Alright occupiers, trick or treat,
Let’s all go to Washington, DC, and have a Halloween night party!
Let’s celebrate the wonderful Coke/Pepsi presidential election now in progress … and the honest, feisty way our elected reps in Congress have conducted our nation’s business … pay tribute to the bold visions they’ve put forward.
At dusk on October 31, let’s gather on Capitol Hill, trick or treat Congress and party like we’ve never partied before.
PS And if you cannot make it to DC then party in front of the Bank of America in your community… outside your city hall… or in the squares.
Invite your friends via the Facebook event: #HALLOWEENPARTY
We’ll be there. Will we see you there too?
After many months of tireless preparation, it is invigorating to be able to say that our #S17 anniversary weekend is finally here!
The http://s17nyc.org/ website will contain all of the who’s, what’s where’s, why’s and when’s; text @S17NYC to 23559 for real time updates, and below we did our best to organize and synthesize the litany of actions and events that are in store.
Whether it is an educational event at Occupy Town Square on Saturday or a celebratory action in tandem with the big Occupy Wall Street concert on Sunday, all these efforts collectively exhibit how All Roads Lead to Wall Street. From Sunday night’s Occupy Rosh Hashanah service to thedirect actions and popular assemblies on September 17th, we will ring in the new year in style.
Indeed, Wall Street is our common villain who is robbing the 99% blind on behalf of the 1%. This weekend we will mark the occasion of our anniversary by once again showing the powers that be that we see what they are doing, and that soon enough the whole world will again as well.
You can also Donate to Support S17: The Action Resource Fund helps Occupy Wall Street working and affinity groups get the resources they need to do the things they want on big days of action. Please donate if you can!
— from the ‘Your Inbox: Occupied’ team
(See here for even more resources and calls-to-action related to the one-year anniversary of #OWS - OccupyWallSt.org team)
OWS Anniversary Convergence Weekend
Saturday, 10:30am - 7pm
Washington Square Park
Join us for a special all-day Occupy Town Square for S17, with OWS tables, performances, and teach-ins.
10:30 am-12:30pm – Welcome and Orientation Activities, Lunch including S17 Action Prep & Legal Solidarity training.
Noon: Facilitation meeting for Thematic Assembles
12:30pm-4pm – Inaugural Assembly and Thematic Breakout Groups Some of the thematic assemblies already planned:
4pm-6:30pm – Open Space for teach-ins, workshops, performances any other type of activity. Please fill out the convergence form to let us know you are coming. This information will help us in our preparations.
4pm-6:30pm – Direct Action and Know Your Rights Trainings
Organizers and trainers from the Direct Action Working Group (in New York City and other occupations) will assist in skill-shares and knowledge-shares about activism in New York City and involvement in direct actions. This space will also be open for Know Your Rights trainings specific to New York City, and will also include Plus Brigades training. Check out the full training schedule for the weekend. Attending these trainings is highly recommended for everyone who plans to participate in any aspect of S17.
6:30pm-7pm – Closing Assembly
The day will close with a few words about various events happening throughout the city on Saturday evening. OTS will leave an open space for spontaneous assemblies or soapboxes.
The Debt Resistors’ Operations Manual
Judson Memorial Church, Washington Park South
The Debt Resistors’ Operations Manual, a project of Strike Debt and Occupy Wall Street, is a guide for individual and collective action for those fighting debt in all of its forms. Following its release, Strike Debt will host a discussion about the manual and its role in the emerging debt resistance movement.
S17 Affinity Group Spokescouncil
Washington Square Park
Learn about the action framework for S17, choose targets, and make friends.
Affinity Group Actions and Solidarity Events
March to End Suppression of OWS
Washington Square Park
Join us as we take to the streets to raise to raise awareness of the continued suppression of Non-Violent activists and the Occupy Movement. The march ends at Liberty Park.
Occupy: The Film Festival
Saturday, 6pm & 8:30pm
Anthology Film Archives 32 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10003
Occupy The Film Festival is feature a full weekend of first anniversary festivities, including prominent guest speakers, interactive screenings, an Occupy fashion show, an Occupy photography exhibit by award-winning artists, and guerrilla projections. Continues on Sunday.
We are Many: Reflections on Movement Strategy from Occupation to Liberation
Bluestockings Bookstore, 172 Allen Street
Just days before the one-year anniversary of the action that launched a nascent social movement, the occupation of Wall Street and the encampment at Zuccotti Square, join us for an evening of discussion around the past, present, and possible future of the Occupy movement.
Building the Tools of Consensus
7pm, Liberty Park
Exercise your right to peaceably assemble through what micro-local, democratic participation looks like with #NYCGA, a public assembly for and by the people.
Spectra Frack Pipeline Blast Zone March with the Occupy Guitarmy
Spectra Energy Pipeline Construction Site (Gansevoort Street and Hudson River Greenway)
The Occupy Guitarmy is a leaderless brigade of hundreds of instrumentalists and singers assembled with guitars, ukuleles, cellos, violins, basses, noisemakers and voices. The Guitarmy will team up with Occupy the Pipeline, environmentalists and local community members to stage a parade starting at projected blast perimeter of the Spectra Energy fracked gas pipeline currently under construction in the West Village. Connecting the dots between dirty, dangerous fossil fuels and Wall Street, the parade will end at Foley Square, where the Guitarmy will kick off the OWS “99 Revolutions” concert.
