Important Update from Occupy Legal
Occupy Legal is honored to have served an essential role for Occupy/Decolonize movements in the Bay Area since October, 2011. On a completely volunteer basis, Occupy Legal staffed a legal hotline and tracked more than one thousand arrestees in jail and through the legal system on both sides of the Bay. We provided twenty-four hour emergency support, and took primary responsibility for organizing and dispatching legal observers and lawyers, in conjunction with the National Lawyers Guild. To address the shifting needs and circumstances of the Occupy / Decolonize movement, Occupy Legal is transforming its mission to a mutual aid model emphasizing decentralization and popular education over direct service and professional models.
Occupy Legal will no longer staff a legal hotline on an ongoing basis. We will no longer be recruiting and organizing attorneys for jail visits and criminal defense. Occupy Legal strongly encourages organizers to be trained and staff their own legal hotlines for ongoing and smaller actions with arrest potential. We will educate you and work with you to set up a hotline and a data system for record-keeping and tracking arrests so that you can be sure that everyone arrested at your event is released and/or receives all available support.
By request, Occupy Legal may volunteer staff the NLG demonstrations hotline (415-285-1011) for demonstrations with the potential for mass arrests. Requests for a legal hotline, legal observers and on call lawyers, or other demonstrations related legal needs, should be made by filling out the NLG Demonstrations Committee form at http://www.nlgsf.org/form/legal-support-request. If you are unable to complete the online form, please call the NLG at 415-285-5067. OL, and the NLG Demonstrations Committee, are volunteer activists, and cannot guarantee being able to respond to all requests or meet all legal needs.
Occupy Legal will provide mutual aid and ongoing popular education for activists, including Know Your Rights, legal support and hotline trainings. The NLG Demonstrations Committee will continue to respond to requests for lawyers, as well as legal hotline and legal observers, within its capacity, as it has always done. The NLG can often recruit volunteer lawyers from its membership, but cannot guarantee finding everyone an NLG lawyer who can work for free, in every case, particularly on an emergency basis.