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NLG & ACLU Appeal Judge's Decision That the DNC Week "Free Speech Zone" is Legal
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The Massachusetts Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild (“NLG”) and the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts (“ACLUM”) filed an appeal of the judge’s decision in the federal district court lawsuit brought on behalf of the public and members of the Bl(A)ck Tea Society, United for Peace With Justice and the Boston Coalition for Palestinian Rights against the City of Boston opposing the City’s unconstitutional attempts to confine and restrict demonstrators at the 2004 Democratic National Convention (“DNC”) to a claustrophobic and unsafe so-called “demonstration zone.” Despite the fact that Judge Woodlock stated that “[o]ne cannot conceive of what other elements you would put in place to make a space more of an affront to the ideal of free expression than the designated demonstration zone,” he ruled that this shocking infringement on plaintiffs’ First Amendment rights was lawful.
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25 Jul 2004 | Filed under: News / DNC : Human Rights
NLG Files Lawsuit against MBTA search policy
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The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) will be filing suit on Monday, July 26, 2004, together with the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and members of the American Friends Service Committee to enjoin the MBTA bag search policy. The challenge will be based on the fact that the policy violates the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution by permitting searches of private possessions without any particular information that the person searched is suspected of criminal activity.
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23 Jul 2004 | Filed under: News / DNC : Human Rights
Your Civil Rights May Be Briefly Delayed: MBTA Security Inspections & the 4th Amendment
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A permanent policy of random searches of baggage on the T not based on probable cause or any suspicion at all is inconsistent with the general spirit of liberty, violate the Fourth Amendment privileges of T passengers, and serves only the selfish interest of expanding police power at the expense of Bostonians.
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12 Jul 2004 | Filed under: Commentary / DNC : Human Rights
Support the DNC Resolution to Uphold Constitutional Rights of Protesters
cityhall.jpgA resolution to Uphold the Constitutional Rights of Protesters goes before the Boston City Council in a matter of days. Aimed at stopping the increasing trend of police repression seen during the FTAA in Miami and the G8 in Georgia The resolution will need your help in order to pass.

If this resolution passes it will be one of the most strongly worded resolutions in the country against the repression of protesters, setting a precedent for other cities to follow. As a city council resolution, it may not be able to reign in the FBI/JTTF & Secret Service, but the reality is that the feds need local agencies to carry out many of their repressive tactics. In the final section, the resolution draws clear lines against police brutality, harrassment of protesters, false arrests, use of force, etc.

Save Our Civil Liberties Petition
Full Text of Resolution (PDF)

[Update, 7/15/04: The resolution did not receive the unanimous vote it needed to pass and has been referred to the Boston City Council's Committee on Human Rights for a hearing on Wednesday, July 21 at 1:00 PM in the Iannella Chamber on the fifth floor of Boston City Hall.]
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10 Jul 2004 | Filed under: Announcement / DNC : Human Rights
MIT charges dropped against Aimee Smith
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A month after being arrested while distributing flyers at MIT, former Green-Rainbow city council candidate Aimee Smith has learned that charges against her have been dropped. She says she was “not surprised” that her case was dropped, but not satisfied, either: “We are looking into ways to seek redress to insure that MIT will never again use false arrest to silence people.”
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10 Jul 2004 | Filed under: News / Human Rights
Harassment of DNC Protesters Escalates
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** Emergency Release From Boston ** Please Forward Everywhere.

Despite the Boston Police Department’s stated commitment to protect people’s First Amendment rights during the DNC, the BPD has, in conjunction with other law enforcement officers in New York City, started a campaign of preemptive action that could chill protest participants' lawful speech activities during the Democratic National Convention (DNC).
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09 Jul 2004 | Filed under: News / DNC : Human Rights
Protesting the MBTA search policy
02 08-19 01 JFKUMass.jpgToday, July, 1st at 8am civil liberties advocates gathered at the Park St. Station to protest the MBTA’s new policy of random bag searches. The protest was attended and organized by groups including the American Civil Liberties Union of Mass., the National Lawyers Guild, the T Riders Union, and the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition. A group of street actors put on a fake search where they confiscated papers with “the Constitution” and “the Fourth Amendment” written on them. Many protesters also sang “Searching Charlie on the MTA”, a new rendition of the classic. Approximately 50 people attended the demonstration.
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01 Jul 2004 | Filed under: News / Human Rights
Security on the T & Criminalization of Dissent for the DNC
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If Boston residents haven't realized that we live in a culture of fear - they will during the Democratic National Convention. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) has released a "Security Statement" that outlines using fear tactics to allow police and transportation authorities to search bags and personal possessions during the Democratic National Convention. This policy comes on top of similar measures that the MBTA has announced that it is undertaking that allow other measures such as allowing "police officers to randomly search T riders' bags" to protect riders from "bombs" and "terrorism". The Massachusetts Chapter of the National Lawyer's Guild (NLG) has provided a series of resources for people who are concerned about this violation of American rights. The NLG has provided a simple explanation of your legal rights while riding the T or other public transportation in Boston.
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26 Jun 2004 | Filed under: News / DNC : Human Rights
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