As the Midnight Special Law Collective gets ready to leave town, they met with local lawyers, law students and activists to create a new group, D2K Legal Wrap Up, which will continue the important work of ensuring that everyone arrested in conjunction with the D2K demonstrations is legally taken care of. Twenty people showed up at the first meeting, held at the ACLU offices on the evening of Tuesday, August 2. They began planning support work primary focused on assisting in the defense of the approximately 20 criminal cases not covered by jail solidarity plea bargains. There are also some demonstrators who may decline plea bargains, so the figure could go higher.
Activities planned included contacting and coordinating with defendants and lawyers, researching information, generating political pressure, and coordinating efforts with civil suits that will be brought against the LAPD and/or the city of LA. Workgroups were formed for each of these areas of responsibility. While the stellar presence of Midnight Special Law Collective will obviously be missed, the meeting was clearly successful in setting up the basic structure for continuing the important legal work that remains. More participants are needed, however, especially since this is an all-volunteer effort.
The results of similar organizing in the wake of the Battle in Seattle are very encouraging. Out of all the arrests, just 6 cases went to trial and only one person was convicted. Those who want to help in continuing that tradition of successfully defending demonstrators are urged to attend the next meeting of D2K Legal Wrap Up on Tuesday, September 5 at 6:30 PM in the ACLU offices at 1616 W. Beverly.