Legal Solidarity Training and S17 Action Prep
We will practice role plays of the actions planned for S17, build groups of trusted friends and associates to work with (‘affinity groups’), and how to make quick decisions on the street. We will also go through a legal Know Your Rights training, which will cover the particulars of the police and legal situation in New York City. Attending these trainings is highly recommended for everyone who plans to participate in any aspect of S17.
Saturday, noon: MASS ACTION SPOKES to coordinate for Monday’s actions
Occupy Town Square Open Space
Sunday, noon - 7pm
Thomas Paine Park on Worth St. between Lafayette and Centre.
Just North of the concert area, OTS will create space for tables, food, teach-ins, workshops, performances, trainings, and political discussions throughout the day in the park adjacent to the concert space. If you would like to give a teach-in or workshop, put on a performance or host any other type of activity, please fill out the convergence form to let us know you are coming.
Occupy Wall Street Anniversary Concert
Sunday, 1pm - 6pm
Foley Square, south of Thomas Paine on Worth St. between Lafayette and Centre.
Occupy Wall Street will host a concert which will include a variety of acts. It will include several headline bands, interactive performances by OWS and allied campaigns and creative Direct Action trainings to prepare the 99% for Monday’s day of resistance.
Occupy Rosh Hashanah
Celebrate the one year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street (which falls on Rosh Hashanah, September 17) and the Jewish New Year together with a potluck dinner and nondenominational holiday service. Eat some apples and honey, learn some Occupy Torah, and ring in the New Year with a bang!
Affinity Group Actions and Solidarity Events
Occupy: The Film Festival
Anthology Film Archives 32 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10003
see previous description on Saturday
Occupy the Big Screen at Times Square
Trinity Church (79 Broadway) to Times Square
March from Occupy Trinity on Wall Street down Broadway to Times Square. We leave at 10pm, then, at midnight on September 16th, as it becomes September 17th, we take over the big screen with our birthday party!
The People’s Wall
The streets surrounding the New York Stock Exchange
As part of the morning of actions, people from all walks of life are going to assemble in the streets surrounding the New York Stock Exchange in a historic act of nonviolent civil disobedience. We will form a peaceful sitting wall to deliver a clear message: The 99% will no longer stand for business as usual. In building this blockade, we will — symbolically and literally — open space for the 99 Revolutions to emerge, and set the stage for the Storm Wall Street convergence. These actions work together, as essential parts of a greater whole.
Intersections throughout the Financial District
Problem: All Roads lead to Wall Street. Solution: Reverse the Flow of Traffic. The 99 Revolutions will disrupt traffic throughout the Financial District by creating a swirl of roving intersection occupations surrounding the Stock Exchange. Each occupation will enact a World Without Wall Street as envisioned by members of the 99%.
Storm Wall Street
In front of the doors of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, at Bowling Green
At the site from which Occupy Wall Street first arose, we are calling for an end to the corporate occupation of the planet and demonstrating that a just and sustainable world is possible. As the 99% circle New York’s first public park, our groundswell will remind the 1% of their growing debts to Mother Earth and that the Commons belong to us all.
Affinity Group Assembly Points:
An affinity group is a small group of people (typically 5-15), who trust one another and organize around a shared political or tactical goal. Attend any one of the affinity group trainings over the weekend to join an affinity group or learn how yours can take part in the 7am Monday morning actions. Follow the links below for location info:
Afternoon Assemblies and Actions
The 99% Return to Wall Street
Join us to show that the 99% stands united against a corrupted system. This assembly will bring together Union workers, Union Leadership, Economics Experts and Occupiers to let our voices be heard once more.
What are your 99 Solutions?
Liberty Square if possible, Foley Square if necessary
All roads lead to Wall Street, but the road past Wall Street into the future is the one we must pave together. Join Occupy Wall Street for lunch, discussion, and a rocking good time as we seek to be the change we want to see in the world – and help us make it together.
The Popular Assembly
Liberty Square if possible, Foley Square if necessary
The intention of this assembly is to provide the People with a non-oppressive, non-hierarchical and non-confrontational space to discuss issues and projects relevant to envisioning a better world. This is will be the first in a series of weekly Popular Assemblies, which will be a place for project, action, affinity and other groups (like Occupy the Pipeline, Stop Stop and Frisk, Sunset Park Rent Strike, Strike Debt, Chicago Teachers Strike solidarity and others) from all over to come together each week in a space where they can discuss, recruit and share resources.
NYC Affinity Group events
Seward Park, Broadway and Canal Street:
What better way to start September 17th then by joining the OWS Bike Coalition for a free breakfast and an early morning ride around beautiful downtown Manhattan!
The People’s Puppets: Roving Occupy Birthday Bash!
Ferry Terminal and all over the Financial District
Come and celebrate the anniversary with a puppet party procession parade through the Financial District offering music, cake, and literature to the 99%!
Join us for a full day of Outreach, Movement Building, Mobilizations, Consciousness Raising, Organizing, Speak Outs, Fun, Community & LOVE! Incl. Fannie Lou Hamer Memorial Assembly
One year ago last September we began an occupation that pinpointed the Villain in the broad nightmare that has become of the American Dream: Wall Street.
