Blog Jay Leiderman Law

The Antifa movement has garnered a lot of attention as of late.  What is Antifa?

Antifa in America have become an increasingly controversial topic of conversation over recent years as their prominence has grown. Antifa has a simple meaning: Anti-Fascist.  The name Antifa exploded in the media after the recent clashes with Neo-Nazi’s and White Supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia.  The Antifa movement stems from the ideology of the anti-fascist groups from Europe in the 1930’s. Hitler and Mussolini were fascists.  The name Antifa has grown from these roots. Although for many years they were known as the Anti-Racist Action, believing Americans would understand the concept of racism easier than fascism, they have taken up the name Antifa and are largely made up of left wing anarchists.  Antifa are activists and protectors of equality.


The Antifa Symbol

Antifa and the “Alt-Right”

As for the “Alt-Right” clashes with Antifa that happened in August 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia, Antifa were present to ensure that the Nazi white racist and hate groups didn’t oppress minorities.  The Nazi white racist and hate and oppression groups gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia to protest the relocation of a statue of General Robert E. Lee, who led the confederacy in the Civil War, with the aim of preserving slavery.  Many people were arrested in Charlottesville on that day.  Of note, the Nazi’s were exercising their constitutional rights, especially the first amendment right to free speech.  Of course, only the Nazi’s murdered anyone.

It is important to define the “Alt-Right” before we move back to Antifa.  The “Alt-Right” or Alternative Right or conservative groups are hate groups dedicated to oppressing minorities, especially blacks and Jews, and cleansing the United States of impure blood.  Alt-Right is a term that white racist and hate groups – Nazis – inventreed themselves to distance themselves from the term Nazi.  As I said on my LinkedIn page: When [ ] did fascist Nazi pigs start being called the “alt-right”? Fuck anyone who has ever called a Nazi “alt-right.” [ ] A Nazi is a [ ] Nazi. A white supremacist is a Nazi. A white nationalist is a Nazi. A Neo-Nazi is a Nazi. [ ].

Antifa’s structure

Although Antifa has no formal organization it is still a very strong group and runs largely through social media. With different autonomous groups and individuals setting up events throughout the country, it is hard to pin down exact numbers of members. Since the inauguration of President Donald Trump in 2017 numbers have boomed significantly and it is estimated that there are now over 200 factions of Antifa in the USA.

Increased Antifa membership during the Trump administration is necessary because Trump refuses to distance himself from Fascist and Nazi groups. Indeed, he seems to embrace and even sometimes encourage them.

Although Antifa are a left-wing group they do not force their political views on others. Their main aim through their political movement is to fight far-right (mostly Nazi) ideology often meeting it with violence and destruction. With aims to disrupt far-right rallies as much as possible, including using force and violence, their aim is to stop the spread of the right wing ideologies especially those focusing on racist and extreme views.  Assault is never a first choice.

Antifa use non-violent and alternative tactics to fight fascism

While Antifa are a very hands on group they also have a more subtle and less violent way of fighting right wing extremists. By using pictures of activists at rallies and carrying flags that are associated with far right views, Antifa aim to disrupt their day to day lives as much as possible. This includes imagespublicly identifying them in order to have them evicted from their homes and fired from jobs.

Many of the tactics that Antifa use to fight against the far-right are considered illegal and increased law enforcement presence is being used at rallies where the two sides will meet. Both the open use of violence and the damage to both public and private property are offenses that many, including a large proportion of far-left activists don’t agree with. The more intelligent and subtle ways of using social media to identify and publicly shame those who are involved in right-wing rallies is less frowned upon and is also a highly effective measure to fight against those they disagree with.

Antifa is a necessary counterweight against fascism in America


Antifa flag

Antifa does not stand for left-wing politics but is a direct fight against fascism and the right wing politics that has grown throughout America in recent years. By following the right-wing protestors to any rallies and events they put on, their aim is to spread the word that hate-speech is not free-speech. Although their methods might be extreme and not legal in many instances, the individuals who identify as being part of the Antifa movement are strong believers in the word they are spreading.

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What You Need To Know About Gun Laws in the US

The United States Constitution, through its Second Amendment, guarantees the right of Americans to bear arms. The right to own a gun, however, is not absolute. There are laws—both state and federal—that cover and limit the ownership of firearms. Here are some facts that you need to know about gun laws in the United States.

you cannot legally own a gun if you are a convicted felon

Not everyone can legally own a gun

Under federal law, you cannot legally own a gun if you are any of the following:

  • A convicted felon sentenced to a prison term of more than a year
  • A fugitive from justice
  • A drug user or addict
  • Declared by a court as mentally ill or have been committed to a mental institution
  • An illegal immigrant
  • Dishonorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces
  • A former US citizen who renounced his/her citizenship
  • Subject to a court restraining order issued on behalf of your ‘intimate partner,’ your partner’s child, or children
  • Convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence
pistol, rifle, 18 years old, felon, immigrant, dishonorable discharge

Notwithstanding the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, guns are prohibited for certain persons and under certain circumstances

Not legally allowed to own guns means no ammunition or “ammo,” also

If you cannot legally own a gun, you are also prohibited from buying or owning bullets. In fact, possessing a single, live bullet can already get you in trouble since no minimum amount of ammunition has been set such that a prohibited person is safe from prosecution.

Age restrictions apply

Anyone under 18 is not allowed by federal law to possess a handgun or handgun ammunition, subject to limited exceptions. Conversely, federal law doesn’t set a minimum age for owning long guns (rifles and shotguns) or ammunition for them.

Background checks

If you want to buy a gun, you have to undergo a background check. Licensed firearm dealers are required by federal law to run your information through the national background check system to determine whether or not you are eligible for gun ownership. But if the dealer doesn’t get a notification about your eligibility or ineligibility within three business days, he or she can legally sell you the gun of your choice.

