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Beyond the Green Hat: Issues around legal support for the RNC 2016 protests [Cleveland]

  • Case Western Reserve University 10900 Euclid Ave Cleveland, OH 44106 United States (map)

For more than a decade, the police and public officials have used a playbook of tactics with the clear aim of stifling and suppressing dissent. As we approach the RNC 2016 in Cleveland, it’s important to review and assess the pattern of tactics used so that activists and the legal community can better prepare to fight back.

The issues discussed in this workshop go beyond the typical concerns surrounding legal support at mass demonstrations, such as office set-up, Legal Observing and jail support, by probing ways the National Lawyers Guild can be more involved in the social change movements it supports.

Some of the tactics used by police and public officials include: (a) heavy surveillance and infiltration of activist groups, (b) entrapment and malicious prosecution, (c) controlling the media narrative to undermine activists, and (d) the passage of municipal anti-protest ordinances used to stifle dissent and arrest activists.

Kris Hermes, PM Press author, legal worker & former NLG staff
King Downing, NLG Mass Defense Director
Waltrina Middleton, Cleveland Action/Cleveland Movement Law
Jocelyn Rosnick, Ohio Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild

The workshop will be structured as a presentation with Q&A, including a panel of legal workers and attorneys experienced in mass mobilization legal support.

Presenters will speak about the historical practices of police across the country, the reaction to protests by Cleveland police in particular, some of the public policies being put in place, and how to address repressive police tactics expected this summer during the RNC. Presenters will also discuss how to reclaim the media narrative, and how to push back against draconian laws adopted to stifle dissent in Cleveland, among other issues.