To commemorate and build upon our collective call that ‘enough is enough’, join us this September 15 -17 in a mass mobilization of the 99%.
We will continue to put our bodies on the line to expose how the 1% are controlling our fates; how we are drowning in loans, student debt, fraudulent mortgages. That our democracy itself is being sold to the highest bidder, while our environment is turned into just another toxic asset.
It is an uphill battle, but the very essence of Occupy exhibits how you are not a loan. Or alone. And that together, we are unstoppable.
Find out how you can pitch in on an existing project or register an action you already have in the works now.
They can steal your job, your home, your freedom, your vote. They can’t steal our ability to dream together.
Refuse to live in fear, believe another world is possible. Register and join us for #S17.
– from the ‘Your Inbox: Occupied’ team
Full track of Dylan’s “Early Roman Kings” Find out what “early Roman Kings” refers to here: http://iroots.org/2012/08/08/first-listen-bob-dylans-tempest/Clue, it’s not ancient Rome…
About a dozen protesters including war veterans Scott Olsen and Joshua Shepherd took over the Obama campaign headquarters in downtown Oakland to demand justice for Bradley Manning, the Army private accused of leaking state secrets to WikiLeaks.
This is a stencil graphic for you to print out, cut out and use for chalk art at any of the demonstrations you attend forward. Have fun and remember, if you don’t like the news, go out and make some of your own.
Click here for the image link!
Occupy protesters point out an overlooked July 11, 2012 ruling that may benefit those injured by Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) at July’s Downtown LA Artwalk.
As reported in the LA Times, federal appeal court decided— two weeks ago Wednesday, the day before the so-called Chalk Walk Melee – police officers may be held liable for injuries caused by pepper balls, and other less-than-lethal weapons, intended to disperse a crowd.
From the LA Times article:
The unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals was a setback for police agencies defending themselves against lawsuits arising out of the Occupy movement. Students from UC Davis have sued police for dousing them with pepper spray, and UC Berkeley students have sued campus police for using batons during a protest. Oakland also has been sued by Occupy protesters.
Posted on July 28, 2012, 12:50 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
On Wednesday July 25th, the FBI conducted a series of coordinated raids against activists in Portland, Olympia, and Seattle. They subpoenaed several people to a special federal grand jury, and seized computers, black clothing and anarchist literature. This comes after similar raids in Seattle in July and earlier raids of squats in Portland.
Though the FBI has said that the raids are part of a violent crime investigation, the truth is that the federal authorities are conducting a political witch-hunt against anarchists and others working toward a more just, free, and equal society. The warrants served specifically listed anarchist literature as evidence to be seized, pointing to the fact that the FBI and police are targeting this group of people because of their political ideas. Pure and simple, these raids and the grand jury hearings are being used to intimidate people whose politics oppose the state’s agenda. During a time of growing economic and ecological crises that are broadly affecting people across the world, it is an attempt to push back any movement towards creating a world that is humane, one that meets every person’s needs rather than serving only the interests of the rich.
This attack does not occur in a vacuum. Around the country and around the world, people have been rising up and resisting an economic system that puts the endless pursuit of profit ahead of the basic needs of humanity and the Earth. From the Arab Spring to the Occupy movement to now Anaheim, people are taking to the streets. In each of these cases, the state has responded with brutal political repression. This is not a coincidence. It is a long-term strategy by state agencies to stop legitimate political challenges to a status quo that exploits most of the world’s people.
We, the undersigned, condemn this and all other political repression. While we may have differences in ideology or chose to use different tactics, we understand that we are in a shared struggle to create a just, free, and liberated world, and that we can only do this if we stand together. We will not let scare tactics or smear campaigns divide us, intimidate us, or stop us from organizing and working for a better world.
No more witch-hunts! An injury to one is an injury to all.
Signed: Committee Against Political Repression
Sacramento Prisoner Support
Committee to Stop FBI Repression
We Are Oregon
Portland Jobs with Justice
Rose City Cop Watch
Portland Central America Solidarity Committee (PCASC)
Red Spark (Kasama)
1st of May Anarchist Alliance
Connect the Dots
Parasol Climate Collective
Portland Anarchist Black Cross
Right to Survive
Right to Dream 2
Rosehips Medic Collective
Communities United Against Police Brutality
The Radical Anti-Capitalist Caucus, of Occupy Portland
Students on Strike Organizing Committee
Autonomous Workers’ Group
Occupy Oakland Anti Repression Committee
Oakland Occupy Patriarchy
Oakland Occupy Legal
East Bay Solidarity Network
Portland Animal Defense League
Cascadians Against War
PDX Bike Swarm
Northbay Movement for a Democratic Society
Solano Peace and Justice Coalition
Solano Peace and Freedom Party
Northbay Uprising Radio Collective
MN Anti-War Committee
Peoples’ Action for Rights and Community
Redwood Curtain CopWatch
Arizona Prison Watch
All Power to the Positive podcast
Justice for Palestinians, San Jose, CA
Culture of Resistance
Family & Friends of Daniel McGowan
Blazing Arrow Organization
Portland International Socialist Organization
Anti-Racist Action-LA/People Against Racist Terror
The Portland World Citizens’ United Front
The Wild Poppies Collective
Everglades Earth First!
