubious elections, and death squads have targeted the population. Now, an earthquake has killed 2,200 and left hundreds of thousands of Haitians without shelter.

Current Mass Deportations of Haitians at the U.S.-Mexico Border

Currently, it is estimated that approximately 14,000 Haitian migrants will be expelled or deported from Del Rio, Texas, only weeks after the Biden Administration extended Temporary Protected Status for Haitian immigrants until 2023. This crackdown is part of a broader pattern of repression and persecution against migrants at the US-Mexico border and within Mexico that is driven by complicity between US and Mexican authorities, and by the use of the COVID pandemic as a pretext for illegal abuses through the activation of Title 42 as a mechanism for mass expulsions without due process or respect for the right to seek asylum.

These inhumane mass deportations will endanger the lives of thousands of migrants and highlights the anti-Black, violent, white supremacist political objectives of U.S. empire. We stand in solidarity with Haitian immigrants and undocumented persons, especially Black migrants, in demanding an immediate end to the brutal mistreatment, and mass expulsions and deportations of Haitians, and for Title 42 to be rescinded.

Biden and leading members of his administration and allies in Congress spent years rightly criticizing the immigration policies of the Trump Administration, and then immediately turned around and maintained many of their most abusive dimensions. The Biden Administration promised to do better, and has dramatically failed in this endeavor. We urge you to join the many calls to hold the Biden Administration and its agents fully accountable for these abuses against Haitians and to immediately halt these mass expulsions and deportations.

The U.S. is now once again imposing a policy of mass deportation, incarceration and abuse on Haitian refugees after its devastation of their homeland forced Haitians to migrate for safety. We demand justice and accountability for the Haitian refugees at the border as well as for the nation and people of Haiti for years of U.S. imperial abuse and destruction.

Resources and Action Items

Please look to the following resources to offer or receive resources and support, and to demand an end to these deportations:

NLG National
NLG International Committee

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Member Recap: September 10, 2021

Welcome to the Member Recap, where you can catch up on NLG news from the last two weeks.

Be sure to keep up with us in real time on social media, on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook!

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.kt-accodion-icon-style-xclose ):not( .kt-accodion-icon-style-arrow ) .kt-blocks-accordion-header.kt-accordion-panel-active .kt-blocks-accordion-icon-trigger {background:#ffffff;}.kt-accordion-id_1ff53c-a7:not( .kt-accodion-icon-style-basic ):not( .kt-accodion-icon-style-xclose ):not( .kt-accodion-icon-style-arrow ) .kt-blocks-accordion-header.kt-accordion-panel-active .kt-blocks-accordion-icon-trigger:after, .kt-accordion-id_1ff53c-a7:not( .kt-accodion-icon-style-basic ):not( .kt-accodion-icon-style-xclose ):not( .kt-accodion-icon-style-arrow ) .kt-blocks-accordion-header.kt-accordion-panel-active .kt-blocks-accordion-icon-trigger:before {background:#444444;} NLG San Francisco-Bay Area: Prisoners in CTF Soledad File Legal Complaint Alleging Racist Abuse by CDCR, CTF Warden

On Sunday, September 12 at 12 noon, NLG lawyers and prisoner solidarity activists will gather at the gates of the Soledad Correctional Training Facility (CTF) for a press conference to announce a legal complaint filed by Black prisoners against Warden Craig Koenig and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR).

RSVP here

NLG-NYC: Attica is All of Us, September 13th

The all-virtual “Attica Now” event will feature a recorded introduction from Dr. Angela Davis, a Keynote Presentation from Danny Glover, and MC Jamal Joseph.

Register here

Recording: Sustainable Economies and the Law

Co-sponsored by National Lawyers Guild chapters at Vermont, Stanford, and Lewis & Clark Law Schools

We live in times of extreme material scarcity, environmental catastrophe, and white supremacist exploitation. Our economic structures have failed us, but there are efforts afoot to develop a new vision for the economy. Is a new, sustainable, and regenerative economy possible, and how could it center democracy, care, cooperation, and justice? What role can lawyers play in supporting this kind of economy and the grassroots movements who are building it?

