Pledge to Work at No Charge for Activists Resisting Attacks on Free Speech
(From Press Release) – Donald Trump, his “unbridled” courts and federal law enforcement will be “emboldened” to trample on free speech and assembly for years to come predicted a trio of prominent Sacramento area civil rights lawyers late Saturday at the annual meeting of the National Lawyers Guild Sacramento Chapter at McGeorge Law School.
But the lawyers pledged to help the social justice community “resist,” and recruit an army of pro bono lawyers to join them to support activists in the streets.
“We, as lawyers, have to stand with and represent when we can with movements that challenge this oppression. We can help but we (lawyers) are not the answer. It’s because of the people who are out there behind us that we can get results in the courts,” said Mark Merin, a civil rights attorney well known for advocating for social causes.
Linda Parisi, a Lincoln Law School professor and sought-after criminal defense attorney, admitted that “It’s difficult and there may be consequences” resisting Trump and his “long and cold and bitter shadow,” but “we are here on behalf of those who do resist in these serious times.”
“This will be much like the Reagan years and post 9/11 Bush years. The government is an unbridled monster, and there is no check on federal law enforcement, which will be emboldened. The courts will be stacked by Trump,” said Mark Reichel, a civil and criminal defense lawyer who pledged lawyers will stand with the activist community.
The NLG Sacramento has been monitoring law enforcement for years at Sacramento public demonstrations – NLG legal observers wear bright green hats – and have sponsored dozens of Know Your Rights trainings for the community in the past year alone. The Chapter has also provided pro bono lawyers to represent labor, anti-war and other social justice activists in Sacramento.
The National Lawyers Guild, whose membership includes lawyers, legal workers, jailhouse lawyers, and law students, was formed in 1937 as the United States’ first racially-integrated bar association to advocate for the protection of constitutional, human and civil rights. It now has more than 200 city and law school chapters across the U.S. and has the oldest and most extensive network of public interest and human rights activists working within the legal system.