The Center For A Stateless Society
Black Orchid Collective
To add your group’s name to the solidarity statement, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted 1 day ago on July 27, 2012, 10:28 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Occupy Wall Street is a nonviolent movement for social and economic justice, but in recent daysdisturbing reports have emerged of Occupy-affiliated activists being targeted by US law enforcement, including agents from the FBI and Department of Homeland Security. To help ensure Occupiers and allied activists know their rights when encountering law enforcement, we are publishing in full the National Lawyers Guild’s booklet: You Have the Right to Remain Silent. The NLG provides invaluable support to the Occupy movement and other activists – please click here to support the NLG.
We strongly encourage all Occupiers to read and share the information provided below. We also recommend you enter the NLG’s national hotline number (888-654-3265) into your cellphone (if you have one) and keep a copy handy. This information is not a substitute for legal advice. You should contact the NLG or a criminal defense attorney immediately if you have been visited by the FBI or other law enforcement officials. You should also alert your relatives, friends, co-workers and others so that they will be prepared if they are contacted as well.
Whether or not you’re a citizen, you have rights under the United States Constitution. The Fifth Amendment gives every person the right to remain silent: not to answer questions asked by a police officer or government agent. The Fourth Amendment restricts the government’s power to enter and search your home or workplace, although there are many exceptions and new laws have expanded the government’s power to conduct surveillance. The First Amendment protects your right to speak freely and to advocate for social change. However, if you are a non-citizen, the Department of Homeland Security may target you based on your political activities.
The government’s crusade against politically-active individuals is intended to disrupt and suppress the exercise of time-honored free speech activities, such as boycotts, protests, grassroots organizing and solidarity work. Remember that you have the right to stand up to the intimidation tactics of FBI agents and other law enforcement officials who, with political motives, are targeting organizing and free speech activities. Informed resistance to these tactics and steadfast defense of your and others’ rights can bring positive results. Each person who takes a courageous stand makes future resistance to government oppression easier for all. The National Lawyers Guild has a long tradition of standing up to government repression. The organization itself was labeled a “subversive” group during the McCarthy Era and was subject to FBI surveillance and infiltration for many years. Guild attorneys have defended FBI-targeted members of the Black Panther Party, the American Indian Movement, and the Puerto Rican independence movement. The NLG exposed FBI surveillance, infiltration and disruption tactics that were detailed during the 1975-76 COINTELPRO hearings. In 1989 the NLG prevailed in a lawsuit on behalf of several activist organizations, including the Guild, that forced the FBI to expose the extent to which it had been spying on activist movements. Under the settlement, the FBI turned over roughly 400,000 pages of its files on the Guild, which are now available at the Tamiment Library at New York University.
What if an agent or police officer comes to the door?
Do not invite the agents or police into your home. Do not answer any questions. Tell the agent that you do not wish to talk with him or her. You can state that your lawyer will contact them on your behalf. You can do this by stepping outside and pulling the door behind you so that the interior of your home or office is not visible, getting their contact information or business cards and then returning inside. They should cease questioning after this. If the agent or officer gives a reason for contacting you, take notes and give the information to your attorney. Anything you say, no matter how seemingly harmless or insignificant, may be used against you or others in the future. Lying to or misleading a federal agent is a crime. The more you speak, the more opportunity for federal law enforcement to find something you said (even if not intentionally) false and assert that you lied to a federal officer.
Do I have to answer questions?
You have the constitutional right to remain silent. It is not a crime to refuse to answer questions. You do not have to talk to anyone, even if you have been arrested or are in jail. You should affirmatively and unambiguously state that you wish to remain silent and that you wish to consult an attorney. Once you make the request to speak to a lawyer, do not say anything else. The Supreme Court recently ruled that answering law enforcement questions may be taken as a waiver of your right to remain silent, so it is important that you assert your rights and maintain them. Only a judge can order you to answer questions. There is one exception: some states have “stop and identify” statutes which require you to provide identity information or your name if you have been detained on reasonable suspicion that you may have committed a crime. A lawyer in your state can advise you of the status of these requirements where you reside.
Do I have to give my name?
As above, in some states you can be detained or arrested for merely refusing to give your name. And in any state, police do not always follow the law, and refusing to give your name may make them suspicious or more hostile and lead to your arrest, even without just cause, so use your judgment. Giving a false name could in some circumstances be a crime.
Do I need a lawyer?
You have the right to talk to a lawyer before you decide whether to answer questions from law enforcement. It is a good idea to talk to a lawyer if you are considering answering any questions. You have the right to have a lawyer present during any interview. The lawyer’s job is to protect your rights. Once you tell the agent that you want to talk to a lawyer, he or she should stop trying to question you and should make any further contact through your lawyer. If you do not have a lawyer, you can still tell the officer you want to speak to one before answering questions. Remember to get the name, agency and telephone number of any investigator who visits you, and give that information to your lawyer. The government does not have to provide you with a free lawyer unless you are charged with a crime, but the NLG or another organization may be able to help you find a lawyer for free or at a reduced rate.
If I refuse to answer questions or say I want a lawyer, won’t it seem like I have something to hide?
