NLG Mass Defense Work, Protests December 2014

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 25: Lawyers, law students, legal professionals, and allies gathered in front of courthouses across Massachusetts on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 to voice their support for protesters declaring “Black Lives Matter” following the police killings of Black people such as Michael Brown in Missouri, Eric Garner in New York, and Aiyana Stanley-Jones in Michigan. Read the press release here.

The event was endorsed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, and the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice at Harvard Law School, the Black Law Students Association at Northeastern Univ. School of Law and the American Friends Service Committee of Western Mass.

See more pictures of the action at courthouses in Lowell, Springfield, Fall River, Somerville, Boston, and Roxbury here.


SATURDAY, JANUARY 10: Five NLG Legal Observers – Mark McMahon, Joshua Raisler Cohn, kt crossman, Maddie Thomson, and Trevor Maloney – volunteered at an action in Dedham, where about 60 people rallied to the commuter rail station while football fans boarded the train to Foxboro for the Patriots vs. Ravens game. Activists were there to remind everyone that black lives matter on and off the field. While the train was stopped, about 6 activists jumped down from the platform, ran 200 or so yards and jumped onto the tracks in front of the engine. They blocked the front of the train with a banner that read “White Silence = Violence.” Others on the tracks held signs reading “Black lives matter on and off the field” and “Black Lives Matter.” The activists blocked the train for 4.5 minutes, symbolizing the 4.5 hours that Mike Brown’s body lay on the ground. All activists were able to leave without arrest.

Activists blocked a train heading to the Patriots vs. Ravens game on Saturday, January 10, in Dedham, MA. White crowds at sporting events produce a deafening roar for talented black athletes, yet the white majority is silent when it comes to police violence in black communities. Photo by Trevor Maloney.


TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23: Lawyers from across Massachusetts gathered in front of the Supreme Judicial Court on Tuesday, December 23, 2014 to voice their support for protesters declaring “Black Lives Matter” following the police killings of Michael Brown in Missouri, Eric Garner and Akai Gurley in New York, and Tamir Rice in Ohio. Read the press release here.


SUNDAY, DECEMBER 14: Legal Observers putting their skills to work at yesterday’s Millions March (Saturday, December 13, 2014) . Tomorrow (Monday, December 15, 2014) – members of the NLG Mass Defense Committee will be in court representing and defending 20 activists arrested at yesterday’s protest.

(photos by Lisa Gordon and Gaye Ozpinar)

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 9: The NLG Mass Defense Committee has been very busy training and representing activists involved in protests against police treatment of people of color.  Black Lives Matter, students at Tufts and Harvard have mobilized thousands to take to the streets and show the outrage.

In Boston, members of our Committee legal observed at several large protests in Boston and Cambridge and represented over 50 people arrested, with most getting their criminal charges changed to civil infractions.  We also had a group of  Harvard students who did their first legal observing on December 4th.  Makis Antzoulatos, Danny Beck, Jeff Feuer, Mimi Brown, Josh Raisler Cohn, and Carl Williams (wearing both his ACLU and NLG hats) worked for hours to make sure that people’s rights to demonstrate were protected.

 In Providence, Rhode Island, NLG members Allyson Quay, Benjamin Evans, Lipou Laliemthavisay, Jim Vita, and Matt Blair served as NLG Legal Observers.  Demonstrators marched down the streets of South Providence for several hours and ended in a demonstration outside the Providence Public Safety Complex.  Protesters took over I-95 and blocked traffic in both directions for 30 minutes. Seven people were arrested and are now represented by NLG Attorneys Quay and Shannah Kurland.

PHOTO: (l.-r.)  Jim Vita, Allyson Quay, Benjamin Evans, Lipou Laliemthavisay & Matt Blair legal observing in front of the Providence Public Safety Complex on 11/25/2014.

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