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Lawyers’ Committee and National Bar Association Announce Launch of National Program to Provide Legal Support for Protesters and Demonstrators

For Immediate Release September 16, 2016

Demonstrators Encouraged to Contact 1-844-3RIGHTS (1-844-374-4487) for Assistance if
Subject to or Faced with Risk of Arrest While Protesting or Demonstrating

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee) and the National Bar Association (NBA), launched a national campaign to provide legal support and resources for individuals and organizations engaged in peaceful protest and demonstration, particularly in the wake of calls for policing reform. The campaign includes release of state-specific “Know Your Rights” materials to help ensure that individuals are aware of their first amendment right to protest and demonstrate. The campaign also includes legal support to help provide individual-level assistance to those who are detained or arrested while protesting. The “Know Your Rights” materials inform protestors of their rights in their respective jurisdictions and of what to expect if arrested. Demonstrators may call 1-844-3RIGHTS (1-844-374-4487) to be connected with a pro-bono attorney if arrested. State-specific brochures are currently available for Atlanta, Baton Rouge, and Washington, D.C. Versions for Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Minnesota, New York, and Pittsburgh will soon be available.

“Communities across the country are mobilizing to call for policing reform” said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.  “However, these efforts sometimes bring protesters and demonstrators into contact with the very law enforcement agencies that are the subject of their protest.  Citizens should be free to exercise their first amendment rights and provided the support needed when engaged in such protest.”

“The right to protest is a fundamental component of our democracy and we urge all of members of all NBA Affiliate Chapters to contribute to this cause,” said National Bar Association President Kevin Judd. “The NBA has is deeply committed to providing protection to protestors who take to the streets to make their voices heard.”

Attorney volunteers are needed for this effort. To volunteer click here.

As mass demonstrations are expected to continue, the national groups encourage demonstrators and protestors to contact 1-844-3RIGHTS (1-844-374-4487) should they face arrest. For more information on how you can support the effort, contact [email protected].

About the Lawyers’ Committee
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Right Under Law (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. Formed over 50 years ago, we continue our quest of “Moving America Toward Justice.” The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice under law, particularly in the areas of fair housing and community development; employment; voting; education; and criminal justice. For more information about the Lawyers’ Committee, visit www.lawyerscommittee.org.

Stacie B. Burgess
Director of Communications and External Affairs
(202) 662-8317
[email protected]



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