Anonymous has emerged over the past decade as a different kind of protest organization. Their principles diverge from the traditional New Left groups of the 60s like SDS, which tended to combine ideas from Marxism and radical democracy, the October Revolution or Mao.
Anonymous politics are more organic, born of experience with Scientology, and hostility to secrecy and hypocrisy, and a range of politics ranging from leftist social democrat to both left and right libertarian.
The traditional liberals and left aren't comfortable with Anonymous, which don't break laws in person, but engage in online behavior that's presently classified as illegal (i.e. computer trespass, which is different from regular trespass). Likewise, Anonymous are largely anonymous to each other, and may not grasp the dynamics of building a mass political action formed of coalitions of disparate groups and groups that rely on trust.
NLG has started to build a bridge between the two worlds.
From the NLG website:
The US government has begun a War on Information, arresting those who fight for freedom of information as well as their supporters. This brutal crackdown on "hackers," "leakers," and "hacktivists" is occurring throughout the United States and internationally.
V&There is maybe nothing in life as stomach-churningly terrifying as feeling or even anticipating the weight of the US Government coming down on you… but you do NOT stand alone. You have help. You have lawyers who believe in the cause.
You are part of a tradition of freedom fighters and their advocates that stretches back through history. The National Lawyers Guild is here for you. Please contact us, or your attorney, BEFORE you talk to law enforcement- BEFORE you say ANYTHING to law enforcement.
The National Lawyers Guild stands with those who aim to shine a light on corruption. We stand with those who stand against corporate bullying, and with those who understand that sharing knowledge is critical to a democracy.
The NLG has a 75 year history of defending those who are attacked in the pursuit of justice, equality, and freedom, and we are ready to defend Anons and others who have been targeted for their pursuit of knowledge and the freedom of information.
In fact, we are already helping connect some of those targeted by the government with legal help, and we have more lawyers at the ready. Call us at 888-NLG-DANK to reach a hotline operator, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Of course we don't have lawyers EVERYWHERE, but we will try to find a lawyer in your jurisdiction.
You can also read about the history of the NLG, learn about your rights online, and how to deal with law enforcement.