Punk Rock Benefit for NLG-NYC Tonight!

Titus Andronicus frontman, Patrick Stickles, has put together a last minute benefit show tonight, Monday, Nov. 21 at Brooklyn’s Shea Stadium (20 Meadow Street, Brooklyn), which will benefit the National Lawyers Guild – NYC Chapter, who are currently fighting for the rights of Occupy Wall Street protesters. The lineup features Ted Leo, the So So Glos, and of course Titus Andronicus. The show is tonight at 8 p.m., and tickets are $15 (you can buy them today starting at noon, at Main Drag Bushwick Supply Annex (268 Meserole Street, Brooklyn). There will be no tickets at the door.
– as reported on Gothamist.  more info at www.liveatsheastadium.com

UPDATE: Coverage of the benefit show is now available online at Impose Magazine.

NLG-NYC Attorneys Seek Emergency Court Conference to End NYPD Harassment of OWS at Zuccotti Park

Today, attorneys for the NLG-NYC filed a letter with New York Supreme Court in response to the NYPD’s arbitrary and abusive procedures at Zuccotti Park. Since the forced eviction of the occupation on November 15, the NYPD have maintained a frozen zone around Zuccotti Park, conducted warrantless and unreasonable searches, and seized or destroyed personal property. Read the letter to Justice Stallman here.

Restraining Order Denied: Protesters Allowed back in Park – Within Limits

At approximately 4:15 this afternoon, Justice Stallman denied Liberty Park Legal Working Group’s request for a TRO (temporary restraining order) on behalf of Occupy Wall Street and upheld the eviction of Occupy Wall Street from Liberty Park.

According to Justice Stallman,

The movants have not demonstrated that they have a First Amendment right to remain in
Zuccotti Park, along with their tents, structures, generators, and other installations to the exclusion
of the owner’s reasonable rights and duties to maintain Zuccotti Park, or to the rights to public access
of others who might wish to use the space safely. Neither have the applicants shown a right to a
temporary restraining order that would restrict the City’s enforcement of law so as to promote public.

The NLG-NYC strongly disagrees with the opinion’s conclusion and believes that Justice Stallman adopted an inappropriately restricted view of the First Amendment. The case continues with a court appearance, after submission of more substantive papers, on December 1, 2011.

Read the decision here.

BREAKING NEWS – Judge Orders Protesters Be Allowed Back in Park With Their Belongings

For Immediate Release: November 15, 2011

Contact:

Yetta Kurland – 917-701-9590
Daniel Alterman – 917-945-2599
Gideon Oliver – 646-263-3495
Margaret Kunstler – 917-331-8012

New York, NY: At around 6 AM on November 15, 2011, attorneys associated with the New York City Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild working as the Liberty Park Legal Working Group obtained a temporary restraining order against the City of New York, various City agencies, and Brookfield properties directing that occupiers be allowed back on the premises with their belongings.

Earlier, at approximately 1 AM, the NYPD began massing around Zuccotti Park “aka Liberty Park.” In the following hours reports surfaced that the NYPD entered the park with police in riot gear backed up by numerous police vehicles, including a bulldozer, evicting occupiers. In the process they destroyed property and arrested dozens of occupiers and protestors including NYC Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez and District Leader Paul Newell.

In the coming hours, days and weeks the LPLWG will pursue all legal options to enable the occupiers to continue to exercise their first amendment rights to speech and assembly for speech. Attorney Yetta Kurland, one of the attorneys from the LPLWG, said, “This is a victory for everyone who believes in the First Amendment. We will continue to fight for everyone’s right to continue the occupation.” In response to the injunction, Daniel Alterman, also an attorney with the LPLWG, stated that, “This is a victory for all Americans, for the constitution and for the 99%.” Gideon Oliver, another attorney with the LPLWG reacted by saying, “The LPLWG has been fighting to ensure their right to free speech from day one of the occupation. The occupiers right to free speech is based in our most core legal principles and we will be here till the end to fight for those rights.”

The order is available for download here.

The Liberty Park Legal Working Group is a group of volunteer attorneys and legal workers dedicated to defending the rights of those engaged in constitutionally-protected assembly or protest.

New York City Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG-NYC) Condemns NYPD and CIA Surveillance, Harassment, Infiltration, and Persecution of Muslim, Arab, and South Asian Communities and Demands an Independent Investigation

For Immediate Release: November 14, 2011

Contact: Bina Ahmad, 608-658-4228; Lamis Deek, 212-226-3999; Garrett Wright, 646-459-3012

The New York City Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG-NYC) condemns the ongoing joint NYPD-CIA surveillance, harassment, infiltration, deliberate disruption, and persecution of New York City and area Muslim, Arab, and South Asian communities.

A series of articles released by the Associated Press has documented and made public a massive domestic spying apparatus set up by the NYPD with active participation from the CIA.  This program destroys these communities’ privacy, liberty, security, and right to exist free from government interference.

The joint NYPD-CIA operation puts these communities under an endless and competing system of surveillance that includes police monitoring of mosques, homes, elementary schools, colleges and universities, restaurants, community and political organizations, stores, other institutions of civic and social life.  The NYPD utilizes a “Demographics Unit” to deploy hundreds of undercover officers, countless informants, and technological surveillance to place entire communities under illegal surveillance. Over the years, an aggressive campaign of predatory prosecution was launched wherein informants, who themselves were induced with financial and immigration incentive to act as provocateurs, entrapped Muslims so as to justify the brutal war on Muslims at home and abroad.

Despite the revelation by the Associated Press series that the NYPD targeted these communities on the basis of religion and race within New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, Commissioner Kelly initially deceived the public by denying the existence of this program before the New York City Council earlier this month.  The NYPD has yet to disavow the use of such a program.

The NLG-NYC condemns these racist, Anti-Muslim, unconstitutional, and immoral governmental assaults on freedom, dignity, and justice.  These attacks are the latest in a long history of racist profiling and targeting of communities of color, including the shameful NYPD-FBI COINTELPRO campaign of murder and frame-ups directed against the Black Panther Party and Young Lords Party, as well as the ongoing NYPD racial profiling of African Americans and Latinos through abusive policing practices.

The NLG-NYC joins the Muslim Communities of New York and New Jersey in demanding the following:

  • The immediate cessation and disclosure of all surveillance, and infiltration operations targeting Muslim, Black, Arab, and South Asian communities and the passage of anti-racial profiling legislation.
  • An end to predatory prosecutions and the entrapment schemes that law enforcement agencies have been conducting in New York and throughout the United States.
  • Attorney General Eric Schneiderman publicly address and investigate these abuses by the NYPD, in response to Sen. Kevin Parker’s letter, dated October 5, 2011.
  • The establishment of an independent commission to investigate the role of the CIA and to oversee the surveillance operations of the NYPD to ensure that no additional misconduct and constitutional violations occur.
  • The establishment of guidelines that clearly state, once and for all, what practices are prohibited and intolerable in a free society.
  • Ongoing oversight of all future actions of the NYPD.

The National Lawyers Guild, founded in 1937, is the oldest and largest public interest/human rights bar organization in the United States. Its headquarters are in New York and it has chapters in every state.

Download this statement here.

NLG-NYC Attorneys Demand Return of OWS Generators

On Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011 Guild attorneys representing the OWS Legal Working Group sent a letter to FDNY Commissioner Salvatore Cassano demanding the return of generators confiscated from Zuccotti Park one day below the onset of freezing temperatures and snow. Read the letter here.

UPDATE: The generators were picked up from FDNY on November 8, 2011. Thanks to all for all of the hard work on getting them back!