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Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored.

Martin Luther King, Jr.


Other Legal Resources for Activists

See also:

 Activists' Legal Project Resources
 General Legal Resources
 Direct Action Resources

 FreeBEAGLES Legal Resource Centre has a very comprehensive guide to dealing with the law, 'Legal Advice for Activists' includes info on stop and search powers, powers to seize and retain property, suing the police and making complaints, also some case law relevant to activists.

Legal Advice on Police Tactics Against Protestors (November 2006) - useful information on the practical effects of recent changes to the law affecting protest and police tactics including the role of NETCU.

 Trident Ploughshares Legal Support (England and Wales) has guides to police and court procedures including bail, police rights to enter a building, release from custody, McKenzie friends, some case law and further resources.

Trespass on Protected Sites (April 2006) a briefing by Trident Ploughshares on the "Designated Areas" legislation affecting military and nuclear sites in the UK, under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 (as amended by the Terrorism Act 2006).

 No Comment: the defendents guide to arrest (2004) a guide to arrest in a Q&A format.

Reclaim your DNA (2009) information on how to get your DNA destroyed if you are arrested and then released without charge or are acquitted by a court.

Taking photographs of the police (Feb 2009) urban 75 briefing on the impact of the Terrorism Act 2000 legislation on photographing the police.

 Basic Law for Road Protestors (1996) some parts out of date, but still a useful guide on a wide range of legal issues relevant to road protestors and other activists.

 Legal Briefing for RAF Fairford contains useful info on who has jurisdiction over American air bases in Britain: MS-Word (doc) - 45k | (sxw) - 16k | Open Document Format (odt) - 16k

 Legal Defence and Monitoring Group was set up to monitor police behavior at protests and demonstrations and gives support to those arrested and on remand. Website has a legal rights guide, arrest guide and an extensive links page.

 Advisory Service for Squatters gives legal and other advice to squatters and produces the very useful and comprehensive Squatters Handbook.

Asbo Concern is an alliance of organisations and individuals who are concerned about the use of anti social behaviour orders (asbos). Has a very interesting dossier of when asbos have been used.

 urban 75 has sections on rights on arrest, drugs and the law, clubs/raves and the law, football and the law, police complaints.

 Vegan Prisoners Support Group - support for vegans to obtain vegan food when in custody.

 Midnight Special Law Collective is a US not for profit which provides legal trainings and legal support for activists working for social change. As well as briefings on legal rights for activists, legal observer and legal support briefings they have produced briefings about the theory and practice of police station and court solidarity - strategies aimed at protecting each other, particularly those targetted for abuse or harsher treatment, within the criminal justice system. An interesting strategy that could be adapted for use in Britain.

Criminalising Protest and Eroding Our Right to Protest from the CJA (1994) to SOCPA (2005) - two articles on the continuing erosion of our rights to protest, including recent changes to the law and their impact on activists.

Scottish legal resources for activists

Scottish Activist Legal Project (ScALP) provides legal support and advice to people taking direct action in Scotland.

An Activists Guide to Scots Law (March 2005) a briefing produced by the G8 legal support group specifically for activists going to the G8 in Scotland.

Faslane 365 Legal Information (October 2006) written for people involved in the Faslane 365 campaign, but relevant for anyone taking action in Scotland.   

The Activists' Legal Project is run by volunteers who are not legal experts. If in doubt take legal advice on the specifics of your situation from a solicitor. Our briefings only relate to the law in England and Wales. For information on the law in Scotland see the Scottish Activist Legal Project website. If you see any errors in our briefings or we have missed any changes in the law then please contact us.