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(Wissam Nassar / Maan Images)

Essential legal resource for activists: The Palestine Solidarity Legal Support Initiative

Palestine solidarity activists now have the backing and support of major civil rights and legal organizations if they are harassed, intimidated, singled out, or pressured to shut down activism campaigns across the US. 

The Center for Constitutional Rights, in conjunction with the National Lawyers’ Guild and the Student Speech Working group coalition, has launched the Palestine Solidarity Legal Support Initiative (palestinelegalsupport.org) that is geared to “track incidents of repression and provide legal support to advocates facing legal and other challenges to their activism,” according to a press release.

In addition, the Center for Constitutional Rights says that “Attorneys familiar with the issues that activists face will respond to questions related to Palestine solidarity organizing and to requests for advice and legal assistance. The initiative also provides advocacy support, as well as trainings and other resource materials.”

The Center for Constitutional Rights’ legal director, Baher Azmy, explained that:

“This legal support initiative comes at a crucial time and responds to growing efforts to obstruct advocacy in support of Palestinian rights and brand it as anti-Semitic … We are pleased to be working with cooperating attorneys Dima Khalidi and Liz Jackson and colleagues at the National Lawyers Guild to help protect activists’ First Amendment rights.”

The initiative urges Palestine solidarity activists to contact them to “request legal advice, to seek advocacy support, or to report incidents of repression” by going to the website, palestinelegalsupport.org, or calling them at (312) 212-0448.

They state:

Please contact us if you:

  • Face attempts to shut down, smear or hamper your activism
  • Believe your First Amendment rights to organize and protest have been violated
  • Need legal advice about BDS or other campaigns
  • Experience verbal or physical intimidation or assault
  • Experience different treatment than other groups on campus
  • Have questions about your rights to engage in activism
  • We are tracking incidents of repression — big and small.

We will help answer your legal questions, refer you to partners around the country, and provide you with resources to inform your work.

The Palestine Solidarity Legal Support Initiative is a project of the Center for Constitutional Rights, the National Lawyers Guild, and the Student Speech Working Group (a coalition including the Asian Law Caucus, Jewish Voice for Peace, American Muslims for Palestine, the Council on American-Islamic Relations-San Francisco Bay Area, and individual lawyers and students).