Legal defence for arrested Olympic protesters

Pivot Legal Society, the Vanphoto by Vaska037couver-based legal advocacy organization behind the “Homes For All” banner hung yesterday from a bridge facing the Olympic village, has set up a four-lawyer Olympic Legal Defence Team in support of “vulnerable and marginalized people during the Olympics” — including protesters and residents of the city’s Downtown Eastside district.

Amid the heated protests and increase in police presence in Vancouver, the nonprofit organization is offering a 24-hour legal advice hotline, and will provide free representation to those in custody. A Legal Defence Team lawyer will be placed at Vancouver’s courthouse every day of the Olympics to assist arrested individuals.

Pivot has also been distributing Olympic Rights Cards (PDF). The cards offer information for people on their legal rights, and include a note to be handed to police in lieu of speaking:

Officer, if I am under arrest or being detained, please tell me so. If I am free to go, please tell me so. If I am not free to go, please tell me why. I wish to exercise all my legal rights including my right to silence and my right to speak to a lawyer before I say anything to you. I do not consent to be searched. I wish to be released without delay. Please do not ask me questions, because I will not willingly talk to you until I speak to a lawyer. Thank you for respecting my rights.
Photo by Vaska037

By Todd Harrison

On Tuesday February 16th, 2010

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Pivot Legal Society, the Vanphoto by Vaska037couver-based legal advocacy organization behind the “Homes For All” banner hung yesterday from a bridge facing the Olympic village, has set up a four-lawyer Olympic Legal Defence Team in support of “vulnerable and marginalized people during the Olympics” — including protesters and residents of the city’s Downtown Eastside district.

Amid the heated protests and increase in police presence in Vancouver, the nonprofit organization is offering a 24-hour legal advice hotline, and will provide free representation to those in custody. A Legal Defence Team lawyer will be placed at Vancouver’s courthouse every day of the Olympics to assist arrested individuals.

Pivot has also been distributing Olympic Rights Cards (PDF). The cards offer information for people on their legal rights, and include a note to be handed to police in lieu of speaking:

Officer, if I am under arrest or being detained, please tell me so. If I am free to go, please tell me so. If I am not free to go, please tell me why. I wish to exercise all my legal rights including my right to silence and my right to speak to a lawyer before I say anything to you. I do not consent to be searched. I wish to be released without delay. Please do not ask me questions, because I will not willingly talk to you until I speak to a lawyer. Thank you for respecting my rights.

Photo by Vaska037