View the recording here

NLG International Committee: A People’s Green New Deal

Max Ajl, author of A People’s Green New Deal, will be leading the opening discussion on climate change, the environment, people’s rights and the rights of ecosystems on Saturday, September 18 (9 am Pacific, 12 pm Eastern). His presentation will be followed by a panel of respondents from the NLG and IADL doing critical and leading Guild work on these important issues.

Register here

National, Chapter, and Committee Statements and News .kt-tabs-id_8d1e04-a2 > .kt-tabs-content-wrap > .wp-block-kadence-tab {border-width:1px 1px 1px 1px;border-color:#bcbcbc;background:#ffffff;}.wp-block-kadence-tabs .kt-tabs-id_8d1e04-a2 > .kt-tabs-title-list li {margin:0px 8px -1px 0px;}.wp-block-kadence-tabs .kt-tabs-id_8d1e04-a2 > .kt-tabs-title-list li .kt-tab-title, .wp-block-kadence-tabs .kt-tabs-id_8d1e04-a2 > .kt-tabs-content-wrap > .kt-tabs-accordion-title .kt-tab-title {font-size:1.1em;line-height:1.4em;border-width:1px 1px 0px 1px ;border-radius:4px 4px 0px 0px ;padding:8px 20px 8px 20px ;border-color:#eeeeee;color:#444444;background:#ffffff;}.wp-block-kadence-tabs .kt-tabs-id_8d1e04-a2 > .kt-tabs-title-list li .kt-tab-title:hover, .wp-block-kadence-tabs .kt-tabs-id_8d1e04-a2 > .kt-tabs-content-wrap > .kt-tabs-accordion-title .kt-tab-title:hover {border-color:#e2e2e2;color:#444444;background:#ffffff;}.wp-block-kadence-tabs .kt-tabs-id_8d1e04-a2 > .kt-tabs-title-list li.kt-tab-title-active .kt-tab-title, .wp-block-kadence-tabs .kt-tabs-id_8d1e04-a2 > .kt-tabs-content-wrap > .kt-tabs-accordion-title.kt-tab-title-active .kt-tab-title {border-color:#bcbcbc;color:#444444;background:#ffffff;} NLG Students Prepare for DisOrientation

As the 2021-22 academic year begins, NLG student chapters are busy introducing the Guild to incoming and returning law students! National Office staff are working with our 130+ law school chapters to distribute the updated NLG Disorientation Manual and prepare for tabling, meetings, and DisO events. Stay tuned for more information about city-wide Disorientation events this September and October!

The Stanford NLG Chapter put together a Letter to Incoming Progressive/Radical Students, which you can view here.

Photo: University of North Carolina NLG Chapter

Sign Onto the NLG International Committee Letter in Support of Steven Donziger

This open letter and sign-on statement is initiated by the National Lawyers Guild International Committee and the International Association of Democratic Lawyers.

We welcome all signatures from lawyers and legal organizations in the United States and internationally.

PLEASE SIGN BEFORE SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 12 at 6 PM Pacific Time (9 PM Eastern time) for submission to Judge Preska on Monday, September 13.

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The NLG is proud to endorse Jailhouse Lawyers Speak‘s call for demonstrations in solidarity with the Shut Em Down call to action.

We’ve compiled a non-exhaustive list of local Shut Em Down events for folks to plug into. Many of these events are not directly hosted or organized by an NLG chapter or committee, but are a part of the call to action we endorsed.

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The National Conference of Black Lawyers’ Law Enforcement Accountability Project (LEAP) is a legal education program designed to train a cadre of lawyers to file civil suits in Federal Court on behalf of the victims of police misconduct and to educate the community activists to know their rights, especially during these protests.

Those taking this training will receive 4 CLE credits to maintain their license to practice law and are encouraged to work with members of their communities as legal advocates in the fight against police brutality.

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2021 Resolutions and Amendments

Each year, NLG members propose resolutions and amendments for review and vote of the full membership. In 2021, we have one proposed resolution and three amendments (see below). The timeline and process for reviewing and voting is as follows:

September 13: All resolutions and amendments posted to the NLG website and sent to members.

