Friday, July 11, 2008

Defend free speech - become a legal observer

Legal Observer Trainings Scheduled for Summer!

The following free workshops are for anyone who wants to defend free speech and assembly by becoming a volunteer legal observer for the ACLU of Wisconsin. Three workshops are offered this summer: volunteers only have to participate in one workshop to be trained. Bilingual volunteers are especially encouraged to get involved.

Monday, July 14th – 6-8pm; Madison Public Library, Central (downtown) location, 2nd floor, room 202 - WORKSHOP FULL!

Thursday, July 24th - 6-8pm; Madison Public Library, Central (downtown) location, 2nd floor, room 202

Monday, August 18th - 6-8pm; Madison Public Library, Central (downtown) location, 2nd floor, room 204

RSVP required: email the Madison Area Office or call (608) 469-5540 if you plan on attending a workshop. Please forward this announcement to friends who are also interested in supporting everyone’s right (even if not always the content) of people’s right to freedom of speech, assembly and protest.

For more on the ACLU of Wisconsin’s legal observer program and for pictures of observers in action, visit our blog entry on a recent downtown protest.

What Are Legal Observers?
Legal Observers are trained volunteers who are legal witnesses to political demonstrations and who document the events of public protests, including any incidents of police misconduct or violations of the rights of protesters. Legal Observers are committed to defending free speech in a way that is as objective as possible so that their documentation of public protests can be used as evidence if police misconduct or obstructions to Constitutionally-protected free speech are challenged in court. As a Legal Observer, volunteers can commit to being among others who are free speech defenders, but also aren’t expected to be at every rally – volunteers pick which protests to observe with neutrality and can choose not to volunteer at protests where they wish to be participants.