Anything you say to law enforcement can be used against you and others. You can never tell how a seemingly harmless bit of information might be used or manipulated to hurt you or someone else. That is why the right not to talk is a fundamental right under the Constitution. Keep in mind that although law enforcement agents are allowed to lie to you, lying to a government agent is a crime. Remaining silent is not. The safest things to say are “I am going to remain silent,” “I want to speak to my lawyer,” and “I do not consent to a search.” It is a common practice for law enforcement agents to try to get you to waive your rights by telling you that if you have nothing to hide you would talk or that talking would “just clear things up.” The fact is, if they are questioning you, they are looking to incriminate you or someone you may know, or they are engaged in political intelligence gathering. You should feel comfortable standing firm in protection and defense of your rights and refusing to answer questions.
Can agents search my home or office?
You do not have to let police or agents into your home or office unless they have and produce a valid search warrant. A search warrant is a written court order that allows the police to conduct a specified search. Interfering with a warrantless search probably will not stop it and you might get arrested. But you should say “I do not consent to a search,” and call a criminal defense lawyer or the NLG. You should be aware that a roommate or guest can legally consent to a search of your house if the police believe that person has the authority to give consent, and your employer can consent to a search of your workspace without your permission.
What if agents have a search warrant?
If you are present when agents come for the search, you can ask to see the warrant. The warrant must specify in detail the places to be searched and the people or things to be taken away. Tell the agents you do not consent to the search so that they cannot go beyond what the warrant authorizes. Ask if you are allowed to watch the search; if you are allowed to, you should. Take notes, including names, badge numbers, what agency each officer is from, where they searched and what they took. If others are present, have them act as witnesses to watch carefully what is happening. If the agents ask you to give them documents, your computer, or anything else, look to see if the item is listed in the warrant. If it is not, do not consent to them taking it without talking to a lawyer. You do not have to answer questions. Talk to a lawyer first. (Note: If agents present an arrest warrant, they may only perform a cursory visual search of the premises to see if the person named in the arrest warrant is present.)
Do I have to answer questions if I have been arrested?
No. If you are arrested, you do not have to answer any questions. You should affirmatively and unambiguously state that you wish to assert your right to remain silent. Ask for a lawyer right away. Do not say anything else. Repeat to every officer who tries to talk to or question you that you wish to remain silent and that you wish to speak to a lawyer. You should always talk to a lawyer before you decide to answer any questions.
What if I speak to government agents anyway?
Even if you have already answered some questions, you can refuse to answer other questions until you have a lawyer. If you find yourself talking, stop. Assert that you wish to remain silent and that you wish to speak to a lawyer.
What if the police stop me on the street?
Ask if you are free to go. If the answer is yes, consider just walking away. If the police say you are not under arrest, but are not free to go, then you are being detained. The police can pat down the outside of your clothing if they have reason to suspect you might be armed and dangerous. If they search any more than this, say clearly, “I do not consent to a search.” They may keep searching anyway. If this happens, do not resist because you can be charged with assault or resisting arrest. You do not have to answer any questions. You do not have to open bags or any closed container. Tell the officers you do not consent to a search of your bags or other property.
What if police or agents stop me in my car?
Keep your hands where the police can see them. If you are driving a vehicle, you must show your license, registration and, in some states, proof of insurance. You do not have to consent to a search. But the police may have legal grounds to search your car anyway. Clearly state that you do not consent. Officers may separate passengers and drivers from each other to question them, but no one has to answer any questions.
What if I am treated badly by the police or the FBI?
Write down the officer’s badge number, name or other identifying information. You have a right to ask the officer for this information. Try to find witnesses and their names and phone numbers. If you are injured, seek medical attention and take pictures of the injuries as soon as you can. Call a lawyer as soon as possible.
What if the police or FBI threaten me with a grand jury subpoena if I don’t answer their questions?
A grand jury subpoena is a written order for you to go to court and testify about information you may have. It is common for the FBI to threaten you with a subpoena to get you to talk to them. If they are going to subpoena you, they will do so anyway. You should not volunteer to speak just because you are threatened with a subpoena. You should consult a lawyer.
What if I receive a grand jury subpoena?
Grand jury proceedings are not the same as testifying at an open court trial. You are not allowed to have a lawyer present (although one may wait in the hallway and you may ask to consult with him or her after each question) and you may be asked to answer questions about your activities and associations. Because of the witness’s limited rights in this situation, the government has frequently used grand jury subpoenas to gather information about activists and political organizations. It is common for the FBI to threaten activists with a subpoena in order to elicit information about their political views and activities and those of their associates. There are legal grounds for stopping (“quashing”) subpoenas, and receiving one does not necessarily mean that you are suspected of a crime. If you do receive a subpoena, call the NLG National Hotline at 888-NLG-ECOL (888-654-3265) or call a criminal defense attorney immediately.
The government regularly uses grand jury subpoena power to investigate and seek evidence related to politically-active individuals and social movements. This practice is aimed at prosecuting activists and, through intimidation and disruption, discouraging continued activism.
Federal grand jury subpoenas are served in person. If you receive one, it is critically important that you retain the services of an attorney, preferably one who understands your goals and, if applicable, understands the nature of your political work, and has experience with these issues. Most lawyers are trained to provide the best legal defense for their client, often at the expense of others. Beware lawyers who summarily advise you to cooperate with grand juries, testify against friends, or cut off contact with your friends and political activists. Cooperation usually leads to others being subpoenaed and investigated. You also run the risk of being charged with perjury, a felony, should you omit any pertinent information or should there be inconsistencies in your testimony.
