January 28, 2013, New York – The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), in collaboration with the National Lawyers Guild (NLG), the Student Speech Working Group and other organizations, today announced the launch of the Palestine Solidarity Legal Support Initiative, which will help ensure that Palestinian rights activists have the legal support they need to exercise their First Amendment rights and continue speaking and organizing.
“This legal support initiative comes at a crucial time and responds to growing efforts to obstruct advocacy in support of Palestinian rights and brand it as anti-Semitic,” said CCR Legal Director Baher Azmy. “We are pleased to be working with cooperating attorneys Dima Khalidi and Liz Jackson and colleagues at the National Lawyers Guild to help protect activists’ First Amendment rights.”
The initiative will track incidents of repression and provide legal support to advocates facing legal and other challenges to their activism. Attorneys familiar with the issues that activists face will respond to questions related to Palestine solidarity organizing and to requests for advice and legal assistance. The initiative also provides advocacy support, as well as trainings and other resource materials.
CCR and NLG stand with advocates for Palestinian rights as part of their mission to fight for human rights accountability more broadly. Both organizations are dedicated to supporting activists and movements engaged in efforts to achieve social justice. The Student Speech Working Group is a coalition dedicated to supporting the free speech of students advocating for Palestinian rights, and other Muslim and Arab student activists. The coalition includes the Asian Law Caucus, the Center for Constitutional Rights, the National Lawyers Guild, the Council on American-Islamic Relations – San Francisco Bay Area, American Muslims for Palestine, Jewish Voice for Peace, and other individual lawyers and students.
Activists who have questions or need support can request help and resources by going to palestinelegalsupport.org
, calling (312) 212-0448, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
. Attorneys cautioned that confidential facts about a situation should not be shared on the webform or via email. Attorneys working with CCR, NLG and other partners will respond to inquiries.
The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.