Law and Disorder Radio – First Amendment Rights of Protesters – Labor Law for the Rank and Filer: Building Solidarity While Staying Clear of the Law – Hosts: Dalia Hashad, Heidi Boghosian, Michael Steven Smith & Michael Ratner – Produced by Geoff Brady

Law and Disorder Radio

Host Updates:

National Lawyers Guild Calls For Immediate Release of Palestinian Fishermen

Prosecutor Indicts Foes, and Cheney and Gonzales

Watch: Michael Ratner – Should High Gov’t Officials Be Investigated and Prosecuted? – Quicktime

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Mara Verheyden Hilliard: Inauguration 2009 and the Partnership for Civil Justice

Hosts talk with Mara about criminalizing dissent, surveillance, data mining, fusion centers and the ability to exercise first amendment rights. A recent example were the violations of free speech during the mass arrests of protesters at the 2008 Republican National Convention. The demonizing of protesters and their message in the media will usually allow for the use of military force by police. That combined with intelligence gathering and targeting of lead organizers squelched the voice of dissent in all age groups.


Mara Verheyden Hilliard:

  • A lot of our work is at the intersection of first and fourth amendment rights.
  • PCJ has a class action suit pending from the world bank IMF protest – 8 year drag out tactic.
  • “What they want to do is stage-manage democracy.”
  • Victory: After years of litigation the government has to lift regulations on number of people at the Great Lawn
  • Is it important to say that we don’t want to go back to Jan 19, 2001 just the day before Bush took office–or is there more that we have to do?
  • We think there has to be an audit of every agency’s databases to determine exactly what the databases are.
  • Identify what has been collected, where it has been put, who has access to that information,
  • Then to tell people in the United States individually, what has been collected on them and then to expunge it.
  • For people in their United States, their government collecting information, maintaining information, in these massive database files, that can be used by law enforcement, pulled up in a moment’s notice is really a very dangerous practice.
  • What they’ve done is misuse existing databases and data tools.

Guest – Attorney Mara Verheyden Hilliard, co-founder of The Partnership for Civil Justice Legal Defense & Education Fund

Labor Law for the Rank and Filer: Building Solidarity While Staying Clear of the Law

Labor Law for the Rank and Filer: Building Solidarity While Staying Clear of the Law

Law and Disorder hosts welcome back attorney, author and union activist Daniel Gross, who has co-written with author, lawyer and historian Staughton Lynd the recently published Labor Law for the Rank and Filer: Building Solidarity While Staying Clear of the Law.

Daniel Gross:

  • Led movement to unionize baristas at Starbucks
  • Subtitle of the book –“building solidarity while staying clear of the law”
  • We try to show in the book how the law represses and co-ops solidarity amongst rank and file workers.
  • It is the rank and file that transform both work and society.
  • A union is a group of workers standing together to take direct action.
  • We shouldn’t let the government or employer define whether we are a labor union or not.
  • Book chapter – No One Is Illegal – practicing solidarity unionism.
  • The risks are so high for immigrants to come to this country, often you’ll see a tremendous willingness to fight back.
  • In the current economic crisis, I think there’s a lot of opportunity for rank and file upsurges.
  • We will also see repression at this time to avoid a fundamental transformation of society
  • Organize for transformational demands – demands that spark more collective activity and also question the fundamental role of corporations in our lives.
  • In the union solidarity model, workers themselves operate and control there own campaigns.
  • A handful of shop workers on the floor who are challenging the boss, speaking out publically and a resource that other co-workers can go to. That’s a real power on the shop floor.

Guest – Daniel Gross, attorney, author and union activist. Daniel works with Brandworkers International, a New York-based not-for-profit organization powered by a global network of committed individuals, advocates, lawyers, and organizers who believe in holding corporations accountable to workers and communities.