Frequently prosecutors will offer “use immunity,” meaning that the prosecutor is prohibited from using your testimony or any leads from it to bring charges against you. If a subsequent prosecution is brought, the prosecutor bears the burden of proving that all of its evidence was obtained independent of the immunized testimony. You should be aware, however, that they will use anything you say to manipulate associates into sharing more information about you by suggesting that you have betrayed confidences.
In front of a grand jury you can “take the Fifth” (exercise your right to remain silent). However, the prosecutor may impose immunity on you, which strips you of Fifth Amendment protection and subjects you to the possibility of being cited for contempt and jailed if you refuse to answer further. In front of a grand jury you have no Sixth Amendment right to counsel, although you can consult with a lawyer outside the grand jury room after each question.
What if I don’t cooperate with the grand jury?
If you receive a grand jury subpoena and elect to not cooperate, you may be held in civil contempt. There is a chance that you may be jailed or imprisoned for the length of the grand jury in an effort to coerce you to cooperate. Regular grand juries sit for a basic term of 18 months, which can be extended up to a total of 24 months. It is lawful to hold you in order to coerce your cooperation, but unlawful to hold you as a means of punishment. In rare instances you may face criminal contempt charges.
The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) is now part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and has been renamed and reorganized into: 1. The Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS); 2. The Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP); and 3. The Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). All three bureaus will be referred to as DHS for the purposes of this pamphlet.
■ Assert your rights. If you do not demand your rights or if you sign papers waiving your rights, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may deport you before you see a lawyer or an immigration judge. Never sign anything without reading, understanding and knowing the consequences of signing it.
■ Talk to a lawyer. If possible, carry with you the name and telephone number of an immigration lawyer who will take your calls. The immigration laws are hard to understand and there have been many recent changes. DHS will not explain your options to you. As soon as you encounter a DHS agent, call your attorney. If you can’t do it right away, keep trying. Always talk to an immigration lawyer before leaving the U.S. Even some legal permanent residents can be barred from returning.
Based on today’s laws, regulations and DHS guidelines, non-citizens usually have the following rights, no matter what their immigration status. This information may change, so it is important to contact a lawyer. The following rights apply to non-citizens who are inside the U.S. Non-citizens at the border who are trying to enter the U.S. do not have all the same rights.
Do I have the right to talk to a lawyer before answering any DHS questions or signing any DHS papers?
Yes. You have the right to call a lawyer or your family if you are detained, and you have the right to be visited by a lawyer in detention. You have the right to have your attorney with you at any hearing before an immigration judge. You do not have the right to a government-appointed attorney for immigration proceedings, but if you have been arrested, immigration officials must show you a list of free or low cost legal service providers.
Should I carry my green card or other immigration papers with me?
If you have documents authorizing you to stay in the U.S., you must carry them with you. Presenting false or expired papers to DHS may lead to deportation or criminal prosecution. An unexpired green card, I-94, Employment Authorization Card, Border Crossing Card or other papers that prove you are in legal status will satisfy this requirement. If you do not carry these papers with you, you could be charged with a crime. Always keep a copy of your immigration papers with a trusted family member or friend who can fax them to you, if need be. Check with your immigration lawyer about your specific case.
Am I required to talk to government officers about my immigration history?
If you are undocumented, out of status, a legal permanent resident (green card holder), or a citizen, you do not have to answer any questions about your immigration history. (You may want to consider giving your name; see above for more information about this.) If you are not in any of these categories, and you are being questioned by a DHS or FBI agent, then you may create problems with your immigration status if you refuse to provide information requested by the agent. If you have a lawyer, you can tell the agent that your lawyer will answer questions on your behalf. If answering questions could lead the agent to information that connects you with criminal activity, you should consider refusing to talk to the agent at all.
If I am arrested for immigration violations, do I have the right to a hearing before an immigration judge to defend myself against deportation charges?
Yes. In most cases only an immigration judge can order you deported. But if you waive your rights or take “voluntary departure,” agreeing to leave the country, you could be deported without a hearing. If you have criminal convictions, were arrested at the border, came to the U.S. through the visa waiver program or have been ordered deported in the past, you could be deported without a hearing. Contact a lawyer immediately to see if there is any relief for you.
Can I call my consulate if I am arrested?
Yes. Non-citizens arrested in the U.S. have the right to call their consulate or to have the police tell the consulate of your arrest. The police must let your consulate visit or speak with you if consular officials decide to do so. Your consulate might help you find a lawyer or offer other help. You also have the right to refuse help from your consulate.
What happens if I give up my right to a hearing or leave the U.S. before the hearing is over?
You could lose your eligibility for certain immigration benefits, and you could be barred from returning to the U.S. for a number of years. You should always talk to an immigration lawyer before you decide to give up your right to a hearing.
What should I do if I want to contact DHS?
Always talk to a lawyer before contacting DHS, even on the phone. Many DHS officers view “enforcement” as their primary job and will not explain all of your options to you.
