Mass Dissent – “Summer” Retreat 2022

There were 13 people participating at this year’s retreat – Bonnie, Doug Smith (Lit. Com.), Eden, Jeff, Jesse Sanderson (2022 Suffolk grad.), Lee, Makis, Melinda, Rebecca Amdemariam, Roberto Patterson, Sara Malley (N.E. Law), Urszula, Zach. 

Melinda and Bonnie opened the proceedings up with a brief summary of the topics to be discussed during the retreat. This included the our ongoing work within the Litigation and Mass Defense Committee as well as future initiatives and directions in which the guild would be heading moving forward.

The Lit. Com. has 3 pending cases/campaigns:  Boston Police Department & BRIC’s violations of public records law, city ordinances to restrict the use of non-lethal weapons by cops for crowd control, and cops covering their badges.  It was suggested that there are white supremacists on the police force so we should seek the Boston Police records and policies that might pertain to any members of white supremacist organizations.  David Kelston noted that the Boston Police might not have such policies.

MDC needs more criminal defense attorneys to take cases and represent people.  There are only a handful of NLG attorneys who always take cases, even though there are almost 50 people on the listserv.  We need to recruit more NLG and non-NLG attorneys.  There will be a training for NLG attorneys who are not criminal defense attorneys to represent activists through arraignment.  Also, we should organize a social gathering with Mass. Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (MACDL), so they can learn about us, and we can recruit  some to the Committee.

Participants also discussed how the Guild can better work with community organizations as well as work more closely with Black and POC lead bar associations in Massachusetts. The Guild continues to be committed to be proactively anti-racist and inclusive and hopes to make strong forward movement in those areas.

We also should go back to our quarterly Happy Hours.  Perhaps we could start doing them in January.  We need to find a venue, a topic we want to discuss, and people who could lead a conversation.

NLG Retreat 2022 - Bonnie, Makis and Melinda

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