National Lawyers Guild (NLG) Legal Observers (LOs) attend demonstrations, marches, rallies, and protests, not as participants, but as objective witnesses. They monitor police and document violations of protesters’ rights in the event of subsequent criminal or civil litigation. Their neon green hats are seen at protests everywhere but do not necessarily afford them protection from police abuse. LOs have been arrested, pepper-sprayed, hit with rubber bullets, and suffered the same injuries as the protesters they seek to protect.
A Peek Inside the Mysterious Military Commissions: Observing Guantanamo
Observers are sent to Guantanamo to fulfill, in some very limited way, the requirements of a public trial. ABA observers are chosen primarily from the ranks of the Criminal Justice Section because extensive knowledge of criminal law is essential. The observers all report back to their respective organizations and hope that these reports help shed some light on what would otherwise be a very secretive proceeding.