For Immediate Release
Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, Carol Sobel,
co-chairs, NLG Mass Defense Committee
(202) 232-1180 ext. 202, (310) 922-7001
Interviews available with NLG members in cities nationwide
For interview requests contact Nathan Tempey
(212) 679-5100 ext. 15
Despite High-Pofile Crackdowns, Occupy Camps Hold Fast with National Lawyers Guild Legal Support
NEW YORK - In the face of ongoing police attacks on Occupy encampments, many occupations persist with the continued legal support of National Lawyers Guild members nationwide.
In Boston Thursday, a Superior Court judge extended the two-week-old temporary restraining order (TRO) obtained by the NLG, barring the city from evicting Occupy Boston.
Urszula Masny-Latos, Executive Director of the NLG’s Massachusetts Chapter, said of the decision: “If the main issue that the City of Boston has regarding Occupy Boston is ’safety,’ then the City should work with Occupy and create an acceptable and workable plan for addressing all health and safety-related issues, rather than seeking the ultimate closure of the Dewey Square encampment.”
Boston members of the Guild’s Mass Defense Committee saw the need for legal action when the occupation, having survived a massive raid and two months of increasing cold, faced a wave of brutal evictions and revelations of national coordination by city officials and possibly federal law enforcement.
Elsewhere, occupations continue outside of the national media spotlight having successfully avoided or challenged police confrontations, often with the help of the NLG.
In addition to affirmative constitutional rights challenges, the NLG is coordinating legal activists to provide Occupy protests with Legal Observers®, criminal defense, legal briefing, legal research, and often, around-the-clock legal advice.
In Florida, NLG attorneys will argue for a TRO on behalf of Occupy Pensacola in a federal court hearing this afternoon.
In Augusta, Maine a judge has upheld an TRO filed by NLG members on November 28. The TRO gives Occupy Augusta an additional week of legal protection from eviction. Another hearing is scheduled for Monday, December 5.
In Nashville, Tennessee Guild members were victorious in convincing a federal judge to issue a preliminary injunction after filing a TRO. Further, the judge found that no probable cause existed in 55 protest arrests and ordered that all the charges be dropped and all records relating to the arrests expunged.
In Albany, New York, arrested occupiers came to court with NLG representation and the chief district attorney dropped all charges.
The following is a partial list of other locations where NLG members are providing legal support to ongoing Occupy protests:
Hartford, Connecticut; New Haven, Connecticut; Washington, D.C.; West Palm Beach, Florida; Bosie, Idaho; Pocatello, Idaho; Des Moines, Iowa; Bloomington, Indiana; Louisville, Kentucky; Bangor, Maine; Portland, Maine; Lansing, Michigan; Buffalo, New York; Raleigh, North Carolina; Cleveland, Ohio; Houston, Texas; San Antonio, Texas; Olympia, Washington.
The National Lawyers Guild is dedicated to the need for basic and progressive change in the structure of our political and economic system. Through its members--lawyers, law students, jailhouse lawyers and legal workers united in chapters and committees--the Guild works locally, nationally and internationally as an effective political and social force in the service of the people.