Mass Dissent – State of the NLG

State of the NLG – MA Chapter – 2022

Well, another busy year for the MA chapter of the NLG is nearly over.  With the support of our members, we have achieved several goals, some in response to decisions of the Supreme Court.  As you all know the Court decided the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization in which the Court took away a woman’s right to an abortion, thus overturning nearly 50 years of precedent set in Roe v. Wade which in 1973 guaranteed women the right to make that choice.  In response the NLG Abortion Justice Task Force was born and is creating a legal clinic that will be provided to communities affected by Dobbs.  In addition, the Guild has mobilized NLG chapters and projects around the country to create a National Committee on Reproductive Justice.

Our clinics have also been continually active.  As part of the Mass Defense Committee the Direct Action clinic has provided legal advice to activist groups and free representation to arrested members at the arraignment stage and often beyond, including for trials.  We also trained more than 60 new Legal Observers™ who attend political demonstrations and protests to help protect activists’ rights by observing police and counter-protestors’ behavior.

The Litigation Committee has been collaborating with the Buffalo NLG Chapter about white supremacists in law enforcement, filed several public records requests related to white supremacist organizations, settled a lawsuit against the Boston Police Department and the Boston Regional Intelligence Center (BRIC) for its surveillance of activists and for violations of public records laws, is currently conducting research on police covering their badges to prevent the public from finding out who they are, and provided advice and assistance to the Massachusetts Alliance Against Predatory Lending.

The Mass Defense Committee has continued to ensure that activists and organizers throughout Massachusetts have access to radical movement lawyers to defend them. Volunteer MDC lawyers have represented dozens of activists this year in Suffolk, MIddleslex, Essex, Worcester and Plymouth counties as they fought and organized for justice and liberation

Our Street Law Clinic project provided several free Know Your Rights–Stop & Search workshops to community organizations, schools, libraries, unions, and progressive groups across the state.

One goal that continues to be difficult for us is to recruit new members and to get our current membership more involved in the Chapter’s activities.  We know we have many talented members, and we need help in figuring out how to involve them in the work of the Chapter.  All suggestions and ideas are welcome so call, write, and/or come to our monthly meetings – we want to see you and involve you.  While we work hard on our various projects, we also have fun and comradeship.

On a personal note, Co-Chair Makis Antzoulatos’ term ends in January and Co- Chair Melinda Drew wishes him well – he has been a wonderful partner in chairing this Chapter and we are grateful that he is remaining a member of the Chapter.

In solidarity.

Makis Antzoulatos & Melinda Drew

Co-Chairs – MA Chapter