Activist Rights

Police and the Legal System

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Too many activists are left traumatised by police action.

Too many activists end up in debt from legal costs.

Too many activists become isolated in long-running court actions when they are ‘abandoned’ by campaigns or activist groups.

We can learn from from groups in “Australia” and around the world on how to help activists, organisers and legal workers to better support activists.

There are many things we can do individually and collectively deal with the pressures in facing the police and the legal system.

Fear of the police

Fear of the police and legal system is one of the most effective social control systems that the government has.

When facing any sort of police or legal sanctions, activist campaigns and movements must develop ways to help activists overcome fear of police and the risk of charges, jail and violence.

Julia Hernandez, former director of Tutela Legal, a Catholic Legal Support office in El Salvador, asserts that that most critical factor enabling people to overcome fear is their solidarity with others in their organisations (Mahoney and Eguren, 1997).