For Immediate Release
Paige Cram, Communications Coordinator, 212-679-5100, ext. 15
National Lawyers Guild Issues New Report on Unlawful Police Tactics
WASHINGTON - The National Lawyers Guild has released its third comprehensive
report on government violations of First Amendment rights on the
one-year anniversary of the G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh. “The Policing of
Political Speech: Constraints on Mass Dissent in the U.S.” documents how police over-reaction to protected speech
has informed unlawful police tactics at National Special Security
Events, such as the 2008 Republican National Convention and the 2009
The report lays out age-old government tactics that have been
reintroduced under new anti-terrorism policies and legislation. Spying
on and infiltration of activists’ meetings, the use of agents
provocateurs, raiding organizers meeting spaces and the misuse of grand
juries to collect information are some of the practices that are backed
up with recent incidents observed and being challenged in court by
National Lawyers Guild members.
Much of the report deals with recent prosecutions of activists on
terrorism-related charges based on fabricated evidence and the attaching
of inflated meaning to protest rhetoric:
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT
Our Summer Campaign Is Underway
Support Common Dreams Today
Independent News and Views Putting People Over Profit
"Protesters' calls to "crash the convention" or "shut down the
convention" are political rhetoric and are not direct calls for the
commission of crimes. Despite a body of Supreme Court decisions holding
that hyperbolic political speech is protected by the First Amendment,
and law enforcement's own awareness that there is no threat posed,
police continue to justify vast intelligence initiatives based on such
Copies of the report are available by calling the National Lawyers
Guild at 212-679-5100, ext. 15, or by downloading it from from our publications page.
This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.
Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Won't Exist.
Please select a donation method:
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.