IMPORTANT NOTE: It is illegal for law enforcement to perform any stops, searches, detentions or removals based solely on your race, national origin, religion, sex or ethnicity.
If I am entering the U.S. with valid travel papers can a U.S. customs agent stop and search me?
Yes. Customs agents have the right to stop, detain and search every person and item.
Can my bags or I be searched after going through metal detectors with no problem or after security sees that my bags do not contain a weapon?
Yes. Even if the initial screen of your bags reveals nothing suspicious, the screeners have the authority to conduct a further search of you or your bags.
If I am on an airplane, can an airline employee interrogate me or ask me to get off the plane?
The pilot of an airplane has the right to refuse to fly a passenger if he or she believes the passenger is a threat to the safety of the flight. The pilot’s decision must be reasonable and based on observations of you, not stereotypes.
Do I have to answer questions?
No. Minors too have the right to remain silent. You cannot be arrested for refusing to talk to the police, probation officers, or school officials, except in some states you may have to give your name if you have been detained.
What if I am detained?
If you are detained at a community detention facility or Juvenile Hall, you normally must be released to a parent or guardian. If charges are filed against you, in most states you are entitled to counsel (just like an adult) at no cost.
Do I have the right to express political views at school?
Public school students generally have a First Amendment right to politically organize at school by passing out leaflets, holding meetings, etc., as long as those activities are not disruptive and do not violate legitimate school rules. You may not be singled out based on your politics, ethnicity or religion.
Can my backpack or locker be searched?
School officials can search students’ backpacks and lockers without a warrant if they reasonably suspect that you are involved in criminal activity or carrying drugs or weapons. Do not consent to the police or school officials searching your property, but do not physically resist or you may face criminal charges.
This booklet is not a substitute for legal advice. You should contact an attorney if you have been visited by the FBI or other law enforcement officials. You should also alert your relatives, friends, co-workers and others so that they will be prepared if they are contacted as well.
The City of New York must take immediate action to correct the clear pattern of abusive policing of Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protests, said legal experts in a complaint filed Wednesday with New York City authorities, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the United Nations. The complaint is based on a report providing in-depth documentation and legal analysis of widespread human rights violations in New York City’s treatment of Occupy protests over the past ten months.
The 132-page report—Suppressing Protest: Human Rights Violations in the U.S. Response to Occupy Wall Street—is the first in a series by the Protest and Assembly Rights Project, a national consortium of law school clinics addressing the United States response to Occupy Wall Street. The report is available at: http://www.chrgj.org/projects/suppressingprotest.pdf
“Recently, officers repeatedly yanked the broken collarbone of a protester as he begged them to stop hurting him. And just two weeks ago, a phalanx of officers removed a grandmother from a park for the ‘crime’ of knitting in a folding chair, arrested a man trying to help her leave, and then arrested another man filming the incident,” said NYU Law School Professor Sarah Knuckey, one of the report’s principal authors, who also witnessed these incidents. “These are just two of hundreds of examples we document in our report, demonstrating a pattern of abusive and unaccountable protest policing by the NYPD.”
In the report experts catalog 130 specific alleged incidents of excessive police force, and hundreds of additional violations, including unjustified arrests, abuse of journalists, unlawful closure of sidewalks and parks to protesters, and pervasive surveillance of peaceful activists. Yet, to date, only one police officer is known to have been disciplined for misconduct in the context of OWS policing.
“The excessive and unpredictable policing of OWS is one more example of the dire need for widespread reform of NYPD practices. These violations are occurring against a backdrop of police infiltration of activist groups, massive stop-and-frisk activity in communities of color, and the surveillance of Muslims,” said Emi MacLean, a human rights lawyer and primary author of the report. “This report is a call to action.”
The report calls for urgent state action, including:
If New York authorities fail to respond, the report calls for federal intervention.
“The U.S. response to the Occupy movement – which itself emerged as part of a wave of global social justice protests—is being closely watched by other governments,” said Fordham Law Professor Katherine Glenn, one of the report’s principal authors. “In the face of this international attention, this report shows that New York City’s response actually violates international law and, as such, sets a bad example to the rest of the world. The city now has an opportunity to set this right through reforms that reflect just and accountable policing practices.”
This report is the first in a series by the Protest and Assembly Rights Project. This report focuses on New York City, and was authored by the Global Justice Clinic (NYU School of Law) and the Walter Leitner International Human Rights Clinic (Fordham Law School). Subsequent reports will address the responses in Boston, Charlotte, Oakland, and San Francisco. Participating law clinics are at NYU, Fordham, Harvard, Stanford, Rutgers-Newark, Charlotte, and Loyola-New Orleans.
See below for the executive summary of the report:
In September 2011, waves of protests against mounting socioeconomic injustice broke out across the United States, capturing the attention of the country. The Occupy Wall Street movement, inspired by similar protests around the globe, used the occupation of public space and mass demonstrations to call attention to a wide array of shared concerns. The movement also used public assemblies to debate concerns and promote direct democratic participation. Within weeks of their emergence, the protests dramatically expanded and deepened U.S. political discourse around the widening gap between rich and poor, bank bailouts and impunity for financial crimes, and the role of money in politics.
