(dis)Orientation 2014 — It’s Not You, It’s Law School!

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The National Lawyers Guild Chicago Chapter is proud to announce our 2014 city wide DisOrientation!!!
 
Saturday, October 4th @1:00 p.m.
Loyola University, Corboy Law Center, 25 E. Pearson

DisOrientation is an event for students to discuss surviving law school with our values and commitment to social justice intact. Come meet NLG law students, legal workers, and attorneys, while attending various panels and trainings on how to become a peoples lawyer.

The NLG is dedicated to the need for basic change in the structure of our political and economic system. We seek to unite the lawyers, law students, legal workers and jailhouse lawyers to function as an effective force in the service of the people, to the end that human rights shall be regarded as more sacred than property interests.

Our aim is to bring together all those who recognize the importance of safeguarding and extending the rights of workers, women, farmers, people with disabilities and people of color, upon whom the welfare of the entire nation depends; who seek actively to eliminate racism; who work to maintain and protect our civil rights and liberties in the face of persistent attacks upon them; and who look upon the law as an instrument for the protection of the people, rather than for their repression.

Schedule:
1-1:30 Lunch
1:30-2:15 Welcome
2:30-3:30 Student Panel
3:45-4:45 Attorney Panel
5-6 Legal Observer & Know Your Rights Trainings

Happy Hour to follow!
Clark Street Ale House
742 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654
6:30 p.m.

Chicago Legal Observers in Ferguson

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Our NLG Chicago Legal Observer Program volunteers are in Ferguson, supporting demonstrators and monitoring police. We have been working in cooperation with attorneys in Missouri on a Mass Defense of those persecuted by this insane system that has befallen the citizens of Ferguson .

We need your help. $10, $20, $100 will ensure that “boots on the ground” are there to ensure civil rights for the people that have had enough! DONATE HERE NOW!

More photos of our Legal Observers in Ferguson:

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Jeff LOing in Ferguson 8-18-2014

 

All-Chapter Pre-Convention Super Social

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The Chicago Chapter NLG Board and Next Gen invite you to our All-Chapter Pre-Convention Super-Social at Jak’s Tap located at 901 W Jackson Blvd. on Thursday, August 14th 2014 from 5:30-9pm.  Come learn about what is in store for our national convention, which is right around the corner. Don’t miss the chance to grab a drink (cash bar) and connect with all of your favorite NLG people.
 
Please help us spread the word about this amazing All Chapter Pre-Convention Super-Social and the upcoming Law for the People 2014 Convention. 

Chicago Legal Observer Training on 7/31/14

The National Lawyers Guild of Chicago Legal Observer Program cordially invites you to participate in our training to become a Legal Observer on July 31st, 2014. Legal Observers are volunteers who attend progressive political protests and actions in order to monitor, document, and hopefully deter police and government misconduct. In Chicago, Legal Observers (“LOs”) have supported the movements against public school and mental health clinic closures, environmental movements, Occupy Chicago, the protests against NATO in 2012, and many, many more. More information on the national program can be found here. If you are interested in becoming an LO and lending your eyes and ears to the support of Chicago’s activists, please register to attend and join us.

Thursday, July 31st, 2014
6:00pm – 8:00pm
Multi-Kulti, 1000 N Milwaukee Ave, 4th floor
All attendees must please register here: http://bit.ly/ChiLO
This interactive LO training is Chicago specific and includes information on Illinois and Chicago specific laws and law enforcement strategies. We will discuss strategies for effective legal observing, including as preparation for subsequent criminal and civil cases. All LOs who volunteer in Chicago must receive this training. If you were not trained as an LO in 2013 or 2014, you must attend this training or a future training in order to be added to the list of active volunteers.
PLEASE NOTE: We are now training LOs who are not already involved in legal work. All LOs work under the supervision of a National Lawyers Guild affiliated attorney, and all notes or other information from events is privileged and confidential. Many more details about the role of Legal Observers can be found in the NLG Legal Observer Handbook.
You can contact us at this email address (chicago.lo.program@gmail.com) with any questions. If you cannot attend on July 31st but would like to be informed of future trainings, please let us know that.
Please share this invitation with others who may be interested!

National Lawyers Guild Urges US Government to Cease $3 Billion Annual Military Aid to Israel

July 18, 2014
Tasha Moro
Communications Coordinator
212-679-5100 ext 15

Recent massacre of Palestinians in Gaza and ground invasion violates international law

NEW YORK–The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) expresses its outrage about Israel’s ongoing indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks against Palestinian civilians and civilian objects in the Gaza Strip. Following a barrage of recent airstrikes, the Israeli military on July 17 began a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip.

