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National Lawyers Guild (NLG)

Profile

Country/TerritoryUnited States
Websitehttps://www.nlg.org/about-0
Founded1937
In their own words"Dedicated to the need for basic change in the structure of our political and economic system” and “seek[s] to unite the lawyers, law students, legal workers and jailhouse lawyers… who seek actively to eliminate racism; who work to maintain and protect our civil rights and liberties in the face of persistent attacks upon them; and who look upon the law as an instrument for the protection of the people, rather than for their repression.”

Funding

  • 2013 revenue of $498,303 (accessed September 8, 2015)
  • Donors and funding sources unavailable, reflecting a lack of transparency and accountability.

Activities

  • Describes itself as a “non-profit federation of lawyers, legal workers, and law students.”
  • Embraces a Marxist ideology. According to its “2014 Convention Resolution,” is “committed to dismantling the capitalist economic system in our nation and replacing it with a genuine political and economic democracy that holds the promise of financially achieving economic and social equality for all the people of our nation.”

Political Advocacy

  • Regularly partners with the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and together founded Palestine Legal (formerly known as Palestine Solidarity Legal Support), an NGO that is highly active in BDS campaigns, particularly on college and university campuses throughout the United States.
  • In August 2014, NLG, together with the Center for Constitutional Rights, International Association of Democratic Lawyers, Arab Lawyers Union, and American Association of Jurists sent a letter to Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Faatou Bensouda, urging her “to initiate an investigation of war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity committed by Israeli leaders and aided and abetted by U.S. officials in Gaza.” The letter claims that, “By transferring financial assistance, weapons and other military aid to Israel, members of U.S. Congress, President Barak Obama, and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel have aided and abetted the commission of war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity by Israeli officials and commanders in Gaza.”
  • Issued a statement (August 27, 2014), condemning Israel’s order to relocate Khalida Jarrar, allegedly the Ramallah-based head of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist organization and director of Palestinian NGO Addameer, from Ramallah to Jericho for six months on the grounds that she posed a threat to public security. In the statement, NLG Palestine Subcommittee Co-Chair Andrew Dalack claimed that the move was “another shamelessly obvious attempt to cripple the Palestinian self-determination movement.”
  • On August 23, 2014, Azadeh N. Shahshahani, President of the National Lawyers Guild, wrote an article published in The Huffington Post (“From Gaza to Ferguson: Exposing the Toolbox of Racist Repression”), accusing Israel of “collective punishment,” “apartheid,” “ethnic cleansing,” “land grabs,” using “imprisonment as a political tool,” and imposing “draconian conditions” on the residents of Gaza.
  • Sponsored a July 2014 demonstration in Miami, together with the Center for American Islamic Relations (CAIR), Al Awada and others, at which protesters reportedly yelled, “We are Hamas!”; “We are Jihad!”; and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” meaning the elimination of Israel.
  • In 2012, launched a legal hotline to aid anti-Israel activists during Israel Apartheid Week.
  • Together with CCR, Palestine Legal, and others sent a November 2014 letter to over 140 universities, defending mock-checkpoints, mock-eviction notices and cautioning universities against “censoring” such activities on campus.
  • Published a June 26, 2013 blog titled, “It’s Time to End the U.S. Sanctions Inflicting Pain on the Iranian People,” claiming that the U.S. has imposed a “string of harmful and aggressive steps against the Iranian people” and should “immediately lift all sanctions against Iran.”

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