The response of U.S. authorities to the protests also received significant attention. Images of police using pepper spray on seated students, the arrests of thousands of peaceful protesters across the country, midnight raids on encampments, baton-swinging officers, marches accompanied by phalanxes of riot police, and officers obstructing and arresting journalists were beamed around the world.
This is the first in a series of reports examining the responses of U.S. authorities to the Occupy protests. Through an eight-month-long study of the response in New York City, together with comparative data collected from cities across the United States, this report highlights major policy concerns and serious violations of the rights of protesters. Further detailed studies will be published in the coming months on the response of authorities in Boston, Charlotte, Oakland, and San Francisco.
Government responses to Occupy Wall Street in the United States have varied significantly, both within and across cities. Indeed, there have been examples of good practice, including through welcoming assemblies, using modern democratic policing styles that promote negotiation to facilitate protests, and enforcing strict controls on any use of police force.
But across the United States, abusive and unlawful protest regulation and policing practices have been and continue to be alarmingly evident. This report follows a review of thousands of news reports and hundreds of hours of video, extensive firsthand observation, and detailed witness interviews. In New York City, some of the worst practices documented include:
• Aggressive, unnecessary and excessive police force against peaceful protesters, bystanders, legal observers, and journalists
• Obstruction of press freedoms and independent legal monitoring
• Pervasive surveillance of peaceful political activity
• Violent late-night raids on peaceful encampments
• Unjustified closure of public space, dispersal of peaceful assemblies, and kettling (corralling and trapping) of protesters
• Arbitrary and selective rule enforcement and baseless arrests
• Failures to ensure transparency about applicable government policies
• Failures to ensure accountability for those allegedly responsible for abuses
These practices violate assembly and expression rights and breach the U.S. government’s international legal obligations to respect those rights. In New York City, protest policing concerns are extensive and exist against a backdrop of disproportionate and well-documented abusive policing practices in poor and minority communities outside of the protest context.
Governments—including U.S. federal, state, and local authorities—are obliged by international law to uphold the rights of individuals to peacefully assemble and to seek to reform their governments. The freedoms of assembly and expression are essential pillars for democratic participation, the exchange and development of grievances and reforms, and securing positive social change. This report provides extensive analysis of the U.S. government’s international legal obligations with respect to protests. The abusive practices documented in this report violate international law and suppress and chill protest rights, not only by undermining individual liberty, but also by causing both minor and serious physical injuries, inhibiting collective debate and the capacity to effectively press for social and economic change, and making people afraid to attend otherwise peaceful assemblies.
For protesters who previously had little interaction with police, these abusive practices have radically altered worldviews about the role of police in protecting citizens. For others who had long experienced official discrimination and abuse, especially those from minority and economically disadvantaged communities, protest experiences have simply reinforced existing negative perceptions.
Protests have long been an important feature of American politics and have been essential to securing fundamental rights and freedoms. Yet the response of authorities has undermined foundational US democratic values, and often seemed to only reinforce Occupy’s core grievances. While federal prosecutions of economic crimes, such as mass fraud, are at a 20 year low, in just 10 months, public authorities across the United States have arrested more than 7,000 and physically injured Occupy protestors seeking social and economic reforms.
While after just two months city authorities dismantled many of the high-profile around-theclock Occupy encampments that initially defined the movement, regular marches, demonstrations, and assemblies continue in many places, including New York City. The government response to Occupy Wall Street in New York City is emblematic of its failure to adequately protect protest rights more broadly. Reform is needed to ensure that U.S. authorities respect and facilitate—rather than suppress—the ability to peacefully protest.
In U.S. cities with significant abuse allegations and no major reviews of police practice, including New York City, independent official reviews are urgently needed to assess past practice, promote accountability for abuse, and reform authorities’ responses to bring them into line with binding international legal obligations and modern democratic policing best practice. In New York, the mayor should urgently announce a major review of the City’s response to Occupy Wall Street, and legislators should establish an independent Inspector General to oversee policing practices. In addition, the police should implement a new protest policing policy that prioritizes respect for civil liberties and human rights. Where city or state authorities themselves fail to take the necessary steps of review and reform, federal authorities should exercise their powers to institute investigations and oversight.
The Occupy protests took place amid an extraordinary period of global social movement mobilization – Egypt’s Tahrir Square, Spain’s indignados, Greek anti-austerity protests, Chile’s students, Montreal’s casseroles, and many others have inspired and been inspired by one another. The US government has closely monitored protests in other countries, and has frequently publicly criticized other governments for violating their international legal obligations to uphold protest rights. As the Occupy protests entered the world stage, governments around the world also paid close attention to the U.S. authorities’ responses.
Some countries, when pressed about their own mass arrests and beatings of protesters, have justified their actions by pointing to the highly visible and aggressive policing practices in the United States. Some other countries’ responses to protests have been far—and sometimes, incomparably—worse than U.S. authorities’ responses. Yet the restriction of protest in U.S. cities exposes the double standard inherent in frequent U.S. government critiques of other governments for repressing their peoples’ protest rights.
The freedoms to peacefully assemble, to engage in political expression, to march and demonstrate, and to seek socioeconomic reform are not diplomatic sound bites. They are fundamental rights, vital in all democracies, and U.S. authorities are legally bound to respect and uphold them.
These rights must be secured at home.
read the entire report here: http://www.chrgj.org/projects/suppressingprotest.pdf