October 10: Deadline for members to contact proponents to 1) add themselves or their Guild entity as endorsers, or 2) offer friendly amendments to the proposals to be incorporated before the plenary (NOTE: proponents may decline to accept friendly amendments).

October 15: Final version of resolutions and amendments will be posted to the NLG website and sent to members.

October 16: Governance plenary at the convention. Proponents will present resolutions and amendments and answer clarifying questions. NO voting will take place during the plenary.

October 31: Deadline for Guild members to send pro or con statements to to be posted to the NLG website and included in the voting survey.

November 3: Voting begins. All current NLG members will receive a voting link by email (instructions to submit a paper vote will be included).

December 15: Voting ends.

December 22: Results posted to the NLG website and sent to members.

2021 Resolutions

Resolution Against Unfair Cancellation of Guild Members and in Favor of Left Solidarity

2021 Amendments

Chapter Charter Amendment

Adding The United People of Color Caucus (TUPOCC) to the Executive Council (EC) of the NLG

Legal Worker Definition Amendment


The post 2021 Resolutions and Amendments first appeared on National Lawyers Guild.

Action Kit: Commemorating the Attica Prison Rebellion and Supporting Jailhouse Lawyers Speak’s Shut ’em Down Demonstrations

This upcoming Thursday, September 9th, marks 50 years since the Attica prison rebellion, a devastating event which became foundational to the modern anti-prison movement.

Many NLG Chapters and Committees are hosting or supporting events in commemoration of the Attica rebellion. The NLG is also proud to be an endorser of Jailhouse Lawyers Speak‘s Shut ’em Down demonstrations.

Keep reading for details on upcoming events and how you can plug into calls for prison abolition!

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.kt-accodion-icon-style-xclose ):not( .kt-accodion-icon-style-arrow ) .kt-blocks-accordion-header.kt-accordion-panel-active .kt-blocks-accordion-icon-trigger {background:#ffffff;}.kt-accordion-id_85a6d0-ca:not( .kt-accodion-icon-style-basic ):not( .kt-accodion-icon-style-xclose ):not( .kt-accodion-icon-style-arrow ) .kt-blocks-accordion-header.kt-accordion-panel-active .kt-blocks-accordion-icon-trigger:after, .kt-accordion-id_85a6d0-ca:not( .kt-accodion-icon-style-basic ):not( .kt-accodion-icon-style-xclose ):not( .kt-accodion-icon-style-arrow ) .kt-blocks-accordion-header.kt-accordion-panel-active .kt-blocks-accordion-icon-trigger:before {background:#444444;} NLG-NYC & the Attica is All of Us Coalition: Attica Then and Now

Join NLG-NYC and other member organizations of the Attica is All of Us coalition for two virtual events on Thursday, Sept. 9th and Monday, Sept. 13th, including the history of Attica, special words from Angela Davis, and more!

Register here! Text-based flyer with a grey drawing of Attica Correctional Facility against a red background. At the top, text reads: Save the dates! Thursday September 9th and Monday September 13th, 6 PM – 8:30 PM (EST). ATTICA IS ALL OF US. Live stream the virtual events at: A 50th commemoration of the Attica Uprising and Massacre. Supported by an underwriting grant from the NLG-NYC Chapter Foundation. Broadcast and Technical Support from Manhattan Neighborhood Network. NLG-San Francisco & Bay Area Partners: Shut Em Down at CTF Soledad

Join us at CTF Soledad on September 12 from 11:30am-2:30pm for a rally and press conference to call for abolishing gang validation and expose the racist use of gang enforcement laws to target Black and Latinx prisoners and silence those challenging prisons from inside.

