The Mideast (“Rustbelt”) Regional NLG Conference will be held Friday, March 18th through Sunday March 20th, 2016 at Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland, OH. The Facebook event for the regional is available here.
Along with workshops, panels, and CLEs, we will also provide ample networking opportunities, meeting spaces, and trainings. Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. We look forward to seeing you in March!
Friday, March 18th, 2016 – Social! @ Tina’s Nite Club, 5400 Herman Avenue (Detroit-Shoreway), Cleveland, OH 44102
- 8:30pm: Meet & Greet followed by Karaoke @ Tina’s Nite Club, 5400 Herman Avenue (Detroit-Shoreway), Cleveland, OH 44102 [Karaoke every night of the week. One of Cleveland’s best dives. A hidden gem.]
Saturday, March 19th, 2016 – Conference! @ CWRU School of Law (11075 East Blvd, Cleveland, OH 44106)
- 9:00am-10:00am – Registration & light self-serve breakfast (coffee from Gypsy Bean)
- 12:00pm-1:00pm – Lunch (from Nate’s Deli) & networking
- 4:30pm-6:00pm – Roundtable with Organizations & Individuals Organizing Around the 2016 RNC
- 6:00pm-? – Dinner off-site (TBA, but probably Happy Dog!)
Sunday, March 20th, 2016 – Meetings & Trainings! – @ CWRU School of Law (11075 East Blvd, Cleveland, OH 44106)
Note about Sunday: All meetings are closed and only NLG members may attend. Legal Observer trainings are open to everyone – except those working for or with government or law enforcement agencies – interested in being trained and serving as an NLG Legal Observer. No media permitted.
- 10:00am-10:50am: Ohio NLG business meeting (NLG members only)
- 11:00am-11:50am: NLG Mideast Region business meeting (NLG members only)
- 12:00pm-1:45pm: NLG RNC legal support meeting (NLG members only)
- 2:00pm-3:30pm: Legal Observer training! Please RSVP at http://tinyurl.com/ohnlglorsvp!
Panel Descriptions & Speaker Bios
In October 2015, David Abrams, a New York City-based attorney, and Shurat HaDin, an Israel-based organization that “fight[s] academic and economic boycotts and challeng[es] those who seek to delegitimize the Jewish State” filed an unfair labor practice charge alleging that the UE had violated Section 8(b)(4)(i) of the National Labor Relations Act. Section 8(b)(4) prohibits unions from engaging in secondary boycotts, including by merely encouraging workers to withhold their labor. In the 1982 case ILA v. Allied, the Supreme Court applied Section 8(b)(4)’s restrictions to purely political protest.
Although the UE’s resolution does not encourage anyone to withhold their labor, the National Labor Relations Board is taking Shurat HaDin’s allegations seriously. The case is currently being reviewed by the NLRB General Counsel’s Division of Advice; the UE would expect an Advice Decision prior to the NLG Mideast Regional Conference.
The panelists will discuss the UE’s endorsement of the BDS movement and the legal defense of the unfair labor practice charge, which not only seeks to have the charge dismissed on factual grounds, but more significantly alleges that under Citizens United Section 8(b)(4)’s restrictions on only the political speech of unions clearly violates the First Amendment.
Alan Hart, managing editor of the UE News, has been a member of UE for 42 years, starting when he was hired by General Electric at its plant in Erie, PA in October 1973 and immediately joined the union, UE Local 506, which is UE’s largest local and one of its oldest. As a member of Local 506 he was elected to serve as shop steward and as a member of the local union executive board, and he also served as managing editor of the local’s newsletter.
From 1986 to 2006 Hart served in UE’s field staff and was involved in organizing, bargaining contracts, representing workers in grievance meetings and arbitrations, training local union officers and stewards, and other union work. Since 2006 he’s been managing editor of the UE News, the union’s official organ. In addition to editing the newspaper, Hart’s duties include other union communications, and he writes, co-writes, and edits many of the union’s public statements.
Joseph Cohen is the General Counsel of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE). He coordinates the Union’s legal activities nationwide and advises the Union’s leadership and staff on organizing, negotiation and representation strategy. Joseph has been with the Union for over eleven years. Prior to working for UE, Joseph was an Equal Justice Works Fellow and Staff Attorney at Florida Rural Legal Services.
Peter Knowlton has been a UE member for over 30 years. A life-long activist and organizer for economic and social change and justice, like many of his generation, he grew up inspired by and a part of the democratic tradition of the “new left” militancy of the anti-racist civil and indigenous rights, feminist, anti-war and anti-imperialist, environmental, LGBT, and the rank and file labor and socialist movements in the 60’s and 70’s. He considers himself, first and foremost, a UE organizer and member of a rank and file union that has always embraced these ideals. Over the last two decades he served in that capacity as President of the UE’s Northeast Region and was recently elected General President of the national union.
Margot Nikitas (moderator) is Associate General Counsel of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE). A 2012 graduate of the labor and employment law program at Chicago-Kent College of Law, Margot was active in labor and immigrant rights activism in Chicago prior to joining the UE legal department at the union’s national office in Pittsburgh. She recently served as the first organizing chair of Fight Back Pittsburgh, a United Steelworkers associate membership program founded in 2013 that aims to make the labor movement relevant to workers who are not in unions.
About UE: The United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE), is a democratic national union based in Pittsburgh, PA representing some 35,000 workers in a wide variety of manufacturing, public sector and private non-profit sector jobs. UE is an independent union (not affiliated with the AFL-CIO) proud of its democratic structure and progressive policies. Read more at www.ueunion.org.
