Cops Target Guild Legal Observers in Phoenix

The Guild Defends Your Right to Resist!

“At protests from D.C. to Miami to Los Angeles to Philadelphia to Saint Paul, Guild Legal Observers have been arrested, shot with projectiles, tear-gassed, pepper-sprayed, and hit with batons, and we are still here to document misconduct.” —Carol Sobel, Co-Chair, Guild Mass Defense Committee

“Arresting a young woman of color who is there as an attorney-observer demonstrates how irresponsible and un-American the Arizona action is. I fear Arizona is starting to act like Mississippi in the civil rights days.” —Bill Quigley, Legal Director, Center for Constitutional Rights

National Lawyers Guild statement on arrests in Phoenix of Roxana Orell and Sunita Patel here!

Center for Constitutional rights statement here!

Jon Burge Sentencing: Pack the Courtroom

BURGE GUILTY: Sentencing hearing on Thursday, January 20, 2011 @ 9am.

PACK THE COURTROOM.  Get there early to get in.

12 noon, rally and press conference
219 S. Dearborn, Courtroom 1925

Former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge is finally facing his own sentencing hearing after a jury convicted him last June of three counts of obstruction of justice and perjury for lying about the torture he and others committed on the force.

For years, lawyers, activists, the torture survivors and their family members worked tirelessly to expose police torture and hold Burge accountable for his crimes. Let’s pack the courtroom and demonstrate our ongoing commitment in seeking justice for all torture survivors.

ICAT objection to Burge’s sentence PDF.

This event is sponsored by the Illinois Coalition Against Torture (ICAT). For more information, visit the Illinois Coalition Against Torture website at Also, see John Conroy’s blog on the Burge trial at

(Photograph taken by Eric Rogers.)

“Know Your Rights” Materials Available for Activists Targeted by the FBI

The National Lawyers Guild recommends that activists consult and make use of these resources. The Guild advises anyone visited by the FBI to assert your right not to answer any questions, to get the card of the FBI agent and state that you will have an attorney contact the agent on your behalf.

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.


Paige Cram, Communications Coordinator,, 212-679-5100, ext 15

New York:

The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) and its Mass Defense Committee provides legal defense and educational resources to activists, including those subjected to the September 24 raids and grand jury subpoenas in Michigan, Minnesota, and Illinois. The Guild denounces the attacks on free speech, freedom of association, and the right to dissent that these actions represent. The raids and summonses reflect escalating hostility toward individuals and groups working in solidarity with the Palestinian and Colombian people and are blatantly political attacks on peaceful activists.

National Lawyers Guild lawyers, in their continuing efforts to protect the right to dissent, are coordinating defense of these activists. The NLG offers several resources for activists who are subject to similarly aggressive and politically motivated breaches of their rights.

NLG Hotline:

888-NLG-ECOL (888-654-3265)

A hotline for U.S. activists who have been contacted by the FBI. Callers are matched with NLG defense attorneys in their states who have experience dealing with similar cases.

Know Your Rights Brochure:

A two-page brochure that summarizes the rights of citizens when they are contacted or stopped by the police or federal authorities. Available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, Farsi and Punjabi.  Click here to see the brochure.

Operation Backfire:

A booklet that discusses government attacks on activists and subsequent prosecutions. Available for free download.

If an Agent Knocks:

A 49 page pamphlet by the Center for Constitutional Rights discussing what to expect and what you can do when an agent knocks. Available for free download.

Grand Jury Resistance Project:

Information on grand juries and the contemporary history of resistance to this method of government repression. Visit the website here.

Emergency Response Hotline

In response to the FBI raids and grand jury subpoenas of September 24, and in its continuing effort to defend the right to dissent, the National Lawyers Guild of Chicago is offering several resources for activists.

First, we are announcing the establishment of a Chicago-based NLG emergency response hotline. The NLG Hotline will help match activists who have been contacted by the FBI with NLG defense attorneys in Chicago who have experience dealing with similar cases.

*** NLG Chicago Hotline: 312-913-0039 ***

Second, if you know of people who were visited by the FBI, or if you know about FBI visits to neighbors, employers or others, related to this investigation, please contact the NLG Hotline immediately at 312-913-0039.

Lastly, as always, the NLG Chicago Chapter provides legal observers to monitor police activity and infringement of First Amendment rights at local rallies, demonstrations, and direct action. To request legal observers, please email with information about your planned action.

We encourage organizers to contact us as soon as possible prior to the action, in order to increase our ability to provide observers, even before details are finalized. We consider your request for observers to be privileged legal communication and information provided will be kept confidential in accordance with applicable law.