Lawyers Take to the Streets—in NYC
Over the past week and a half, Pakistani lawyers have been on the front page of newspapers worldwide for fighting against Gen. Musharraf's call for "emergency rule," ousting of the Supreme Court and tossing out of Pakistan's Constitution. While Supreme Court justices are on house arrest, lawyers, political activists, and human rights advocates have been arrested by the thousands (I think the NYT has it at 2,500 now) for protesting.
The international legal community, joined by any and all other supporters of human rights, is also protesting. As a show of solidarity with Pakistan's lawyers, and to express their outrage for what this means for democracy and for people's right to use the courts to uphold/enforce human rights protections, lawyers and other advocates have already taken to the streets in SF, Minnesota, Cleveland, and other places. Now's NYC's turn. So if you're in NYC, how about you forgo the long line at the deli, grab something from a curbside vendor, and take your lunch break to get out to the public rally in support of the protests in Pakistan.
Here's the info, from the New York City Bar Association:
As an expression of solidarity with our beleaguered colleagues at the Pakistani bar, the New York City Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association, the New York County Lawyers' Association and the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in conjunction with other organizations invite you to attend a public rally in front of the New York County Courthouse, 60 Centre Street on Tuesday, November 13, from 1:00-1:30 p.m.
The crude and brutal suspension of law and the legal system in Pakistan, and the repression of judges and lawyers there, require that we take a moment from our own busy schedules and demonstrate our concern.
Because the images from Pakistan show the violent repression of Pakistani lawyers wearing their customary dark suit and white shirt, we request that you appear on Tuesday in similar attire, though this is not required. What is important is a strong show of support.
The NYC Bar also denounced Musharraf's emergy rule in a letter last week. Despite buzzing last week suggesting that international pressure may have had an influence, Musharraf has not made any indication that he will put an end to emergency rule, and in fact he made statements earlier today defending it.