NACDL has a long tradition of fighting to protect constitutional principles, and standing up for the individual against the government. In keeping with that tradition, the NFCJ and NACDL have committed to establish a First Amendment Strike Force and Mass Defense Unit. Specifically, NACDL supports a cadre of criminal defense lawyers who will be available to provide pro bono assistance to protesters throughout the country in the event of mass arrests. While the charges brought to date against most protesters are often relatively minor misdemeanors, the consequences of a criminal record have never been greater in American society. For those lawyers who volunteer, NACDL will maintain a database of available counsel, and will provide training and support at no cost to assist these volunteers.
Required Video Trainings
- Representing Protesters webinar presented by Martin Stolar, criminal defense and civil rights attorney (October 11, 2017)
- Defending Protesters Facing Criminal Charges webinar presented by Jeffery Robinson and Lee Rowland, ACLU (June 27, 2017)
- NACDL’s Fourth Amendment Center has resources available to assist attorneys seeking to challenge the use of new law enforcement technologies in their cases. Specifically, counsel should be alert to unlawful device searches, seizures, and compelled decryption orders, as well as police access to cell phone location information and the use of facial recognition. The Fourth Amendment Center has manuals and sample motions available as well.
- Criminal Docket Episode #52, released Sept. 19, 2017
- News release on the project launch (September 17, 2017)
- Pending state protest-related legislation (Legislative tracking services returning soon)
- National Lawyers Guild Volunteer Lawyer Contacts – To donate your services, contact the nearest chapter. If you don’t find one in your area, please email the NLG Mass Defense Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Know Your Rights
- CNN: If you're planning to take part in protests, know your rights. Read this. by Scottie Andrew (June 3, 2020)
- ACLU: Know Your Rights: Protesters’ Rights
- Electronic Frontier Foundation: Digital Security Tips for Protesters by Bill Budington (November 16, 2016)
- Electronic Frontier Foundation: Surveillance Self-Defense: Attending a Protest (June 2, 2020)
- First Amendment Watch, NYU: A Citizen's Guide to Recording the Police (June 2020)
Shuli Carroll, National Affairs Associate
Phone: (202) 465-7638
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