Being Safe When Taking Action, Words from the NLG

[Remember that the temperaments of different cities in regards to criminal law and legal matters varies, and it is important to have knowledge for your specific area, or the specific area where you are acting. Much of the material that follows is New York or Ohio Specific, and none of this is legal advice; and also remember never talk to the police.]

Here are all the more or less current Know Your Rights (KYR) things I can
think of, attached or as links.

The way I have always done legal support for protesters is to educate
people using these, and at the same time, either be or find a lawyer who is
not only licensed in the state, but actually familiar with the local
courts. It is crucial to actually find someone who is qualified (like,
don’t get a housing attorney to advise you on criminal defense matters) and
politically on board (someone who actually knows and cares about the nexus
of expressive rights and criminal defense).

It is important for people engaging in direct actions or civil disobedience
(and even entirely lawful, constitutionally-protected activities) to have
agreements about risk, but in order to make those agreements, they need to
have information about the likely criminal liability attached to different
possible actions. And that is really only going to get to folks through a
lawyer who really knows this area of practice in whatever particular
jurisdiction – more than just knowing the law, the lawyer should know the
practice of the District Attorney, the typical conduct of police, and the
moods of judges.

There is definitely a group of lawyers in Cleveland and Cincinnati who are
down, and they have a Cleveland-specific pamphlet, which is largely sourced
from some of Mutant Legal’s materials, and which will not be entirely
relevant for any other part of Ohio.

The attached Anti-repression pamphlet was written by me during and for
Occupy Wall Street — it is hyper-specific to New York but the general
principles apply. There is a web-friendly version (layout 3) and a
printable version (layout 5).

Mutant Legal Resources are all here <>
and they are legion

BMLP has a collection of resources here <> and click on
“resources” or scroll down.

The NLG has these <>

Here is the Legal Observer (LO) manual I wrote for Ferguson; I feel certain
it can be adapted for incarcerated people. I wonder whether it would be
useful to consider the LOs as being a specific role for people who are
going to appear *not* to strike – perhaps that would help LOs to avoid
retaliation. Anyway, here is the LO training we do for folks on the
outside, and it seems like the principles could be abstracted for a
carceral setting. All of the resources I or Mutant has authored are copyleft