ROLE OF RADICAL LAWYERS & LEGAL WORKERS IN RADICAL MOVEMENTS
This panel will feature legal workers, activists, and lawyers that have made it their life’s work to do political cases. The talk will include methods for handling radical legal work and cases, provide an over-view of current radical/political cases, and discuss tactics for effective organizing in movement work litigation. Panelists will highlight what has worked, and what hasn’t, and offer insight for moving forward.
ROUNDTABLE WITH ORGANIZATIONS & INDIVIDUALS ORGANIZING AROUND THE 2016 RNC
Do you want to be involved in local legal and/or jail support during the RNC? Would you like to discuss your organizations plans surrounding the RNC with other activists and organizations? Attend this roundtable session to learn how to get involved and get up to speed on the events that are already being planned.
2016 RNC PREPARATIONS
The 2016 Republican National Convention (RNC) will be held in Cleveland, Ohio from July 18th through July 21st, 2016. The Ohio Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild is actively working with Cleveland-area social-justice organizations to build local capacity to provide legal support for those demonstrating this summer. A roundtable with organizations and individuals organizing around the 2016 RNCwill be held on Saturday evening during the NLG Mideast regional conference and a regional mass defense/RNC legal support meeting (limited to NLG members only!) will be held on Sunday morning. Please complete this form if you anticipate traveling to Cleveland in July 2016 to provide legal support to demonstrators.
Over the past year, the Ohio Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild has issued a press release regarding the City of Cleveland’s use of lime-green identifiers for volunteer marshals; created and distributed Ohio-specific Know Your Rights cards; co-launched http://clemovementlaw.com/ with Cleveland Action; coordinated jail support, legal support, legal observers, and pro bono legal defense for those arrested during the Brelo verdict protests withCleveland Action and the Black Movement Law Project; met with Cleveland city officials along with Black Movement Law Project to discuss the arrest of Legal Observers, kettling of protesters, and treatment of arrestees during the Brelo verdict protest; filed an amicus brief on the Cleveland/DOJ consent decree with the Collaborative for a Fair, Safe, and Just Cleveland and Cleveland NAACP; submitted a declaration in an ACLU complaint against the City of Cleveland regarding the chilling effect that Legal Observer arrests has had on LO recruitment; issued a press release and authored a Guild Notes article on Brelo verdict demonstrators; and held numerous Legal Observer trainings and dispatched Legal Observers as requested.
To learn more about the Ohio chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, please visit their Facebook page, and check out CLE Movement Law to learn more about Cleveland’s current legal and jail support structure.
Planning to come to Cleveland this summer? Please complete this form!
Want to donate to the Ohio NLG’s mass defense efforts? You can donate here via Paypal or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ohio NLG Press Releases
Lime-Green Identifiers May Cause Confusion, Says Ohio NLG (May 2015)
Cases Against Brelo Protestors Dismissed, Shows Arrests Were Unfounded and Unlawful, Says Ohio Chapter of National Lawyers Guild and Cleveland Branch of the NAACP(November 2015)
Articles, Op-Eds, & Interviews
Police Restraint? Many Cleveland Protesters Arrested After Michael Brelo Verdict Were Just Standing Around (Cleveland.com, June 2015)
NLG Ohio & Partners Gets Cases Against Protesters Dropped (Guild Notes, Winter 2015/16)
Is Cleveland Prepared for Protests During the GOP Convention? (Cleveland.com, January 2016)
Interview with Jacqueline Greene & Randy Trefethern discussing the role of Legal Observers, protester rights, & police response in Cleveland (The Forum, WTAM 1100, February 2016)
National Lawyers Guild Frustrated By City’s Peacekeeper Regalia (Cleveland Scene, May 2015)
Cleveland NAACP, Other Groups Set to File Brief on Concerns with Consent Decree (Cleveland.com, June 2015)
Activists Plan Conference to Discuss Legal Support for Republican National Convention Protestors (Cleveland.com, March 2016)
Activists Say RNC Security Plans Are Violating Civil Rights (ABC News Columbus, March 2016)
DIRECTIONS/PARKING & HOUSING
Case Western Reserve University School of Law is located at 11075 East Boulevard, Cleveland, OH 44106. Metered parking is available on the streets surrounding the school. Please note that most parking meters are checked 24/7.
There is a covered, indoor garage directly across from the law school at the Cleveland Botanical Gardens. The Non-Visitor Rate is $9 for first 2.5 hours, plus $1 per 30 mins beyond 2.5 hours, with a Daily Max: $15.
There are a variety of hotel options near CWRU School of Law. To request alternative housing contact email@example.com.
- Courtyard Cleveland University Circle (2021 Cornell Rd)
- The Tudor Arms Hotel Cleveland – a DoubleTree by Hilton (10660 Carnegie Ave)
Glidden House (1901 Ford Dr)
Location: CWRU School of Law is located in the heart of University Circle just minutes from downtown Cleveland. Within walking distance of the school you can visit:
- the world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra at Severance Hall,
- the Cleveland Museum of Art,
- the Cleveland Botanical Garden,the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland,
- the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, or
- the Cinematheque theater.
The Mideast Region of the National Lawyers Guild would like to acknowledge the following speakers, panelists, sponsors, NLG chapters, and organizers for their contributions.
Panelists & Moderators
- Alana Belle
- Sarah Coffey
- Joseph Cohen
- King Downing
- Terry Gilbert
- Jacqueline C. Greene
- James L. Hardiman
- Alan Hart
- Kris Hermes
- Julie Hurwitz
- Peter Knowlton
- Allison L. Kriger
- Waltrina Middleton
- Margot Nikitas
- Jocelyn Rosnick
- Julia Shearson
- Anthony Zakharia