Some info about civil disobedience

Some info about civil disobedience

Civil disobedience (CD) is a time honored and effective tactic. It is most effective when planned in advance – and not when it is done spontaneously. Be smart, plan ahead, and if you are going to do CD, do it at a well planned time with lots of other people.

Tell people you are going to do it, such as friends, family, and the National Lawyers Guild (NLG). The NLG can help, but here in LA, for example, they are so swamped defending CD cases they only have time to help those who told them in advance they planned CD.

Some of the following may seem obvious, but is still worth noting.

In general, do not engage in CD if you have any warrants, old unpaid tickets, have a Green Card or uncertain immigrant status, are on probation, parole, or (in California) have any strikes against you.

Also, make sure you have no drugs or weapons on you, A Swiss Army Knife could be considered a weapon. No backpacks (so the police can’t put something in it). If you are young, they may try to plant drugs on you, this apparently happened in Westwood on Wednesday night.

You should have ID on you. All you have to tell the police is your name, address, and “I want to speak with a lawyer”. Nothing more.

If you do anything but stand up and walk when the police ask, such as squirming, kicking, or even going limp, you can be charged with resisting arrest, which can be serious.

Have friends with cameras nearby. In a Sunday arrest in Hollywood, the police arrested a man saying he tried to grab a gun from an officer. However, the NLG has a video of a senior officer trying to stop that officer from clubbing the man they arrested! And the video shows no gun being grabbed.

The civil rights movement used CD to great effect. So did those struggling against apartheid in South Africa. CD is powerful. It is most powerful when it is done by hundreds (or thousands) of people who have planned in advance what they are going to do.

Be smart. Plan ahead. Be effective.

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