NLG Legal Observers in action at “Straight Pride” Parade Protest

NLG Legal Observers in action at “Straight Pride” Parade Protest

When “Straight Pride Is Hate Pride” reached out to the National Lawyers Guild (NLG), the NLG responded. This was one of the groups organizing protests of the so-called “Straight Pride” parade in Boston Saturday, August 31, organized by individuals with ties to white supremacist groups.

NLG legal observers are present at protests to observe interactions between police and protesters, and any arrests that might occur. If a protester is arrested, LOs try to get a name so that the Mass Defense Committee can follow up with pro bono representation, if the protester so desires. In addition, the NLG will often coordinate jail and bail support if needed.

There was a lot to observe this past Saturday. Abuse of police power and excessive use of force were evident everywhere. It was next to impossible to record the numbers and departments of all the police present, as scores of them were on every side of the protesters. At times it was difficult to get close enough to protesters being arrested to get their names, as each protester being arrested was face down on the pavement, surrounded by at least half a dozen officers. At one point, three protesters were face down in the middle of an intersection that was filled with dozens of cops.

Of 36 arrests Saturday, 34 were of protesters, unsurprising given the government’s history of suppressing progressive movements. The Mass Defense Committee of the NLG will stand with these protesters, and defend their constitutional rights.

Written by Deb Wilmer