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The NLG vs BC Civil Liberties

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During today's tent city action in Vancouver the VMC caught up with Larry Hildes, an attorney for the National Lawyers Guild. We asked him why he had broken ties with BC Civil Liberties

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Great video.

Great video.

Thanks for this awesome

Thanks for this awesome interview. I saw many times in my life leftists reformists making difference between good protesters and bad giving legitimacy to the police and mainstream medias discourse against the people who are fighting the system of destruction by attacking him and his material existence. That's one of the limits of the so-called diversity of tactics when tactics of negociating, asking and demanding to the state are in contradiction with the people involved in militant tactics against the state reality as a tool of the capitalist, colonialist, patriarchal... war against life and the oppress as a part of the exploited. That's a question not so adressed in the social movement.     


I have great respect for the

I have great respect for the van media coop.

But since this is a BCCLA vs NLG vid, it would have been nice to hear how the BCCLA would respond to serious and troubling allegations.

good video reporting

I like this guy.
The NLG is cool!
I have respect for these guys!

This is an amazingly

This is an amazingly interesting clip... and should be used as training in all future actions.

I did not like what I saw on Saturday. I'm not a lawyer so I can construct an opinion. There were good protestors and there were bad protestors. The bad protestors put the message at risk and has confused a lot of the discourse. It was detrimental to further actions because many onlookers have shut themselves off to even hearing the message let alone absorbing the message.

Is anyone really that surprised that the BCCLA has denounced what happened on Saturday? Yes, in fact they do have reputations to guard if only the reputations some may have with their family and spouses. Indiscriminate violence has the tendency to trump all other considerations; and that's not surprising for those who wish not to spend lengthy amounts of time on deep thought and consideration.

Good Work!

Good work Larry!  I would like to see a video response from the BCCLA, too.  Can the Coop contact David Eby and request an interview?  Would Pivot Legal Society have the same editorial position toward some protests?  A great opportunity for progressive lawyers to define themselves--which side are you on?


Yay Larry!

I liked everything that Larry Hildes said.

On the one hand, it is true that so called 'violent' actions are invariably divisitive in their outcome when we define any 'movement' in broad terms. On the other, it should be the duty of anyone who defines themselves as part of this movement to distinguish where the greatest injustices lie. In doing so, it would be made clear that such actions (like throwing rocks) are no where near as violent, distructive, amoral, and reprehensible as the actions committed by the state against low-income and houseless peoples no matter how you measure it. Furthermore, to actively support the imprisonment of these people who threw rocks, which I believe BC Civil Liberities to be doing in their message (or at least have yet to seen otherwise to contradict these beliefs) is to support the prison industrial complex as a whole, or implicate that some good comes out of punitive justice (which, time and again, has proven otherwise.)

I would encourage anyone in support of the series of actions occuring in Vancouver to not further cause divisions between allies and instead foster a community of accountability and support as they see fit. Anger should be directed at the state, who is the most violent and divistive character in this situation.



Criminal defense lawyers don't have to like their clients...

but they are ethically required to zealously guard their clients' rights. An attorney who makes statements like those made by the BCCLA guy should absolutely *not* represent *any* person arrested at a demonstration; the attorney made statements which could prejudice his clients' interests, and could serve to inflame a jury against his and other attorneys' clients.

At the same time, the presence of attorneys as legal observers is problematic if there is the least chance that those attorneys could be called as witnesses in cases involving their own clients, or others arrested at the same protest. There's a huge possiblity that their testimony on the behalf of another protestor could be used against their client. Attorneys *should* train legal observers, and train them to *observe facts*, *legally useful facts*, but not to make *legal judgments* about those facts. if a legal observer is called to testify in a US court, his or her testimony will be limited to facts and fact patterns that he or she personally observed, and speculation or the application of judgment about how the facts or fact patterns comport with the law will not be asked for, nor listened to. It's up to the jury to apply the law to the facts and come up with a verdict.

Larry in Terrorizing Dissent

Larry also gave remarks featured at the very end of Terrorizing Dissent Part 4 ( ) regarding the crushing of protests @ the 2008 RNC in St. Paul. Go Larry!! 


I'm incredibly troubled by the video, not that I don't perhaps agree with some of the comments being said but that Larry so quickly denounces Vancouver;s (and Canada's for that matter) first ever legal observer program, should these organizations a) not be working together, or at least b) be respectful of one another to the point where they could discuss these things in private NOT to the media where the reputation and hard work of the program gets immediately denounced and rather unfairly in my opinion.
It is completely unproductive to go against the people you essentially hold similar views with...are they not all working towards protecting the civil rights and freedoms of people within Canada; enabling people to peacefully voice their opinions without be unduly punished for it?
I'm not saying what should and should not have been done because Larry has every right to say what he wants but in the interests of not denouncing the allies Larry could have resisted the temptation of voicing his discontent to a video camera that has now made it onto the internet and other media outlets.
By all means mistakes happen, but the BCCLA legal observers do not deserve this, they have worked hard to volunteer for these protest events to protect the civil liberties of those in attendance - should they really be painted in this light?

Yes, BCCLA should be

Yes, BCCLA should be disciplined. There's enough confusion about what happened and the BCCLA has created more confusion. Since they weren't there, they should have nothing to lose. Not even their political aspirations. They've crossed a line, they need to do damage control. Admit fault publically and humbly return to addressing the monster that makes cops bad, makes our city ugly, and makes rich people richer while the poor suffer and die.

Slow video

Not sure if this is a temporary issue with your server - or my internet - but the video feed keeps pausing to stream. Very irritating, and I gave up.

Sigh. Text is so much more satisfying. I can read it at my own pace. Video is often slow moving and dull and I have no control over the speed that I receive information.


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