ALAA Roots — An Unofficial Site

December 1, 2003

2003.12.01: NLG Request for On-Call Lawyers

Filed under: Antiwar,Civil Liberties,Criminal Justice,Police Abuse,Racism — nyclaw01 @ 12:45 pm

From: Michael Letwin
Sent: Monday, December 01, 2003 11:43 AM
Subject: NLG Request for On-Call Lawyers

****Don’t just hit “reply”!  Instead, reply to:

Dear Mass Defense Lawyers:

As many of you know, early in the morning on November 16th a fundraiser party at the Critical Resistance office in Brooklyn was raided by NYPD.
Many people were beaten, peppersprayed, and harassed; eight were arrested.
As the People’s Law Collective (PLC) worked to arrange legal support for these arrestees, we realized that we are in dire need of a current list of on-call lawyers.

We write to ask you to be on this list.  What responsibilities would that entail?  Basically, if an emergency arises, like the one last weekend, we might call on you for precinct visits, negotiations, and arraignments.  We might call you in the middle of the night, or on very short notice.
Agreeing to be on-call would not in any way commit you to taking on cases beyond arraignment, or being part of an ongoing defense team.  (Although of course if you’re willing to do those things, that’s great!)  PLC (which is a small, all-volunteer collective that facilitates legal support for the local activist community) will not share this list with anyone outside PLC or the leadership of the NLG Mass Defense Committee.

Please reply to Vanessa Lee of PLC ( and let us know if you’re willing to be on-call.  If so, please fill out the questionnaire below, with as much detail as you can and send it back quickly.  Hopefully last weekend’s raid was an isolated incident, but better safe than sorry…
Given the recent news about arrests and raids in Miami, and FBI surveillance of activists in NYC and around the country, we’d like to have this system up and ready to go ASAP, so please reply soon.

It goes without saying that the more people are on this list, the more the responsibility gets spread around.  Of course, we hope that we will need this list so rarely that it really won’t be a burden on anyone.

Thanks to all of you for all the awesome mass defense work you’ve already done, and special props to Kamau Franklin and Franklin Siegal for rolling out of bed and to precincts in the middle of the night for the CR arrests, and to Liz OuYang for handling Sunday night arraignments.

In Solidarity,

People’s Law Collective & NLG Mass Defense Committee


1. Name:
2. Cell #:
3. Home #:
4. Work #:
5. Email address:
6. What boro do you live in?:
7. Do you have a car?:
8. Have you done activist defense work before?:
9. Have you done precinct visits before?:
10. Have you negotiated with police/precincts before?:
11. Have you done arraignments before?:
12. Availability:
[e.g. “I’m available for anything, but never call me after midnight.”  Or “I can do precinct visits, but not arraignments.”  Or “I can’t do anything till February, but you can call me after then.”  Or “Whatever, whenever.”] 13. Any additional information you think we might find useful:
[e.g. where you work – Legal Aid??? – anything else you can think of.]

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