Request for Legal Observers -- New York Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride festival and rally on October 4, 2003

Monday, September 22, 2003

  • Karin Anderson
  • New York Immigration Coalition
To: New York Metro Area attorneys, paralegals, accredited representatives and law students.

From: Karin Anderson, New York Immigration Coalition

Date: September 17, 2003

Subject: You are needed to serve as legal observers and/or members of the legal team for the Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride festival and rally on October 4, 2003!

On Saturday October 4, the Immigrant Worker Freedom Ride will come to a grand finale with a rally and festival at Flushing Meadows in Queens. The event will be attended by thousands of people from the New York area, many of them immigrants. We need 1) legal observers for the October 4 event and 2) a team of lawyers on stand-by to take immigration and criminal cases for rally participants, in the event that action by the police or private individuals results in a participant being subject to immigration or criminal enforcement.

There will be two training events for legal observers. The first will be held at New York University School of Law on Tuesday, September 23rd, 2003, from 6-8 p.m. in Room 110 of the Vanderbilt Building (40 Washington Square South). The second training will be held Wednesday October 1, from 6-8 p.m. The location will be announced later this week.

People interested in being either legal observers or legal team members
should attend. At that meeting, we will agree upon a follow-up meeting time for legal team members. Please feel to sign up as a legal observer or a legal team member even if you cannot attend the training.

To sign up to be a legal observer or part of the Legal Team for the Freedom Ride, please contact Karin Anderson at the New York Immigration Coalition 212-627-2227 ext. 244. The New York Immigration Coalition is working with Bruce Bentley of the National Lawyers Guild Mass Defense Committee and 32BJ Legal Fund.

Immigrant Worker Freedom Ride organizers have gone to great lengths to protect participants from any action by law enforcement. They have met with the police and other city agencies, as well as local community boards. We do not anticipate any police action against rally participants. There are no planned actions of civil disobedience or related behavior, which could trigger police action. We are recruiting many legal observers to ensure that everyone safely enjoys the planned activities.

However, it is a large event. There is always the possibility that an individual with an anti-immigrant agenda could try to precipitate an incident requiring police activity that could expose particularly an undocumented person to immigration or criminal enforcement. In that event, it will be essential that attorneys are available to handle immigration or criminal cases that might arise.

Karin Anderson
Policy & Training Associate
The New York Immigration Coalition
275 Seventh Avenue, 9th Fl.
New York, New York 10001
212-627-2227 x244