For months, the Ohio Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild (Ohio NLG) has been working diligently to provide legal support for those protesting against the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Cleveland this summer. You can help by providing critical legal/ jail support funds.
Throughout the week, our legal office will dispatch and coordinate Legal Observers (LOs) across the city to document protestors’ interactions with law enforcement and to act as the eyes and ears of our criminal defense and civil litigation teams in the case of mass arrests or other unconstitutional conduct by law enforcement. Our team will be staffing a 24/7 jail support hotline (216-5050-NLG) to take calls from, alert the families of, and track those arrested to make sure that no one is lost in the system. As arrests occur, volunteer attorneys will be dispatched to visit those in jail and, if necessary, will be assigned to represent them in court. We will also provide assistance with on-site support outside the jails as people are released.
But we cannot do this alone. As evidenced by the $50 million security grant received by the City of Cleveland and the influx of 2,500+ visiting law enforcement officers, funding and support matters. The Ohio NLG, and the activist community at large, is concerned that the First Amendment rights of RNC protestors will be crushed under the weight and spectacle of national security. We believe that protestors have the right to voice their dissent in a constitutionally protected manner – free of unreasonable restrictions on speech and assembly or harassment by law enforcement.
In order for us to fight for and support those who desire their dissent be seen and heard during the RNC, funding is needed to secure our short-term office rental, Internet and phone service for our jail support hotline, laptops and external hard drives for our database and evidence retention, cell phones and walkie talkies for out-of-office communication, as well as basic office supplies and other necessary costs.
You can help support protestors’ rights. Donate to our efforts at https://www.ioby.org/project/rnc-2016-nlg-protestor-legal-support. To arrange for a check or cash donation, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations of any amount are greatly appreciated!