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Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Mobilizes Legal Observer Program to Protect Protesters During Families Belong Together Rally

For Immediate Release June 29, 2018

Legal Observers Will Help Safeguard the First Amendment Rights of Demonstrators

 Washington, D.C. – Today, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law announced its plan to provide legal observers and jail support during the Families Belong Together Rally set to take place on Saturday, June 30, 2018 at Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C.

“It is imperative that we support those who wish to mobilize and exercise their First Amendment rights in this era,” said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “This administration’s zero-tolerance immigration policy is a critical issue that is testing the strength of our democracy. These times call for the support of trained and neutral legal professionals, and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is filling the gap by providing support to Saturday’s demonstrators. In addition to deploying dozens of legal observers along the rally route, we will also operate an emergency hotline (1-844-374-4487) on the day of the protest between 10:30 am and 2:30 pm.”

Organized rallies in Washington, D.C. and around the nation will take place that day to protest the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policies that have separated and detained families at the United States-Mexico border. Since May 2018, U.S. government officials have separated approximately 2,300 migrant children from their families. Even though President Trump signed an executive order halting future separations, it is unclear if the remaining separated children will be reunited with families and how long families will be detained.

Despite the executive order, organizations such as the National Domestic Workers Alliance, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, ACLU, MoveOn, and many others plan to go forward with protests. The message of the rallies is clear, “families belong together and the separation of families must end!”

The Lawyers’ Committee is committed to ensuring that protesters have the ability to exercise their First Amendment rights of free speech and peaceful assembly. In order to uphold that commitment, the Lawyers’ Committee will mobilize pro bono attorneys and volunteers on the ground at Saturday’s rally. These attorneys and volunteers will serve as legal observers documenting police activity, and will provide jail support for protesters arrested during mass demonstrations.

About the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law:

The Lawyers’ Committee, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination.  Now in its 55th year, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is continuing its quest to “Move America Toward Justice.” The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice for all, particularly in the areas of criminal justice, fair housing and community development, economic justice, educational opportunities, and voting rights. For more information, please visit https://lawyerscommittee.org.

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