The National Lawyers Guild San Francisco Bay Area Chapter (NLGSF) condemns the actions of the SFPD officers on the scene at a protest in the Mission Saturday evening. We believe the officers acted irresponsibly and that this was an attack on free speech and freedom of expression, as well as the Guild’s legal observer program. We believe all charges against those arrested should be dropped and we are committed to taking all legal action necessary to stop these civil rights violations from recurring.
We particularly condemn the arrest of one of our legal observers, who faces obstruction charges for providing legal information to one of the arrestees. The NLG dispatches observers to monitor civil liberties and promote people's constitutional right to assemble. The SFPD's unwarrranted arrest of the legal observer is an unacceptable attack on our program, and we demand that the charges be dropped.
This past Saturday evening, people gathered to creatively and peacefully protest an event they feel trivialized prison rape and the plight of incarcerated people. As the protest was winding down, and a long block away from the target of the protests, officers arrested and assaulted individuals without cause. Three of those arrested were initially charged with felonies and were incarcerated for 3 days.
These actions are particularly troubling given that the Stonewall uprising, which the Pride Celebration commemorates, was itself a vocal response to the particular abuses faced by the LGBTQ community at the hand of law enforcement. The NLGSF has stood on the side of liberation and police accountability for more than 75 years. More information is available at www.nlgsf.org.