Register here! Text-based flyer with light grey background. Top left corner reads: SHUT EM DOWN AT CTF SOLEDAD. Top right corner reads: CTF prisoners are fighting back with a legal complaint to challenge the use of validation/racist gang enforcement laws. “In the spirit of abolition,” join us: For a press conference to announce the legal complaint, followed by a rally called by currently and formerly incarcerated people and their loved ones against the widespread use of racist gang validation against Black and Latinx prisoners in an effort to criminalize their organizing, dissent, and survival. Below that, a stylized image of three hands in handcuffs with the caption: Imagery adapted from original “Free the Soledad Brothers” poster by Rainbow Zenith Press. Additional text below that reads: “National Lawyers Guild – SF Bay Area, CA Families Against Solitary Confinement, No Justice Under Capitalism, Anti Police-Terror Project, Oakland Abolition & Solidarity, Workers World Party. To the side: “Sun. Sept 12th, 11:30-2:30 (PST), 11:30 AM – Gather. 12:00 PM – Press conference. 1:00-2:30 PM – Rally with speakers. Location: CTF US-101, Soledad. JLS Shut ‘Em Down Demonstrations

Please note: the following events are not officially organized by NLG Chapters or Committees, but are a part of the national Shut ‘Em Down demonstrations, called for by Jailhouse Lawyers Speak and endorsed by the National Lawyers Guild.

This is not an exhaustive list of rallies; different local events have varying levels of publicity due to safety and security assessments. We are re-sharing events which are already publicly accessible. We linked to registration where applicable, but some events primarily have information on social media. Twitter links will work even if you don’t have a Twitter account.

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Join the Prisoners Solidarity Committee and Fire! at 12:30 PM CT on Saturday, Sept. 4 at the Briscoe Unit in Dilley, Texas for a car caravan to stop the detention of migrants.

Text-based flyer with a white background. Across the top in bold text: Detention centers, prisons, jails. Below that, in yellow text outlined in black: SHUT ‘EM DOWN! Beneath that: Car caravan to stop the detention of migrants @ the Briscoe Unit, a Texas prison. Saturday September 4th 12:30 PM CT. From: 1459 TX-85, Dilley, TX 78017. To: 300 El Rancho Way, Dilley, TX 78017. No cages! No borders! End the racist operation lonestar! No deportations! No death by COVID-19! In solidarity with Jailhouse Lawyers Speak, called by: Prisoners Solidarity Committee of Workers World Party + FIRE! Fight for Im/Migrants and Refugees Everywhere

Columbia, South Carolina: September 4th

Join the Party for Socialism and Liberation – Carolinas at 4PM EST for a speakout and demo to bring light to the conditions at Turbeville correctional facility.

Visit their Twitter page for more information.

Text-based flyer with a black background and a light green box inside of it. In the green box, across the top text reads “Black August 2021 calendar of events.” Below that, a list of dates and events: Sat 8/14 – 6:00 PM (EST) – SC State House (1100 Gervais St): a vigil to remember all those we have lost in South Carolina “Department of Corrections” Sat 8/28 – 4:00 PM (EST) – JLS Shut ‘Em Down Noise Demo (4500 Broad River Rd): noise demo and sign line to make noise around SCDC especially Camille Graham and DJJ. Sat 9/4 – 4:00 PM (EST) – Shut ‘Em Down Speak Out (4500 Broad River Rd): speakout and demo to bring light to the conditions at Turbeville correctional facility. TBD – 4:00 PM (EST) (date and location to be determined): outdoor letter writing to Political Prisoners. Underneath that is another line of blocky text: PSL – Columbia, SC. DM us for more info or to volunteer. Ruleville, Mississippi: September 5th

Join the Party for Socialism and Liberation – Mississippi and the Mississippi Rising Coalition on Sept. 5th at 4PM EST to demand that people who are incarcerated receive full access to medical care, clean water, nutritional meals, educational resources, and full visitation privileges!

Register here! Fairfield, California: September 9th

Join Voices of VV on Sept. 9 at 4 PM PST outside of Solano County Jail in Fairfield for a daytime noise demonstration with ongoing jail release aid.

Organizers ask that you bring noisemakers and your voice and that you wear a mask.

Follow Voices of VV on Twitter and Instagram for more information.

