LDMG throws in the towel, what next?

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Ramona's picture
Ramona
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Jun 6 2018 12:51
LDMG throws in the towel, what next?

LDMG (the Legal Defence and Monitoring Group) have announced they are ending their project after 24 years, in a statement on their website. LDMG have provided invaluable legal and court support and have a huge amount of knowledge and experience, so it will be such a shame to see them go.

They say in their statement that they hope their disbanding will "spark a renewed interest in legal support, which is the responsibility of the movement", and I hope they are right, but it seems like such a momentous task to take on not to mention big shoes to fill. Can anyone see something new forming to fulfill any of their functions - legal observing, court and prisoner support etc? What would need to happen for our movement to gain confidence with these skills?

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Rob Ray
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Jun 6 2018 13:39

Something may reform out of it, and the individuals are still about so training will likely still be available (just not as an organisational thing), but yeah it leaves a hole.

The big question is probably handover — new people stepping up to shadow and learn lessons (not just about the law but about all the rest of it, contacts, good lawyers vs bad, which judge is going to be a bastard) so we don't end up back at square one later on when the existing people who know what they're doing retire.

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Ramona
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Jun 6 2018 14:54

That's reassuring to know, and I hope there are people about who are keen to take on that kind of project. It makes me aware, again, of how little there is of that kind of organising in Scotland and how much of a gap that is - I wonder if that's just because there hasn't felt like there's much need recently?

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Rob Ray
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Jun 6 2018 14:59

Tbh LDMG, as with so many such groups, was always pretty tiny and afaik more the preserve of people who had built up experience from years of supporting arrestees than anything else. I think with a lot of this stuff the deciding factor is whether a specialist or two happens to be around to act as a catalyst. It needs legal geeks, basically wink.

sawa
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Jun 6 2018 15:59
Ramona wrote:
That's reassuring to know, and I hope there are people about who are keen to take on that kind of project. It makes me aware, again, of how little there is of that kind of organising in Scotland and how much of a gap that is - I wonder if that's just because there hasn't felt like there's much need recently?

Aye its been a problem for a while that we havent really been many legal observers/court support in Scotland. Though I dunno if the one or two folk who used to do such up here still do training?
I suppose specific campaigns just do what they can when stuff happens to their organisers/activists etc.

Good luck to LDMG folk in the future and thanks for all the hard work put in over the years.

R Totale's picture
R Totale
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Jun 6 2018 18:39

Sad news, especially with London ABC having more-or-less folded last year as well. So there's the two remaining Southern ABCs, Green & Black and NetPol, LCAPSV, and the Northern Police Monitoring Project... much else?

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dark_ether
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Jun 8 2018 10:34

Heard a primary reason was the backlash they received from TERFs / TERF supporters after LDMG helped the defendant in the 'hyde park corner' case and put out their earlier statement? https://freedomnews.org.uk/legal-defence-and-monitoring-group-statement-on-the-hyde-park-case/?
And/or that it caused some internal divisions (as alluded to in said earlier statement), with what I assume is a minority of people 'actively involved' backing the back lash?

Feel like we should've all had a more active role in supporting LDMG through this, wasn't aware how much continued pressure they had been on over it.

With GBC on reduced capacity at present as well its a very worrying gap in our support structures. In Bristol we can usually pull out legal observers (number of eco types and a few of bristol afed are fairly confident in this role), but our local group - Bristol Defendant Solidarity - is also at a fairly low ebb in terms of capacity when it comes to supporting people through police and court stuff. Certainly doesn't have the capicity to cope with the larger demos and scale of arrests that can take place in the capital.

Whats the situation like in other places? Is there experienced local support, or do folks rely on the London based organisations?

Mike Harman
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Jun 8 2018 11:05

I hadn't seen the previous statement until after this announcement (i.e. yesterday), did not realise there had been active pressure not to provide court support for an arrestee at all.

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R Totale
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Jun 8 2018 12:29
dark_ether wrote:
Heard a primary reason was the backlash they received from TERFs / TERF supporters after LDMG helped the defendant in the 'hyde park corner' case and put out their earlier statement? https://freedomnews.org.uk/legal-defence-and-monitoring-group-statement-on-the-hyde-park-case/?
And/or that it caused some internal divisions (as alluded to in said earlier statement), with what I assume is a minority of people 'actively involved' backing the back lash?

Feel like we should've all had a more active role in supporting LDMG through this, wasn't aware how much continued pressure they had been on over it.

If this is true, and I suspect it is, then Christ it's depressing how much damage people who aren't anarchists, and generally don't even make a pretence of being sympathetic to anarchism, have been able to inflict. I mean, how tf are people getting upset about a group set up to provide legal support to people facing charges related to protests providing legal support to someone facing charges related to a protest?

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jef costello
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Jun 8 2018 13:19

This is bad news. I remember handing out bust cards back in the day. Should have probably done a bit more, if moe of us had maybe we'd still have an LDMG

sawa
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Jun 8 2018 13:42

It is terrible the influence TERFs and TERF apologists have and thus the negative impact on organisations like LDMG.

sawa
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Jun 8 2018 13:48
R Totale wrote:
dark_ether wrote:
Heard a primary reason was the backlash they received from TERFs / TERF supporters after LDMG helped the defendant in the 'hyde park corner' case and put out their earlier statement? https://freedomnews.org.uk/legal-defence-and-monitoring-group-statement-on-the-hyde-park-case/?
And/or that it caused some internal divisions (as alluded to in said earlier statement), with what I assume is a minority of people 'actively involved' backing the back lash?

Feel like we should've all had a more active role in supporting LDMG through this, wasn't aware how much continued pressure they had been on over it.

If this is true, and I suspect it is, then Christ it's depressing how much damage people who aren't anarchists, and generally don't even make a pretence of being sympathetic to anarchism, have been able to inflict. I mean, how tf are people getting upset about a group set up to provide legal support to people facing charges related to protests providing legal support to someone facing charges related to a protest?

Because they basically claim it is equivalent to male domestic violence because they are that influential at creating a climate of fear and hate towards trans people especially women.
When the reality is it was just woman on woman violence in the context of a protest and TERFs harassing trans women. Which most folk think it would be acceptable for a woman to hit a threatening fascist woman at a protest or a pro life woman harassing folk getting abortions.
But no folks hatred of trans folk means they are suddenly selective pacifists...

Zia
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Jun 14 2018 01:39

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