NRA, shotgun, bolt action, pump action, blue steel, drugs, alcohol, hunting, second amendment, weapon

The National Firearms Act or NFA prohibits machine guns, short-barreled (sawed off) shotguns and silencers.

Not all types of firearms are fair game

The National Firearms Act (NFA) has certain restrictions in place on the sale or possession of machine guns, short-barreled shotguns, and silencers. If you want to purchase any of these so-called NFA firearms or devices, you have to undergo a thorough background check, buy a tax stamp for manufacturing the firearm or device, and log it with the NFA registry of the ATF.

If you find yourself facing charges of illegal gun possession and you think your Constitutional right to bear arms is being violated, you should get the services of a gun lawyer immediately so you can discuss your legal options. You should also do the same if you are being accused of other gun-related crimes.


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Blacks on the witness stand in Georgia in 1962: The Unsworn Statement

The unsworn statement

Slaves in Georgia suffered indignities even in church.

Jay, I read your your twitter

I was very interested in the one picture you posted about how slaves collecting the offering in church had to have one hand behind their back to keep them from stealing.

Most jurors didn’t know about the unsworn statement”

When I was in Georgia in the Summer of 1963 and again in 1964 through 1966, there was something called the “unsworn statement.”  I don’t know if it exists anymore.  It stemmed from the days of slavery when you could not have a black person take the “great oath” as they were deemed incapable of adhering to it.  [1]  Even so, occasionally the white man needed black man’s court testimony; for example, when the black man was present when Captain Bob and Mr. John made a business deal but now argued over terms and the black man was present while he was serving them dinner.  So they put him on the stand and he told his story.  Cross examination was not allowed since he wasn’t under oath.
In modern times it was used by white attorneys to put black defendants on the stand to give a “lawsy, lawsy Mr. White Man, I sho is a bad n***** and sho am sorry for whut I done did.”  The equivalent of the “slow plea” today.

However, the attorney for whom I worked, C. B. King,  [3]used the unsworn statement for a very different purpose.  We would put a defendant on the stand who couldn’t withstand a good cross examination and that defendant would tell his story.  The DA was not allowed to cross-examine.  Most jurors didn’t know about the unsworn statement and felt that since the DA didn’t cross-examine it might just be the truth.  Hey, it was one of the very few ways that we could get an all-white jury (all juries were all “all-white juries” at that time) to believe a truthful African American client.

all juries were all “all-white juries” at that time


Dennis Roberts, Attorney at Law

370 Grand Ave., Suite 1 

Oakland, CA 94610-4892 

(510) 465-6363 (Phone)

(510) 465-7375 (Fax)



Reference notes:

[1].  Interestingly enough, Aboriginies in Australia have basically the same law at present:

Unsworn Statements and Traditionally Oriented Aborigines. Aborigines may be particularly disadvantaged in the courts either as defendants or as witnesses.[519] These difficulties may prevent an Aborigine adequately presenting his or her version of the facts to the court both in evidence in chief and in cross-examination. In particular, problems arise with cross examination through incomprehension of questions or reluctance to reject suggestions or propositions put by persons in authority.[520] The option of an unsworn statement may assist in resolving this problem. A Select Committee of the Legislative Council (SA) investigating these questions reported that:

The Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement, supported by three Adelaide counsel … submitted … that a special case could be made out for Aboriginal defendants in particular for whom the unsworn statement ought to be retained. They referred to a number of judgments in which it had been recognised that Aboriginal persons faced special problems in relation to the administration of justice. In oral submissions to the Committee, the Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement emphasised that, because of these particular difficulties, cross-examination was not necessarily a tool which could always be used effectively to establish veracity. Consequently the abolition of the unsworn statement would help neither the Aboriginal accused nor the interest of society as a whole.

[2] A slow plea happens when a defendant has a bench or “judge” trial, knowing he will be found guilty.  Facts are often agreed to before trial.  A “slow plea” trial is done just to preserve one or two issues for appeal.  Sometimes issues are waived if trial did not go forward. Often the judge will not order jail time to be served until after the appeal has been decided.  As a defendant is entitled to a jury (even if that defendant is black) a slow plea is the choice of the defendant.

[3] The hypertext links in CB and King are separate and distinct.  They lead to two separate authorities on him.

The first courthouse in the deep South was named after C.B. King: “The C.B.King United States Courthouse is located at the corner of West Broad Avenue and Washington Street in the original downtown section of Albany. It was named in 2000 for Chevene Bowers King, a pioneering African American attorney, civil rights leader, and politician in Georgia.”

Addendum to fn [3] from Dennis:

“When I was invited to speak at the dedication I spoke about what an honor it was for the black community and what a great fighter against injustice and to ease the burdens of black folk. But then I paused and said “I wonder how Attorney King would feel knowing they applied his name to a building he referred to as a ‘Temple of Injustice’ “

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Someone posed as a member of Anonymous to bully into not posting his conviction online

A Seattle man was arrested Friday after authorities say he threatened Dallas-based to remove a court decision he was involved in. is a website that aggregates state and federal court documents, including this Seattle man’s 2011 conviction for fraud and obstruction in Canada. He ran a scam to make credit cards in his name and then used them to shop at luxury car dealerships, according to previous articles.

Read more here.

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Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio found guilty of criminal contempt of court

Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s own words were the linchpin in the case against him, his quotes cited more than 20 times in a federal judge’s ruling that found him guilty of criminal contempt of court.

In a verdict filed Monday morning, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton said evidence demonstrated Arpaio’s flagrant disregard for another federal judge’s order that halted his signature immigration round-ups.

Read more here.

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