Another victory! US withdraws subpoena of antiwar meeting
Facing growing public pressure from civil liberties advocates, federal prosecutors on Tuesday dropped subpoenas that they issued last week ordering antiwar protesters to appear before a grand jury and ordering a university to turn over information about the protesters.
The U.S. Attorney announced this afternoon that it withdrew the subpoena seeking records relating to the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) chapter at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Subpoenas directed at four activists were also withdrawn. The NLG subpoena sought records relating its leadership and to a forum held at Drake on November 15, 2003, the day before a protest at which 12 were arrested. A gag order placed on employees of Drake University has also been lifted.
NLG President Michael Avery said, “The government was forced to back down in this case and it shows that people can and should stand up to the government when it is abusing its powers. The Lawyers Guild is grateful to our many friends and allies who supported us in the face of this attack by the government. This experience demonstrates that the American people cherish their right of free expression and the right of political groups to dissent from government policies.”
The NLG does huge amounts of behind the scenes work negotiating with police and authorities prior to big demos. Plus, they are always present at demos, monitoring the police, negotiating when needed, etc. They’re the people wearing the iridescent green caps. Be happy they are there!