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LAW FOR BLACK LIVES

Law For Black Lives  is a national  network of radical lawyers, law students, and legal workers of color committed to building the power of the Black Lives Matter movement. Formed out of the uprisings in Ferguson & Baltimore, we use the law to embolden, defend and protect the growing movement for Black liberation.  L4BL started in 2015, as a 2-day convening organized by Center for Constitutional Rights along with a steering committee of visionary legal thinkers. The success of the convening made it clear that the time is now to build a legal arm for the movement for Black lives. 

 

Feb. 2nd 

 

Feb. 3rd

Oakland Listening Tour @ The Oakland Peace Center

Do Black Lawyers Matter: A Discussion on the Responsibility of Black Lawyers and Legal Workers to Transform Systems for Black Lives

On February 2nd, as a part of the Law For Black Lives Bay Area Listening Tour, we will be hosting a panel tackling the role and responsibility Black lawyers have in transforming and dismantling systems of oppression. This will also be an exciting opportunity to break bread, network and build with other black organizers, activists, law students, legal workers, and lawyers. Dinner will be served. (Vegan-friendly).

Moderated by: Zoë Polk, Racial Justice Attorney

Panelist: 

  • Walter Riley, Civil Rights Lawyer
  • Pamela Price,  Civil Rights Lawyer
  • Cat Brooks, Justice Team Network
  • Wazi Maret, Transgender Law Center
  • Ola Osaze, Transgender Law Center

Movement Lawyering Convening 

During our Movement Lawyering Convening, plenaries, workshops and panels will explore how legal advocates can work collaboratively with activists and organizers on a range of matters--from defending the civil rights of protesters to drafting transformative local and federal policy to digital security strategies. The convening will also surface current legal needs from the ground and start to identify legal strategies and tactics. Finally, the space will stitch together a community of like-minded individuals and build a deeper collective understanding of how legal advocates can build the power of movements. 

*Breakfast and Lunch will be provided.

This event is co-hosted by Oakland Law Collaborative, Tides and the National Lawyers Guild, San Francisco Bay Area Chapter. 


Convening Agenda 

9:30 - 10:00 AM    REGISTRATION AND BREAKFAST 

10:15 - 11:00 AM    WELCOME AND INTRODUCTION  

11:00 - 12:30 PM    PLENARY: MOVEMENT LAWYERING   

12:30 – 1:30 PM    LUNCH

1:30 – 3:00 PM     CONCURRENT SESSIONS (3 to choose from)

  • Direct Action Defense 101 (CLE Credit)

This is a training for lawyers who do not have a lot of criminal defense experience on defending activists arrested at demonstrations. It will cover jail visits and release from custody; the criminal process; considerations in defending Black activists and political activists in general; pretrial motions; discovery; infraction defense.

  • Immigration Panel

The immigration panel will feature voices from activists & attorneys on the political & legal issues currently facing black immigrants locally, statewide and nationally, including the constant threat of detention and deportation, possible ICE raids in California, and how black immigrants are particularly affected by ICE's policies & practices. Panelists will also discuss ways in which the community can support black immigrants struggling for justice, freedom and dignity within the immigration system, including black & brown solidarity and shared resistance.

  • Women Organizing For Justice and Opportunity: Fighting for All Children, Inside and Out

This collaborative co-facilitation is focused on supporting formerly incarcerated mothers in building a movement to support parents in prison as they fight to keep their children out of foster care. While the framework of the workshop relies on organizing strategy and the expertise of the women who have lived through these systems, the collaboration with an attorney invites the law into the space as a tool for understanding and identifying pressure points for system challenges, while simultaneously having someone available as a legal resource while individual cases continue.  Participants will get an introduction to a growing organizing group of formerly incarcerated mothers fighting at the intersection of the prison and foster care systems; a technical understanding of California's dependency court system, and the specific legal and social barriers that incarcerated parents face; an adaptable model of community-led, local lawyer-organizer partnerships; and an interactive encounter with the individual stories of incarcerated parents.

3:00 – 3:15 PM               BREAK

3:15 – 4:45 PM           CONCURRENT SESSIONS (4 to Choose From)

  • Criminal Justice Reform & Gun Violence Prevention: Fighting to Save Black Lives

The workshop aims to empower movement lawyers to organize and work at the intersection of criminal justice reform and gun violence prevention and to implement life-saving strategies locally in our Black communities. Participants will come away with a stronger understanding of how criminal justice reform and gun violence prevention interact and how to support local efforts to save lives from incarceration and violence.

  • End Money Bail

This session will focus on innovative strategies that organizers and lawyers are employing to end money bail and transform the criminal legal system. The session will expose the limitations of traditional top down policy reform strategies and explore how organizing has remade the landscape around bail reform. From litigation to legislation to direct action, organizers and lawyers will discuss how they are working together to ensure that bail reform efforts go beyond surface level tweeks and open the door for us to create community based alternatives and rethink the utility of incarceration.

  • Deconstructing Black Identity Extremism (BIE) as the New COINTELPRO

This session will focus on the newly coined phrase -- Black Identity Extremism (BIE) -- derived from a 12-page report published by the FBI in 2017. The participants will discuss the repercussions and chilling effect of labeling black activists with BIE, the historical comparison to COINTELPRO as a program that surveilled, infiltrated, discredited and disrupted political organizations like the Black Panthers. We will also hear from other solidarity organizations who have experienced identity criminalization as the state’s response to challenging and fighting back against repression and systemic racism.

  • Priced Out and Pushed Out: Displacement in the Bay

The Community Economic Justice Clinic (CEJ) is a legal clinic of the East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC). EBCLC is comprised of lawyers and legal advocates, and uses a community and movement lawyering approach to addressing gentrification and displacement in the East Bay. We will share information on our work and approach during this workshop. We will also hold space to strategize, discuss existing efforts, request feedback on our work, and brainstorm opportunities to align our work. Participants will gain knowledge about existing efforts to address displacement and its impact on Black communities in the Bay; on how to deepen these existing efforts (through critical self-reflection and feedback); and skills about how to creatively leverage legal and non-legal strategies to advance this work.

4:45 – 5:00 PM               CLOSING

 

Thank You

Special thank you to our local host committee and co-sponsors.

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