A flyer with black and red ripped paper effects on the corners. At the top, white text over a black background reads: 2021 Shut ’em down. Solano County Jail, 500 Union Ave, Fairfield CA. Bring noisemakers and wear a mask. Noise demo and jail release aid night. Below that, a red box with white text inside of it reads: Thurs Sept. 9, 4 PM (PST) (Jail release aid will continue through the night). Across the bottom half of the flyer is an image of people wearing orange with white scarves around their heads and faces, looking through a shattered window and holding a sign that says “Free 57.” Overlayed on top of it is another red box with white text, reading: No cops no prisons total abolition. Buffalo, New York: September 9th

Join Workers World – Buffalo at 5PM EST at the monument in MLK Park to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Attica uprising. 

More information can be found on the Workers World Twitter page.

A flyer with a black background and white text. At the top, the flyer reads “Shut down Attica, shut them all down!” Below that is a sepia image of a large group of people holding their fists up. Below that, more text reads: 50 years later… The struggle continues! September 9, 5PM (EST) at the monument in MLK park – Buffalo. 50 years after the Attica Uprising of 1971, prisoners across the United States are still facing the same cruel, dehumanizing conditions. We are gathering this September 9th to commemorate the revolutionaries who put their lives on the line to fight the Prison Industrial Complex, and to raise our voices about the ongoing struggle in every prison and ICE detention center. Attica is all of us! Abolish prisons now! Los Angeles, California: September 9th

Join the Party for Socialism and Liberation – Los Angeles for a rally and march to hear from local activists, organizers and community members who are commemorating “Black August” by organizing for Black liberation and fighting back against the system of racist mass incarceration.

Register here! Black text-based flyer with a black and white image of a raised fist in the middle. Across the top, a line reads: National Shut ‘Em Down. On the left of the fist, the logos for Jailhouse Lawyers Speak and Party for Socialism and Liberation sit on top of the text: In remembrance of the 1971 Attica prison rebellion. To the right of the fist, text reads: 12 PM (PST), Sat. Sept. 4, 441 Bauchet, Los Angeles. Across the bottom of the flyer, large text reads: Prisoner solidarity rally & march.

What is the Attica prison rebellion?

From the Attica is All of Us website:

[Trigger warning for descriptions of police violence]

In September of 1971, an uprising by the incarcerated men of Attica, a maximum security prison located in western New York, ended in the bloodiest attack by state authorities in United States history.

On September 9th, thirteen hundred incarcerated men had rebelled due to inhumane prison conditions, taking over the prison, and holding forty guards hostage. After issuing a list of demands—including calls for improvements in living conditions and medical care, religious freedom, and educational and training opportunities—they entered into negotiations with state officials. The State unilaterally ended the negotiations and Governor Rockefeller ordered an armed attack against the defenseless men. In the course of the brutal highly militarized take over, State police and guards slaughtered thirty-nine individuals, including ten hostages, but it was deliberately and falsely reported by the State that the hostages had their throats slashed by the men who had rebelled. After the massacre there was systematic brutality, torture of the men, selective punishment and isolation of alleged rebellion leaders.

The Attica rebellion played a foundational role in the development of today’s anti-prison movements.

The post Action Kit: Commemorating the Attica Prison Rebellion and Supporting Jailhouse Lawyers Speak’s Shut ’em Down Demonstrations first appeared on National Lawyers Guild.

2020 Annual Report

Dear NLG Members and Supporters,

Thank you so much for being a part of the NLG community! We’re here because of you and we are excited to share our just-released 2020 annual report so you can read more about the work we have accomplished together.

Thanks to you, we coordinated legal support for more than 20,000 people who participated in the uprising for Black lives, organized our first ever all-virtual #Law4ThePeople Convention, and more!

We couldn’t have done it without you. From the tireless work of our incredible lawyers, law students, legal workers, and jailhouse lawyers, to the unwavering support of our amazing donors, allies, friends, and family — each and every one of you makes it possible for us to continue fighting for people and the planet over property and profit!

With gratitude,

NLG National Office

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Download the PDF file .

The post 2020 Annual Report first appeared on National Lawyers Guild.