By Chapter Coordinator, December 13, 2014 4:38 pm



Elena Cohen, Esq.
National Lawyers Guild – NYC Chapter (“NLG-NYC”) President

Gideon Oliver, Esq.
NLG-NYC President Emeritus

Mark Taylor, Esq.
NLG-NYC Vice-President

Attorneys associated with the New York City Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild ( representing several people injured late last week when NYPD officers deployed a Long Range Acoustic Device (“LRAD”) in Midtown Manhattan delivered a letter to New York Police Commissioner William Bratton today demanding that the NYPD refrain from using the LRAD for crowd control purposes without first conducting thorough, independent testing, and developing appropriate written and public guidelines for training, use, reporting, and oversight requirements regarding the LRAD.

Their clients were participating in, observing, or documenting anti-police brutality protests in the wake of the Staten Island grand jury’s failure to indict NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo in connection with the death of Eric Garner when officers from the Department’s Disorder Control Unit (“DCU”) deployed the LRAD.

According to the DCU, the LRAD can be used for communication or as an “area denial” tool, emitting a piercing sound ranging from a maximum of between 136 to 162 decibels, depending on the model. Under National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health guidelines, exposures to sounds at levels greater than 85 decibels may cause hearing loss. According to DCU documents themselves, in the “dangerous range (above 120 decibels), the device can cause damage to someone’s hearing and may be painful.”

The NYPD has had LRADs since 2004. A 2011 Freedom of Information Law request has shown that as of September 2012 the NYPD had not implemented any training standards or guidelines for use of the LRAD.

Attorneys Gideon Oliver, Elena L. Cohen, and Mark C. Taylor contend that officers utilized the LRAD unconstitutionally and dangerously, without having first conducted appropriate studies, created appropriate policies and oversight mechanisms relating to safety and appropriate use of force, and trained officers in them.

Copies of the letter and other related documents are available upon request.

NLG-NYC Condemns Failure to Indict NYPD Officer for Murder of Eric Garner

By Chapter Coordinator, December 3, 2014 5:29 pm

National Lawyers Guild – New York City Chapter (NLG-NYC) Condemns Failure to Indict NYPD Officer for Murder of Eric Garner

For Immediate Release

December 3, 2014 – New York – The National Lawyers Guild – New York City Chapter (NLG-NYC) condemns the failure of a New York grand jury to indict NYPD officer Danny Pantaleo for the murder of Staten Island father and husband Eric Garner. Though Officer Pantaleo was caught on tape using a chokehold on Mr. Garner -a dangerous technique that the NYPD banned in 1993 after numerous people were killed in police custody-  the grand jury found that there was no probable cause to charge Pantaleo.

“As a former NYS Supreme Court Judge it is disheartening to know that in our system of justice a man can be strangled in the street and there are no consequences to the perpetrators,” said retired New York judge and NLG-NYC board member Emily Jane Goodman.

The police accosted Mr. Garner because they claimed that he was selling loose cigarettes. Mr. Garner’s death is yet another tragedy that evidences the failure of the neoconservative “broken windows” theory. New York Police Commissioner William Bratton embraces that theory, though it has only resulted in the over-policing of Black and Latino communities, and the incarceration of people in these communities for relatively minor infractions. The Chapter expresses its deepest condolences to the family of Mr. Garner.

The killing of Mr. Garner is no anomaly. The NYPD and police departments around the country routinely terrorize communities of color. The announcement by the grand jury in this case comes only a week after the grand jury decision in the Michael Brown case, which sparked protests around the country and around the world. This passionate response is not merely in response to one man murdered, but to a legacy of extrajudicial killing of Black men and women in the United States. In 2012 the advocacy group Malcolm X Grassroots Movement published a report titled Every 28 Hours which documents the almost daily extrajudicial killing of Black people by police, security guards and vigilantes in the United States.

The NLG-NYC calls on the Department of Justice to bring charges against Officer Pantaleo. Further, the NLG-NYC demands that the NYPD respect the rights of people to protest.

The National Lawyers Guild, founded in 1937, is the oldest and largest public interest/human rights bar organization in the United States.



Animal Rights Action Committee Social Justice Cookbook Now On Sale!

By Chapter Coordinator, October 10, 2014 6:13 pm

Purchase a copy of the ARAC Social Justice Cookbook today!

In the 1970’s, the National Lawyers Guild compiled members’ favorite recipes and published the Guild’s first-ever Social Justice Cookbook.  The last copy was sold at the 2013 Spring Fling.  Now, the NYC Chapter of the NLG Animal Rights Activism Committee is thrilled to announce the completion of an updated edition of this radical cookbook, highlighting how today’s struggles against oppression and inequality are directly related to what we eat.

The personal is political. Each time we sit down to eat, we make not solely a personal choice, but also a political one.  This second edition of the Social Justice Cookbook, which includes recipes from NLG members as well as former and current political prisoners, addresses a variety of food justice issues, including environmental issues, sustainability, affordable access to healthy food as a right and not a privilege, and animal liberation.

As with other food justice and social justice issues, eating animals is no more a personal choice than oppressing other humans is a personal “choice”.  This cookbook aims to show animals as living, loving, and loved individuals, rather than as meals.  On a broader scale, we hope this cookbook begins to make long-overdue connections between the radical Left and animal liberation.  If we are truly an anti-oppression movement, then we stand in solidarity with all beings subjected to violence and oppression worldwide: the undocumented, the incarcerated, communities of color, the occupied, political dissidents, and those whose bodies are treated merely as reproductive machines, fabric, entertainment, food, and for scientific torture/experimentation. We hope that, next time you sit down to eat, you make compassionate choices–and we hope that this cookbook helps you do that.


Social Justice Cookbook

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