This week, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee) and the National Bar Association (NBA), launched a national campaign to provide legal support and resources for individuals and organizations engaged in peaceful protest and demonstration, particularly in the wake of calls for policing reform. The campaign includes release of state-specific “Know Your Rights” materials to help ensure that individuals are aware of their first amendment right to protest and demonstrate. The campaign also includes legal support to help provide individual-level assistance to those who are detained or arrested while protesting.
The “Know Your Rights” materials inform protestors of their rights in their respective jurisdictions and of what to expect if arrested. Demonstrators may call 1-844-3RIGHTS (1-844-374-4487) to be connected with a pro-bono attorney if arrested. State-specific brochures are currently available for Atlanta, Baton Rouge, and Washington, D.C. Versions for Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Minnesota, New York, and Pittsburgh will soon be available.
“Communities across the country are mobilizing to call for policing reform” said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “However, these efforts sometimes bring protesters and demonstrators into contact with the very law enforcement agencies that are the subject of their protest. Citizens should be free to exercise their first amendment rights and provided the support needed when engaged in such protest.”
“The right to protest is a fundamental component of our democracy and we urge all of members of all NBA Affiliate Chapters to contribute to this cause,” said National Bar Association President Kevin Judd. “The NBA has is deeply committed to providing protection to protestors who take to the streets to make their voices heard.”
Attorney volunteers are needed for this effort. To volunteer click here.
As mass demonstrations are expected to continue, the national groups encourage demonstrators and protestors to contact 1-844-3RIGHTS (1-844-374-4487) should they face arrest. For more information on how you can support the effort, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.