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The state of Alabama is presently studying anti-rioting legislation, Alabama House Bill 2, which seeks to deter the worst sort of violence and disorder seen in the riots of 2020 by increasing sentencing. In doing so Alabama joins several nearby states including Florida, Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

In a recent committee hearing to discuss the bill, the first group to loudly and vociferously oppose it was the Alabama chapter of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG).

This may bring concern to those who wrongly believe the National Lawyers Guild to be a civil rights organization with a concern for the rights of American citizens. In fact, the NLG is an organization which exists to support revolutionary violence and criminality against Americans and is all too often an active participant in the plans of its riotous criminal defendants.

The NLG’s activities extend to the 1950s, when it was first formed by members of the Communist Party of the United States and identified by as an “appendage” and “legal bulwark” to the Communist party by the U.S. House of Representatives in a report from 1950.

During the turbulent 1960s and 1970s, the NLG supported numerous New Left violent revolutionaries, particularly the notorious Weather Underground; whose leader Bernadine Dohrn served as a NLG law student organizer according to Dan Berger’s Outlaws of America: The Weather Underground and the Politics of Solidarity. Leonard Boudin, the father of Weather Underground leader Kathy Boudin, was also a high-profile NLG leader. The NLG maintained (and still maintains) close ties to the Communist government of Cuba, which engaged in providing training and material support for the Weather Underground and other New Left terrorist groups.

Unsurprisingly, given that today’s Antifa rioters are direct descendants of those New Left revolutionaries, The NLG today plays a remarkably similar role. Nearly ever rioter picked up in the 2020 disorder can be found with the phone number of the NLG lawyer on call marked on their forearm with sharpie, standard practice for would be revolutionaries. Additionally, NLG “legal observers”, who claim to be merely neutral, have been known to engage in supplying photographs and other research to support Antifa doxxing efforts against law enforcement and every-day Americans. As I testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in August of 2020, NLG often operates as a “legal auxiliary” for such violent groups.

This is not to say of course that suspected rioters, terrorists, or revolutionaries are not entitled to competent legal counsel. Quite the contrary.

But as members of the National Lawyers Guild have openly admitted, the NLG practices what it calls “movement lawyering,” meaning it  seeks principally to protect not the individual rights of a given defendant but rather to protect the revolutionary “movement” itself.  NLG lawyers have allegedly gone so far as to pressure clients to take guilty pleas that were not in the client’s best interest, and even expelled one NLG lawyer for supporting her client in withdrawing one such a plea.

In some cases, NLG’s aid has gone beyond providing legal counsel and extended to engaging in criminal action. The most notorious case is that of Lynne Stewart, the attorney for convicted terrorist Omar Abdel Rahman, better known as the “blind Sheikh.” Stewart was convicted of helping her jihadist client smuggle messages out of prison to his supporters, which led to subsequent terror attacks.

No doubt anti-rioting laws like the one Alabama is proposing, if successful, will put even more pressure on these self-identified revolutionaries who could now face real jail time for their criminal acts. This in turn may encourage them to take plea deals and cooperation agreements with law enforcement, better enabling investigators to understand the criminal conspiracies which launch and perpetuate this political violence.

And that’s something the NLG can’t afford to have happen.

Kyle Shideler
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