Power has been cut to the entire Gaza Strip, as close to two million Palestinian civilians huddle in the dark reporting explosions, flares and Israeli airstrikes hitting in the north and eastern parts of the Gaza Strip. As of July 15, Palestinian human rights organizations had documented the killing of 194 Palestinians, including 37 children and 28 women in Gaza.  72.7% of those killed are considered civilians.  At least 1,218 Palestinians have been injured.  1,489 houses have been destroyed or damaged in addition to 23 schools, 34 mosques, an ambulance center, 13 NGO offices, 38 fishing boats and 5 hospitals. According to the UN Office for Humanitarian Assistance, over 17,000 Palestinians have taken shelter in UNRWA schools and another 6,500 have found shelter with families or friends.  While rockets have been fired into Israel by militants in Gaza, they have resulted in one death and little damage.

The population of the Gaza Strip has been living under an Israeli imposed closure for the past seven years, itself constituting a form of collective punishment.  As a result of the siege, 70 percent of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are dependent on humanitarian assistance and  have not yet even recovered from the damage and destruction caused during previous Israeli offensives in 2008-9 and 2012.

Once again, Israel’s military attack against the occupied Gaza Strip is being portrayed by the US government as an ongoing military conflict, one in which Israel has the right to defend itself from rocket fire from Gaza. President Obama recently wrote in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz that “our commitment to Israel’s security remains ironclad. The US is committed to providing more than $3 billion each year to help finance Israel’s security through 2028.”  Meanwhile, both House (HR 657) and Senate (SR 498) have passed resolutions supporting Israel.

“All this is indicative of the US policy of double standards.  No matter how many innocent Palestinian civilians are killed and injured, how many civilian homes, hospitals, mosques, and schools Israel destroys through its bombs, the US sees Israel as the victim and continues to fund Israeli massacres,” said NLG President Azadeh Shahshahani.

‘Operation Protective Edge’ is taking place in the context of Israel’s belligerent occupation.  “Israel controls Gaza from the air, land, and sea, and is therefore obligated under international law to protect civilians there – as in the West Bank,” said Audrey Bomse, Co-Chair of the NLG Palestine Subcommittee.  “As the Occupier, Israel cannot rely on the argument of self-defense and must act in accordance with the laws regulating the conduct of hostilities and occupation.”

Furthermore, in light of Israel’s widescale punitive military campaign across the West Bank following the disappearance, and death of three young Israeli settlers, blamed – without a shred of evidence to-date – on Hamas, the Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip is indicative of a larger political agenda: to destroy any chance of the Palestinian unity government succeeding, to destroy Gaza’s infrastructure, and to “mow the grass” – a term Israel uses to justify periodic assaults on the Gazan people’s will to resist occupation.

The NLG believes that international humanitarian law must be adhered to.  The principle of distinction requires all parties to distinguish between civilians and combatants, as well as between civilian objects and military objectives. The principle of proportionality prohibits launching an attack, which may be expected to cause loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, or damage to civilian objects, which would be excessive compared to the concrete military advantage anticipated.  In addition, Palestinian civilians are protected under the Fourth Geneva Convention, which obliges Israel, as the Occupying Power, to ensure the well-being and safety of the occupied population and respect Palestinians’ right to life and dignity.

Israel has admitted intentionally targeting Palestinian civilians and homes.  On July 8, the Israeli military announced that it had deliberately bombed the homes of four persons it called senior Hamas activists.  According to international customary law, a permissible military objective is “limited to those objects which by their nature, location, purpose or use make an effective contribution to military action […or] or offers a definite military advantage.”  The punitive targeting of the homes of people who may have links with armed groups, but are not taking active part in hostilities, is impermissible.

Israel’s framing of its military actions in Gaza as “self-defense” is part of a long-standing effort to weaken and change international law.  The US must end its complicity in this effort.

The NLG calls upon the US government to immediately and unequivocally condemn Israel’s indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks against Palestinian civilians and civilian objects. The NLG further calls upon the US government to cease the $3 billion annual military aid to Israel, which enables it to continually violate international law and human rights, including the Palestinian right to self-determination.

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Photo: Smoke rises from buildings in Gaza City following Israeli airstrikes. (Credit: Adel Hana/AP)